"Don't think of all you're giving up, think of everything you're gaining."
This public service announcement on New Zealand TV is a good message for all of us during this Covid-19 quarantine.
- Don't mourn the loss of your always-on-the-go life. Allow yourself to grasp how trivial some of your concerns were and how much false urgency you let yourself respond to. Appreciate a slower pace.
- Don't bemoan the shopping trips you can't take. Celebrate your lack of new clutter, your freedom from new debt, and the creativity you're discovering as you use what you already have.
- Don't complain about your inability to purchase entertainment at movie theaters, bowling alleys, casinos, theme parks, restaurants, etc. Relax and revel in all the time you have to read, garden, cook, craft, walk, bicycle, watch the sunset, and talk to your nearest and dearest.
- Don't fret that you can't travel. Be thankful that you can save fuel, that you can experience spring (or autumn) right where you live, and that you can save money for another trip on some later date. Meanwhile, enjoy photos and virtual tours of places you want to visit, and send prayers and good thoughts toward people in those areas that may be struggling right now.
It's also a great minimalist mindset:
- Don't lament the items you declutter that were gifts or mementos, or that you paid good money for but no longer use. Think about the space and freedom you're gaining. Think about being able to find the things you need without digging through useless piles. Think about enjoying the possessions you keep and highlighting their beauty or utility by letting them remain uncrowded and fully accessible.
- Don't worry about events you're missing when you decide to be less busy. Enjoy your ability to focus, to give your best energy to activities you care about, and to save some white space for rest, connection, and contemplation.
- Don't feed your tech addiction. Discover that you can do with fewer alerts and notifications, that important stuff stays important while gossip, trivia, and speculation pass away, and that it's easier to think and act clearly when you're not distracted and drowning in information.
- Don't covet a list of things you want to acquire and do. Be grateful for all you have, and think about spending your time, money, and energy on a purpose that will give your life real meaning.
Minimalism isn't about deprivation, it's about choosing more freedom, more ease, more clarity, and more satisfaction. With minimalism, you have everything to gain.
P.S. Interested in more help and inspiration in choosing minimalism? Check out my book, Uncluttered, available on Amazon.
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash.