Inspired by a lot of other bloggers in the past year, I felt inspired to also try the 30-day minimalism challenge by into-mind.com. It is a popular starting point for a lot of people who want to lead a more meaningful, minimal life – to say it with Maddie‘s words: this challenge could change your life. It was very much an experiment for me at first and I wasn’t sure if and how these 30 actions would influence my life and make it better. It did in fact have a positive effect on my life and this is exactly why I want to share my experience with you.
30-DAY MINIMALISM CHALLENGE – MY KEY TAKE-AWAYS
Stay offline – use social media in moderate doses
This might be a personal thing, but before the 30-day minimalism challenge, I was kind of a social media junkie. The first day of the challenge consisted of staying offline completely and except for missing certain magazines, websites and blogs, I have felt some relief that day. Ever since then, I have reduced my social media usage continuously and try to take time for it instead of doing it besides something else. I have never been a great single-tasker, you see. But I am getting there. ;) I have also removed apps that have been known to steal my time (ahem, Facebook) from my iPhone’s home screen and have turned off notifications for most of my apps. It’s so relieving not to have your phone or your desktop overflowing with notifications all the time. And trust me: there is nothing happening on there that is so important, you have to know it immediately.
15 minute meditations can do so much for you
I will have to admit that before these 30 days, I have had no contact whatsoever with meditation. Obviously I had an idea of what it was, but I have never tried it and have not known anybody who has practised it. Sometimes, you just have to look beyond your own nose to discover something beautiful that you don’t want to miss anymore. Meditation helps me unwind, calm down and stay positive, no matter what happens. You may ask yourself how to start practising meditation as an absolute beginner (just like me) and I found the app Headspace incredibly helpful. As I found out later, the app is massive already and even has a lot of celeb fans. The key to meditation is to keep going and do it as regularly as possible. Even if you think you’re not enduring enough to really take the time for it every day, you will soon find that you’re missing it each day when you do not take these 15 minutes for yourself. 15 minutes aren’t that much – even I can find the time each morning before I get out of bed. And trust me – I am not a morning person and usually would accept anything just to let me snooze for a few more minutes.
Declutter your (digital) life
Many days of the challenge are dedicated to physically clean up your life: I have not only cleaned out my closet (my biggest ongoing project, you can shop all my stuff on Kleiderkreisel), but I have also sorted out my reading lists, bookmarks, apps, pictures and my desktop. I usually am a very organized person who likes to keep here stuff neat and clean – but I had definitely amassed a lot of stuff on my phone and MacBook. It happens sooner than you notice: an interesting article that you might read someday? Saved. A funny GIF? Saved. If you do not absolutely need it and don’t think you will need it anytime soon, just throw it out. My favourite part of the challenge: I have sorted through all my social media, I have finally unfollowed and unfriended many accounts across all channels. It really seems time consuming, but pays off so much. Make social media inspiring again for you!
I have also sold a lot of books that I have already read, donated many things that we’re still great but just not for me and have given away a lot of home decor and kitchen stuff I do not need anymore for free to people who need it. I had also amassed stuff that was just trash: a complete collection of German VOGUE from 2011 to 2015, for example. If the things don’t immediately make sense to you, you can perfectly well give them to someone who needs them more. The materialistic aspect of minimalism – even though it’s just one part of the whole lifestyle – ist really important to me. I have the feeling that many of us just live to own and spend so much time wanting to own something. I have scarcely had the feeling that a tangible object really made me so happy that I wouldn’t want to live without it. Life should be much more about experiences, about feelings, about adventures.
On the whole, the 30-day minimalism challenge has taught me one thing: to be mindful, to be aware and to live in the present. I want to stay focused and I try my best to listen to my body and mind to lead a more balanced life. Still I am easily sucked in by the hectic everyday life (or even the lives of others around me) and I just want to stay on track with everyone around me: thinking about this and that and whatnot, doing 3 things at once (told you – I am not a great single-tasker)… everything at once, just no downtime. I felt kind of guilty when I did nothing productive and I still do. Really take time for yourself each and evey single day: practice meditation, do short yoga sessions, buy yourself flowers, go for a walk in the sunshine and not worry about the time you lose. Enjoy it! Enjoy every single second.
Have you guys heard of the 30-day minimalism challenge before? Have you tried it yourself or do you think this is not for you at all? If you have tried it, I would be curious to read about your experience in the comments below!