Posts tagged tips
How to be a Practical & Socially Conscious Minimalist
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One of the popular criticisms against minimalism that I actually love is how elitist it is. The common saying minimalists use is "to only buy what you need", but that implies that everyone has the privilege of being able to afford to buy more than they need. I know this was not the intention of the movement, but it does exclude a large portion of the population. 

Since those phrases are geared towards those with privilege it is important to point out that most of the problems that are caused by overconsumption are from people of privilege over-consuming, so yes... they should buy less. The problem is stating that this lifestyle that underprivileged don't get to be apart of will lead to happiness. 

I do see the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle, since I try to adhere to it as well. I follow a different set of rules than the extreme minimalists do... such as only owning 500 items. I can't afford to only own 500 items because I need to keep, for example, extra parts from an old computer in case I need them for my new one or for another project. So... here are some practical rules to follow if you want to basically just stop buying so much crap and get your life organized while also being socially conscious about it. 

1. Donate

The only thing you should be throwing away when you're purging all of your crap is garbage. Like on hoarders when they do not even throw away their trash. Or if your furniture or clothes are beyond the point of being useable. If it is useable, donate it. Like I said... there are many people in underprivileged communities that you can help by giving them what you don't want instead of a landfill. 

2. Remember that Your house doesn't need to look like this 

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This is minimalist decor. There is also minimalist art. You don't need to strive for this. I think this is impractical. I want to see pictures of my family on my wall, I want to be inspired by artwork, and I love lots of pillows and throw blankets and I'm still a minimalist. The main point of minimalism is that you rid of the excess, not that you rid of everything. For me, excess is cable television and bulky exercise equipment because I don't use or love either of those things, but there is still some stuff in my house. 

3. When you buy, make it matter

I honestly hate the "vote with your dollar" mindset... that you can just buy eco-friendly clothes and save the Earth. It's not possible and there needs to absolutely be real and drastic policy reform in order for that to happen. It also excludes those who don't have enough money to chose what they buy, they have to buy the cheapest option available. 

With that said, if you do have privilege and you are buying things and experiences, educate yourself on that company. Even if you have to buy from WalMart, look them up, research them, tell people about them, teach your kid about them, and vote with your actual ballot for people who are pushing for reform. If you do have the privilege of having options, always always always chose the most ethical option you can because unfortunately, money is power so give power to those that really deserve it. 

4. Give Experiences Instead of Gifts

I've wrote a lot about this in my other posts, Minimalizing your Life, Not Just Your Closet and How to Change the World by Changing How You Give. For Christmas this past year I took my boyfriend to see Jay-Z instead of an actual present and we had a blast and made memories and that's better than any gift I could've given him (especially because he already has everything he needs/wants). 

5. Reuse

It is absolutely okay to have a room full of junk if its intention is for it to be reused. There is a reason why folks in the depression never threw anything away. It's better for the environment that you reuse the parts from that old computer (to use my previous example) than it is for you to throw it away. When I came up with the idea that I wanted an aquaponics unit that could fit on my counter I was able to make it that day and only had to buy a water pump and a goldfish to make it because I had all of the materials, which is again better for the environment because I didn't have to throw away the packaging for the new stuff. It was also better for my bank account. 

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20 Tips to Prevent Burnout

1. Stop people pleasing!

This is absolutely number one just in case you think this is too long to read because this is most important! Stop living your day for everyone else. Don't go to law school to impress your parents if you want to be a photographer. Don't plan your coworkers baby shower if you won't love every part of the experience. Don't make plans with people who don't take your thoughts and feelings into account. There are three easy steps to accomplish this:

1. Think about what is being offered for a moment. For example: your coworker asks you to plan their retirement party. Tell them you'll think about it and get back to them in a timely manner. Then think about it.

2. Weigh the outcomes. There are two in this instance. 1- I plan the retirement party and waste my time and energy doing so. 2- I don't plan the retirement party and waste no time or energy on this. Are you close with this coworker? Then maybe you're not wasting anything. Do you dislike this coworker? You're probably wasting valuable resources planning it, then. Weigh the costs and benefits of the decision.

3. Decide. And this is the hard part for most people, but it doesn't have to be. You either say "I'd love to" or "I appreciate you trusting me with this task, but I don't have the time". Short and simple. Don't make your decision based on the happiness it would bring them, but on the happiness it would bring you. If making them happy TRULY makes you happy - then do it. If not, spend your time on better things.

2. Change your diet

All I'm going to say on this since people HATE being told to change their diet is if you eat better you feel better. If you feel better you won't get burnt out so quickly. That is all.

3. Make sure you're getting enough sleep

I'm dead serious about this one. I hate that our culture praises those who sleep less as if that shows what a strong work ethic you have. No no no... without your 8 hours you are working less efficiently and if you know me you know that my number one concern is efficiency. I can get so much more done in one hour of time if I'm well rested than if I'm tired. PLUS fatigue is the reason why most car accidents happen on Fridays - people haven't been sleeping all week. Do us and yourself a favor and sleep! If you're not convinced I wrote a whole post on why badass bitches sleep A LOT!

4. Ask for help

Share carpool responsibilities for your kids, make sure you're splitting up group work, make sure your partner and you are sharing home responsibilities, and if you need help with a task ask someone for help knowing you'll return the favor when they need help. If you're not surrounded by people willing to help you then you need to rethink your relationships.

5. Time block

Don't work on writing your 25 page paper all in one sitting, do it in 5 page increments and take a break every 5 pages where you meditate or take a short walk, etc. This is super important for big goals. Just spend an hour every day on your goal and chip away at it until you reach it. If you're trying to build your business overnight you're going to get burnt out and quit really fast. Life's a marathon and you need to pace yourself. Which leads me to my next point...

6. Stop procrastinating

You're burnt out because you waited until 12pm to finish your report that's due the next day at 6am and not only are you stressed about the time crunch, but you're going to be running all day on no sleep making you less sharp - which leads to a less efficient day meaning you have to stay up late again to get all of your work done because it's taking you longer to complete. Schedule your responsibilities and stick to them so you can be at your most efficient and still have time for self-care and sleep and joy.

7. Make time for joy

And no this is not making time for self-care, that'll be another point. Joy is simply joy. Making time for what makes you laugh and what gives your life purpose. This is essential. I recommend making a list of the things that bring you the kind of joy that fills your soul and incorporate something from that list into each day. All day your draining your life source battery and joy is how you recharge it.

8. Stay off of social media

You've got to trust me on this one. People on social media are either complaining or bragging. You only see the BEST parts of peoples lives and then you end up comparing yourself to them. They're using filters, only showing the glamorous part of their day, and it's all for show. Studies have proven that people who use social media are left feeling more depressed than before they logged on. You need to lessen the amount of distractions in your life and keep your focus on your goal without comparing where you are in life to other people.

9. Make sure you're taking time for self-care

I really don't feel like I need to write a lot for this one... self-care is easy. Make sure your basic needs are met and you're taking time for YOU. Personally my self-care is done when I'm alone so I wrote a post that's 100 things to do alone if you're looking for some ideas.

10. Take time to be creative

This is so important. This isn't just a taking a break or letting your mind wander. Creating makes you feel important, it gets your using your right brain, and it's how you stay motivated. The less creative your responsibilities are (i.e. work, your major, running kids to soccer practice, etc) the more time you need to be creative to make sure you have that balance. Creating inspires and inspiration keeps you motivated and happy -- you'll be depressed and burnout super quick if you only focus on the boring stuff.  I wrote a post on how to become inspired and find your passion if you're more interested in how to do this.

11. Stay hydrated

Just do it... if you're not drinking your weight in ounces of water every day you're not hydrated your body isn't at it's peak. Hydration = burnout prevention. Write it down.

12. Plan your goals

I mean sit down and plan out your next week, month, year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc. Where are you headed in your life? Where do you want to go? I recommend starting at 20 years and working backwards. This doesn't have to be set in stone, you can always change your mind, but it's much less of a mental strain if I know that by working on my business 1 hour a day I'll get to my 20 year goal then if I'm stressing out over how I'm going to be the person I want to be. Sit down, write it out, and calm down. I use the bullet journal method and wrote a post about that as well if you're interested.

13. Spend time in nature

The most important reminder spending time in nature gives me is that there is more than my tiny little perspective of the world. If I don't turn in my paper by midnight the sun will still rise, the Earth will still turn, and the little things I do every day are really not that important. Just go and take a walk outside of the city and remember that.

14. Ground yourself

This needs to be done every day. The busier you are the more grounding you need. I already wrote a whole post about how to ground yourself so check that out!

15. Keep your energy levels high

If you're struggling just to get out of bed in the morning you're probably already burnt out. You need to follow the other steps on this list, but I also wrote a post on how I got through this. I was sleeping 12 hours and would wake up feeling like I didn't sleep at all and couldn't get out of bed and so I wrote a post on how I got my energy back so you can implement some of the things that helped me in your own life.

16. Cut the bad fruit off of the tree

This goes along with the first point of not pleasing people... but really you NEED to remove toxicity from your life at all costs. Cut off toxic relationships, toxic friends, toxic family members, toxic responsibilities, etc. This is crucial. All of those things are draining your energy and you're going to get burnt out so much faster. If a person or a task isn't making you feel healthier or good about yourself or helping you achieve your goal you're wasting your time and energy. Again, I'm all about efficiency so trim up your life.

17. Get rid of stuff

Burnt out? TIME TO PURGE. You're wasting time and energy organizing your crap, cleaning your crap, looking for your crap, moving your crap to make room for other crap and it's exhausting. Believe me I know how you feel... I grew up with a type A mom who needed everything organized with labels BUT THERE WAS SO MUCH STUFF. It was just organized clutter. If you don't NEED it or LOVE it toss it. Byeeeeeeee. I also wrote a whole post on how to minimalize your entire life - not just your stuff. Read that one too. :)

18. Stop feeling guilty

Guilt burns me out faster than any other emotion. It takes about 3 seconds of a guilt trip for me to need a nap. This is so hard for people and I get it... but it's really something to work on. Be yourself unapologetically. If you fuck up then apologize and move on. You've learned from your mistake, be grateful for the lesson, and don't dwell on it. Stop feeling guilty that you're not around enough for someone, that you can't afford a birthday present, etc. If you're doing the best you can then the people in your life should respect that. If they make you feel guilty then resort back to point number 16 because you don't have time for that kind of negativity in your life. You have shit to do.

19. Be patient

You're not going to be a millionaire at 25. You're not going to live in a fully renovated penthouse at 26. Even if you know 20 year olds who are - you're probably not because most are living in shit holes and that is 100% OKAY. Even if you're 40 and you feel like you don't have your life together yet it is okay. Make a plan and chip away at it and be happy that you have a purpose. You're burnt out because you're impatient and you think having the penthouse is what will make you happy, but you're wrong. Working towards the penthouse is what will make you happy.

20. Believe you can do it

Otherwise known as your self-efficacy - this is psych 101. If you truly believe you CAN accomplish it then you will. That way a 25 page paper goes from this huge monster you have to slay with a toothpick to just "oh yeah that'll be nothing I can totally do that". You raise your self-efficacy by remembering all the times you have accomplished a similar task in the past... "Remember last semester when you wrote that 20 page paper? This is only 5 more pages". It might suck to accomplish it... but just reminding yourself that it's totally doable makes all the difference.

9 Tips To Manifest Everything You Need

If you're not constantly manifesting you're living life the hard way. I don't care what term you want to use if manifesting sounds a little like witch craft. It's just another term for positive thinking, the law of attraction, praying for things, etc. I want to make one thing very clear, though, ANYONE can manifest anything at anytime. And it's super simple. 

1. Make your intentions clear

The first thing you need to do is write down EXACTLY what you want. The details really matter here. You don't want to confuse the universe/God/spirits/etc. Make sure that you're specific on what you actually want though. For example, when manifesting love manifest how the person will make you feel as opposed to what they will look like. If you've had a hard time finding love you've probably been manifesting the wrong things or confusing the universe with what you want. If you've ever found yourself thinking "I want a guy who looks like Chase Crawford" well great you might get a super attractive guy, but he's a douchebag. So instead request your soul mate. "I want a guy who is unbelievably kind, has as much ambition as I do, has his own hobbies, inspires me to be better, and I'm attracted to him". That's what I manifested and that's what I got. I'm telling you it works. 

2. Ask the universe

Once you know exactly what you want ask the universe for it. "I need $800 to pay my bills, please". Cool it'll happen. DO NOT focus on HOW you're going to get it. That's fear and fear is going to stop you from getting what you're manifesting. You need to trust that the universe is going to bring it to you or it can't. So I'll say "I don't care HOW I get the money I need to move, just please help me to have enough" or "I need a new car please help me to get the perfect car for me". 

3. Trust that the Universe knows better that you do

So if you are manifesting a new house and 3 years go by and there is no house you need to trust that was on purpose. Maybe the market is about to crash and that'll be a better time to buy a house. Maybe an apocalypse is coming and the house you're living in now is safer and better for that event. Who knows? Maybe the car you wanted was a Lexus, but you ended up with a Subaru and you're pissed because you manifested the Lexus. Well just wait because maybe you're going to get into an accident and the Subaru is safer and is going to save your life. You need to be humble and remember that you can't see the future. Manifest what you want, but tell the universe you only want it if it's going to help you with your life's purpose. If it's going to send you down a different or wrong path then tell the universe not to give it to you. 

4. Ask open ended questions

An excellent tool I use to make sure I'm manifesting what I want and having it fit my life's purpose is asking open ended questions. Examples of this include "I wonder what it would feel like to be totally and completely healthy" or "I wonder what it would be like if I had enough money to start charitable foundations to help bring clean water to third world countries". Then I'm putting it it the universe's hands to make me feel that way or for that experience to happen to me and I'm not saying how I want it to happen or when just that it will happen. 

5. Act like it's real

This is where the power of positive thinking comes in. Once you've manifested your dream partner you can just sit back and know that they're coming when they're supposed to and you don't have to worry about it anymore. It's off your plate and the universe has to figure it out now. Act like you already have that job, that scholarship, that money, that car, etc. If you just act like you're totally and completely healthy you'll start to feel totally and completely healthy. It's truly amazing. 

6. Manifest what you want, not just what you need

Something that's hard for me is manifesting more than I need because I somehow think that if I'm getting $100 to pay a bill I'm taking it from someone who really needs it. This is total bullshit. The universe is endless, nothing is scarce. Manifest boat loads of money and success if that's what you want and that's in your life's plan and make sure that when you get it you're giving it away and doing stuff with the money. The universe doesn't manifest to hoarders or people will ill intentions so if you're like Oprah and you want to manifest billions of dollars so you can create charities, and inclusive, diverse media, and you want to give away a lot of your wealth then you're more likely to get it. The reason she keeps getting more money is because she keeps giving it away. There's an energy exchange happening, the energy is flowing in the form of money.  

7. Trust

I know I touched on this a little bit, but you have to 100% trust in God or the Universe that it's going to provide you with it. If you do not believe it's possible it won't happen. If you do not believe you're worthy of it then it won't happen. If you can't imagine yourself with it and act like it's going to happen then it won't happen. You have to have blind trust in it. 

8. Be patient

Yes I want millions of dollars to help people, but I'm not expecting it tomorrow.The universe isn't going to break the laws of nature to make it rain money in my bedroom. It has to bring it to me. So I have to leave different avenues open for it. Maybe I'll meet someone who wants to invest in my ideas. Who knows how the money is going to get to me? I don't care when I get it, I just ask that it's when I'm ready for it and when I can use it for the greatest good and to fulfill my life's purpose. So I manifested it and now I wait. One day it'll happen. It could and probably will happen gradually. 

9. You have to work for it, too

You can't just manifest millions of dollars and then sit on your couch and wait for it to rain money, like I said. You need to be open to opportunities and pay attention to the signs the universe is telling you to in order to earn the millions of dollars. The more avenues you have open the easier it'll be for the universe to bring it to you. The universe can't bring you your soulmate if you never go anywhere or do anything. You won't have to go out and look for them yourself, but you do need to still make sure you have hobbies or whatever that'll get you out of the house and into the world. 

Why I Chose To Be A Minimalist

I decided about 4 years ago to be a minimalist, and here’s why. 

To Save Money

This one is obvious, the less stuff you buy, the more money you have. For me, I decided the money that I traded for each hour of my life was better spent on good food, good views, and good times.

To Heal My Soul

I was really struggling with the fact that I was calling myself a good person, while I was buying clothes and electronics made in sweat shops. In case you were wondering what you learn as a Political Science major, it is basically just class after class about how greedy companies are destroying the world. The less stuff I bought, the better I could feel about myself because I wasn’t supporting an industry I didn’t believe in.

To De-clutter

One of my favorite quotes is “I spring clean my schedule, not my house”. I grew up with a Type-A mom who kept a very clean, organized house. What this taught me was that organized clutter is still clutter. My brain works like my space, and if my space looks like it’s suffocating from all the clutter, then my brain feels the same way. Minimizing my space was key to reducing my anxiety.

To Be Mobile

I move a lot, or at least I moved a lot in college. In case you’re all wondering, I hate moving. The less stuff I own, the easier it is to move and the less stressed out I feel about having a mobile lifestyle. This last move I made would have made the moving angels weep with joy. It took me about 2 hours to pack and 2 hours to unpack, clean, and decorate my new place. That peace of mind is priceless.

To Have Focused Priorities

It was important for me to minimalize my life as well as my things. Ridding my life of drama, excess stress and responsibilities, and distractions made me so much more productive. I can focus on what I’ve made a priority in my life now and have a life with quality, valuable experiences.

4 Reasons Why Boundaries Are Important and How To Implement Them

What is one thing every happy and successful person has in common? They set boundaries. Here’s why you need boundaries and how to implement them in your life.

1. Boundaries prevent you from being taken advantage of

This is extremely important for your happiness. Think to the last time you were taken advantage of. How did it feel? Horrible right? If you set standards for how you allow people to treat you they will respect you more. It’s really difficult to take advantage of a person who does not allow you to take advantage of them (obviously...)

2. Boundaries keep your self esteem high

If you do not allow others to make fun of you or make you feel bad then your self esteem will stay high. When people aren’t taking you for granted you feel better about yourself. Self-respect is going to feed your self esteem and you’ll be thanking me when you’re happy and surrounded by positivity.

3. Boundaries strengthen your personal relationships

If you allow people to walk all over you, you are going to resent them. By clearly defining what you will allow and not allow in your life you’re not setting your relationships up to fail. You cannot expect people to read your mind. If you do not show that you’re hurting then it is not fair to the person hurting you, how could they know? Setting boundaries will allow for trust to be built. Your partner or friends or family can trust that the emotions you’re showing are real.

4. Boundaries prevent abuse

Mental abuse is not always as easy to pinpoint, especially in romantic relationships, as physical abuse. If you have set up boundaries and notice that a person is constantly ignoring them, it is probably a good sign that they need to leave your life. That is a sign of abuse and you will be happier without that negativity, believe me.

How to implement boundaries:

  1. You need to clearly define what boundaries you want to set in your life. Do you want people to know they cannot ask you for money? Perhaps you hate when people talk about dieting around you. Maybe you would prefer if your family stayed in a hotel instead of your home. Write these down and put some real thought into them.

  2. If you’re having trouble use the “list 5 things method“. List 5 things you want people to stop doing to you, such as ignoring you. 5 things to stop saying to you, such as “you always give up”. And 5 things you want people to stop doing around you, such as gossiping about colleagues.

  3. Own it. You have a right to every single boundary you want to set and you need to be confident in each one. If you allow the boundaries to be crossed then you are losing respect and happiness simultaneously.

  4. At first those already crossing your boundaries are going to object. Remember to always stay calm, explain them as simply as possible, be responsible of your emotions, and if you need to compromise you can, as long as it feels right.

 

P.S. The best part of implementing boundaries is that it will ward off manipulators. Your life will soon only consist of well-meaning relationships.