We’re into the second half of the 30 day Minimalism Challenge, you can read more about the philosophy behind simplifying your life over at into-mind.com. You can read how the first 15 days went for Annalise here. Now let’s get into the next phase…
Day 16 – Don’t Buy Anything for 24 hours
Monday 16th Feb. Is it cheating if I do this tomorrow? Mondays are my paying bills, ordering stock and doing the grocery shopping day… It will take a whole heap of planning and rearranging to change this. Tomorrow however, I’m at home with my kids. I generally avoid the shops completely, way easier to do it tomorrow….. Or am I missing the point?
Day 17 – Practice Single Tasking
Tuesday 17th Feb. Yikes! Does this mean I can’t unload the dishwasher, make a cup of tea and get the kids breakfast at the same time? That I need to put the broom down to wipe Brea’s nose? And Have to focus on re-roll the toilet paper that has unraveled all across the bathroom, not supervising the cleaning teeth and getting dressed process? This is a great exercise but super hard, especially being with my kids…. I have been very mindful of doing one thing at a time today and although sometimes frustrating, it’s made me slow down and be more aware of the task at hand. Definitely worth continuing to work on.
Day 18 – Un-follow and Un-friend.
Wednesday 18th Feb. This feels similar to day 3 of the challenge. Of course rather than reducing my social media presence I am making an effort to ‘get with the times’ and have asked Purdy to join Quiescence to Instagram, she even put it on my phone 😉 Nonetheless to keep with the challenge I went through my Facebook account and cleaned it up.
Day 19 – Go for a Walk and Practice Mindfulness
Thursday 19th Feb. As on day two of the challenge today is a work/day care day. Taking the time to walk to pick my kids up, practicing mindfulness along the way, is a great transition from work to mum mode. Walking home with mindfulness however is the greater challenge. Thankfully my kids are getting better at getting from point a to b without constant meltdowns, back peddling and focusing on anything that’s not putting one step in front of the other. I think the ultimate practice in mindfulness and patience would have to be walking to a destination with a 2-year-old on a limited timeframe. Yikes!
Day 20 – No TV all day, read instead
Friday 20th Feb. Ahh, the TV thing. My husband and I will often turn the TV on in the evenings; it’s our way of switching off. When we don’t watch TV I tend to work – reading articles, writing, paying bills etc. Although it seems like a better use of time, when I work into the night I really feel it the next day. I guess I need to get a good fiction book to distract me! Having ‘brain down time’ is super important, especially when you spend your day thinking, reading, writing or kid wrangling.
Day 21 – Journal for 20 minutes
Saturday 21st Feb. Does writing this blog count? While I can see the benefit in keeping a journal I have no intention in spending 20 minutes writing something I have no chance of keeping up. (I’ve tried in the past and never got past the first few weeks). I have at least three blog posts I’m working on at the moment and plenty more bouncing around in my head (speaking of multitasking…) I’d much rather spend 20 minutes writing something useful!
Day 22 – Create a relaxing bedtime routine
Sunday 22nd Feb. My bedtime routine consists of ‘how did it get to 10pm already!?!?’ Doing a quick clean up, washing my face and cleaning my teeth and jumping into bed. After years of sleep deprivation thanks to my son (he didn’t figure out how to sleep thought the night until he was three) I fully appreciate the value of the good quality sleep you get between 10pm and 2am. So much so, I encourage everyone I see to get into bed for 10pm and make to most of their naturally high melatonin levels. Thankfully I have no problems falling asleep, but I fully endorse a good bedtime routine for those who do, turn the screen off, have a ‘darken down’ time, listen to some guided meditations etc. Have a look at the blog post I wrote about sleep and insomnia if you’re interested!
Day 23 – Go bare-faced
Monday 23rd Feb. Back to the less is more approach to beauty. I tend to go barefaced more than I wear makeup. A friend once said she preferred to not wear makeup day to day so when she did put it on it packed more of a punch. Her reasoning makes me smile. Personally, now it’s more out of laziness that I go barefaced. Back in the day I took a moral stance against women being expected to wear makeup – it’s easy to get your knickers in a twist when you have perfect 20-year-old skin. But just to make a point, look, see? No make up!
Day 24 – Practice gratitude
Tuesday 24th Feb. I have a lot to be grateful for. It’s easy to get lost in the daily grind, but at the end of the day life could be a whole lot worse. It’s one thing to know it, another to say it. So thank you all you wonderful people in my life, I am eternally grateful for the joy, teachings, challenges and support you bring. You are wonderful. If you are reading this please take on this daily challenge, spread the love and make the people in your life smile.
Day 25 – Leave a whole day unplanned
Wednesday 25th Feb. While I love the idea of this, Wednesdays are streamlined. Take the kids to day care, walk the dog, go to yoga then to work. I do love having an unplanned day though and tend to try and keep weekends free for last minute adventures. I find the nicest, most relaxing family days are ones spent in the garden with no overriding agenda to get anything done.
Day 26 – Identify your stress triggers
Thursday 26th Feb.
- Whinging, whining and grizzling, totally gets my hackles up.
- Running late. Hate it.
- Not being able to find things when I’m trying to leave the house. Shoes, wallet, phone, keys etc… I tend to work on autopilot a bit – I’ll throw the essentials in my bag without realising it then spend five minutes walking in circles looking for everything. My husband will always tell me to check my bag, but why would they already be in there?
- Headaches. Post Brea’s birth I would get frequent low-grade headaches. They made me feel super grumpy and my body went into stress mode. Thankfully, I know some pretty amazing herbalists and after a month of taking herbs they pretty much dissipated. I only get them very rarely now, if at all. I feel for all headache and migraine sufferers, it’s so unpleasant.
Day 27 – Clean out your junk drawer
Friday 27th Feb. We have a little magpie in our house by the name of Finley. He’s constantly going through our drawers searching for this and that. Torches, balls of string, tape, watches, coins… Our junk drawer is now spread all over the house, high time it was cleaned up!
Day 28 – Let go of a Goal
Saturday 28th Feb. This is an interesting process. When I was a new mum I quickly discovered that my “to do list” was never going to be the same. I would go out to run the usual errands, thinking that everything was achievable, but found myself dropping things off the list left right and centre. I’d get home with not even half of it done, exhausted and wondering why it was all suddenly so hard. I’ve learnt to be a bit better at prioritising realistic day to day goals, and am getting better at letting things go. Goals are important, but it’s OK to change them, especially if they are stressing you out!
Day 29 – Turn off Notifications
Sunday 1st March. I hate notifications. I never have them on. They somehow make the most mundane things seem super important and just add to the ‘gotta do it now!’ craziness.
Day 30 – Evaluate your last 5 purchases
Monday 2nd March. Usually my purchases revolve around groceries and stock for the clinic. This week there has been a birthday and a few excuses to buy more exciting things:
1) Super hero masks from Stitchandwillow’s Etsy store. Just for the fun of it. She’s a local Melbourne designer and has a lovely parenting blog that I like to follow.
2) Biobags. I am making a conscious effort to reduce the single-use plastic in my life. It’s incredibly overwhelming once you start to become aware of just how much single-use plastic is out there, but I’m working on it. Biodegradable rubbish bags, cling film and sandwich bag alternatives are a good start and easy to get online or from ‘green stores’.
3) A beautiful Lumira candle from Tiger and Peacock. This was a birthday present, as much as I’d like to keep it. Tiger and Peacock is a beautiful shop in North Fitzroy. It’s full of amazing gifts and clothes. Atelier Lumira are a Sydney based candle and fragrance company. Keeping the love local.
4) Toms shoes. We were in need for some “easy to put on shoes” and I love these ones for one ethos they have – for every pair of Toms shoes brought they give a pair to a child in need.
5) Groceries, yep it’s grocery day. Although incredibly mundane, good groceries are the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. I like to think of food as free medicine: eat well, stay healthy. We are lucky here in the ‘Inner North’ with plenty of places to get great quality food. Choosing local, organic unprocessed produce has just become a whole lot easier with Wild Things finally opening in North Fitzroy. It’s all very exciting!
Finished! This has been an interesting exercise to undertake and definitely one we’d recommend. Breaking down huge ideas into smaller chunks is a great way of tackling those big life changing concepts. Thanks Into Mind!