Earlier this month I made a post about deleting all my social media apps for 30 days. I was dreading it because I knew I was heavily addicted to my phone and was especially guilty for constantly being online. It’s been a challenging few weeks (I’ve still got 4 days left before the challenge is officially over) but it was eye opening.
Even though I had deleted social media like Instagram and Facebook, I still found myself aimlessly scrolling on my phone anywhere I could. I ended up checking my screen time stats and was horrified to see I was still spending about 8 hours a day on my phone! So after the first 6 days I decided to heavily restrict the time I was spending on my phone to be no more than three hours. Three hours is still a ridiculous amount of time but it’s still less than half of the amount of time I was currently spending on my phone. The first few days were really hard but once I came up with some ideas of other things I’d like to do with my time I was surprised to find I didn’t really notice when I’d go a few hours without even looking at my phone or checking the time.
I replaced watching videos on my phone with meditation and playing music along with cleaning out my entire space. It was the most accomplished and fulfilled I have felt in YEARS. When I did allow myself breaks on my phone I tended to spend time looking at more meaningful and useful content such as minimalism which inspired me to go through my belongings and get rid of a lot of junk that was making me extremely unhappy.
I also took a trip to the U.S.A. while on my social media break, which was so much fun. It was hard not being able to post any of my photos for my friends to see at the time but I found I was enjoying every moment of my trip because I wasn’t able to worry about posting or editing my photos while they were being taken. After I took a photo, my phone simply went back into my pocket and I carried on. I’ll be able to post my photos in a few days but I really appreciated the time I had where the photos were only available to me.
It can be hard to imagine a real day without social media if you’re guilty like I am of being constantly glued to your phone screen, but taking time away can be incredibly rewarding. I do plan on keeping myself limited on the hours per day I can spend on my phone because I like my level of productivity when I’m off of it. As for apps there are many I will not be downloading once my break is over that I simply kept because other people were using them. In closing, I encourage everyone to try a day without using their phone for anything other than phone calls and texting and see just how much you can achieve in a single day when you are in full control of your time.
Do you spend a lot of time on your phone? Have you ever gone on a social media break? If you did, how did it go? Let me know in the comments!
Like most people, I found myself watching a Matt D’avella video explaining the pros and cons of minimalism and feeling inspired. Afterwards I vowed to throw all my things away and start new. Then reality sunk in. I didn’t want to simply throw everything into the trash, that wouldn’t be environmentally responsible. I’m no saint when it comes to being environmentally conscious but I’ve made huge efforts in the past year to reduce the amount of trash I leave behind.
I also realize I can’t live like a Buddhist monk. I like fashion and makeup way too much for that. What I really loved about how Matt explained minimalism was that it is focusing on being intentional with our purchases and making sure the things we do spend our money on we genuinely love rather than spending money jut to fill the void. I am someone who is especially vulnerable to the capitalist call to always want more. This is especially apparent with my 36 pair collection of sunglasses.
Some mornings I wake up and all I want to do is shop, even though there’s nothing I need or even want. I’ve found myself looking around stores just trying to find things to buy rather than leaving because there just isn’t anything I want. A few years ago I began to realize that whenever I would feel sad or disappointed, I would go shopping. It took a long time to make this connection but it made perfect sense. I’d go to the mall in search of something I couldn’t put my finger on. I’d buy my 15th shade of red lipstick that I probably wouldn’t wear more than a hand-full of times and for about 5 minutes I’d be content. Quickly the thrill of buying something would wear off and I’d be left feeling empty again. I must be a slow learner because I continued to do this even though I started becoming aware of what I was doing, and how it really wasn’t making me feel any better.
I decided to slowly incorporate the ideals of minimalism into my purchasing. I have a billion clothes, which I have now donated more than 2/3’s of my entire wardrobe to local charities. I’ve begun making sure to use up all my hair products that I don’t love to make sure they don’t go to waste, and then I will only be repurchasing the one’s that I genuinely love. I currently have about 20 different bottles of hair products, I have all of 2 that I actually enjoy using. I don’t want to be wasteful so this really slows down my process by trying to use everything up. If I had it my way it’s get rid of everything right this second that I didn’t need, but it’s just not a responsible way to do things.
Taking this slow does have it’s perks, though. By having to wait between recycling pick ups and using things you’re not crazy about it really makes you think about what you like about certain products you do love and what you don’t want when you do need to make a repurchase. It also has a financial benefit too. I would spend an insane amount on clothing that I wouldn’t wear or didn’t like. I was also spending so much on weird home decor that after a day or two I would decide I hated. I bought it because I thought it was cheap, but in the end i was buying a lot of junk I didn’t really love.
By not purchasing things unless I LOVED them, I found I could afford nicer things and stopped experiencing buyer’s remorse when I did decide to buy something. I’ll never be the poster child of minimalism and only own like 50 total items, but I’m really excited about the idea of only owning things in my home that truly excite me. I’ve only just begun this minimalism journey but so far I really like where this is going. I’ll be sure to provide updates on my process to compare how I’m doing now to how I’m doing in the future.
Would you consider yourself a minimalist? or is the thought of living with less absolutely terrifying to you? Let me know your opinion below!