Since Ava’s birth eight months ago, I have been finding life hard. It was mostly due to no sleep, four children aged 6 and under, having an endless list of work to do and having no time for myself. I felt like I was trying to keep too many plates spinning, and dropping them all. I felt like a failure, and my brave face was wearing really thin. There was much more too it that that, but took me a long while to accept that I had anxiety & depression.
I realised that something had to change and that change had to start with me. My first step was to cut back on some commitments, Mr T was doing his best to ease the pressure at home, but I still felt exhausted and followed the children to bed most nights.
In January (7 months later) I was determined to simplify things further, and I began to research ways to simplify our lives. I stumbled into reading about minimalism and found myself nodding along, it made sense, and fit with what we had been trying to achieve for years financially.
Minimalism really has helped more than I imagined it would at first, if you walked into my house you wouldn’t think ‘oh, yeah, a minimalist lives here’. but you might think, ‘Are there really four children aged 6 and under living here?‘
6 Ways That Minimalism Helped Me Cope With Anxiety and Depression
- Time. I spend less time sorting and organising and tidying the things we do have, and more time doing the things that make me happy
- It feels cleaner. There is something about walking into a kitchen with clean, clutter free work-tops that makes me feel happy. Swinging my feet out of bed and finding my slippers, instead of knocking over a pile of books. Is it any cleaner than it was before? Not really, but the clutter is gone and our home feels instantly tidy.
- I feel content. I no longer spend hours searching online for a ‘bigger’ house, because I truly believe this house is a good fit for our family, and with some love and work to get it exactly how we want it, it can be our castle. We didn’t need a bigger home, we just needed ‘less’ stuff.
- Self-discovery. The basic principle I’ve followed is to remove anything that isn’t practical and doesn’t bring us joy. The things we have left are the things that truly make us happy and define us.
- Clarity & vision. Clearing the clutter has helped me see other areas of my life more clearly too, and I have a much clearer vision for the future.
- Happiness. Being surrounded by things that make me smile is amazing, they were there before; but I can see them more clearly now.
Minimalism is a journey
It’s not a miracle cure, but it’s definitely helped. I am still fighting the lows, but I am determined to see the positives in every day.
Minimalism is a journey, but not one that I understood before I started. My journey is only just beginning, and the positives are amazing.
If you want to read more about minimalism I recommend the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo and the website Becoming Minimalist