30 Day Minimalism Challenge

30 Day Minimalism Challenge

Stress and anxiety have been a real problem for me for as long as I can remember. I have a Type A personality where I want everything done a specific way. Ideally, everything is in its place and clean and organized with no clutter. But let’s be honest, I have 2 kids and 2 dogs (it was 4 at one point) and a husband who couldn’t care less about clutter or things being out of place. I am also the bread winner in our family and work outside the home 40+ hours a week. I get mommy guilt A LOT so when I am at home, cleaning is not what I want to be doing. And I choose not to. I don’t tell my kids “No, I can’t play with you because I have to clean” because I know that having a spotless house isn’t REALLY important and spending time with my kids is. They aren’t going to remember how (not) clean our house is….(maybe?) but they are definitely going to remember if we had fun playing together. With that being said, that does not make the stress and anxiety go away. I actually got to the point where I was just ignoring housework altogether because even doing the simplest tasks, like dishes, made me stress about all the other things that I didn’t have time for.

They aren’t going to remember how clean our house is, but they will remember if we had fun playing together.

Through pinterest, I ended up stumbling upon minimalism. (And now I’m way obsessed). When I found minimalism, I started thinking about when in my life I felt the least stressed. I was travel nursing with my husband and 1 year old at the time (so about 3 years ago…that’s a long time). There were two places that I actually felt relaxed overall. We lived in a small two bedroom apartment and because we were traveling we literally only had what we needed. There were a few things that came with us that we didn’t need but wanted and that was ok. The point is, there wasn’t a lot of clutter and I actually felt like I had time to relax. Ahhh, relax! I usually don’t know the meaning of that word. I think I may have lost the meaning somewhere again. Even when I am sitting on the couch or taking a hot bath (yea right!) I am still thinking about all the things on my never ending to-do list. Why is adulting so hard? I keep saying, “One day it will get easier. And one day I won’t have to do this or that.” But why not now?!

So I found this 30 day  minimalism game, and I like challenges so I thought, why not? I just finished my second round of this challenge (I didn’t finish it the first time), and I feel a lot better.  Now, I want you to think about what you think a minimalist house looks like. You got that thought? Then I want you to get rid of it because that is not what my house looks like. Not even close. It is a work in progress.  I have decluttered 1 and a half truck loads of “stuff” that we didn’t need, want, or use and donated it to the Salvation Army. That stuff was just taking up space, collecting dust, and stressing me out. And I plan to keep going. With this challenge, you declutter one thing on the first day, two things on the second day, three things on the third day, and so on and so forth. Sound easy? Sure maybe the first week but once you have to continuously find 15 or 20+ things to declutter, it will get a little harder.

30 Day Declutter

 

Where I started:

  1. I already had some things set aside to sell but just hadn’t gotten around to it. It was one more thing on my to-do list and having it all piled up just sitting there stressed me out. So I loaded all that up in the truck for donation.
  2. I then went through my closet and drawers and used the Kon Mari method for deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.
  3. After this, I was on a role and did the kid’s closets and drawers as well. I kept our favorites and got rid of the clothes that were too small and those they didn’t wear. Before we decluttered we could barely close their drawers but after it was way more organized. I do keep the clothes my oldest has grown out of for my youngest (both girls so why not). They are separated by size in my youngest’s closet.
  4. I then went through my books. I immediately got rid of books that I was never going to read and books that I didn’t absolutely LOVE.
  5. And last, was the toys. We still have a ways to go with  the toys. I had my oldest help me decide which toys to “keep.” Of course, she is four so we can only do that in short spurts before she gets distracted. I was able to put all my 18 month old’s toys in one bin when we were finished so that is progress!

We got rid of broken toys, toys without pertinent pieces, and cheap toys (like from kids meals or the $3 bin at target). When we came across a toy she hadn’t played with in a while, I would say, “I don’t think you have played with this toy in a while. What do you think? Should we keep it or give it to a kid who doesn’t have many toys?” Every time she said to  give it away.

30 Day Minimalism Challenge
30 Day Minimalism Challenge

So that is where I started and how far I have gotten with one full round. What do you think? Are you going to give it a try?

Why Whole Health Living is MY Answer

Why Whole Health

Hello everyone! This is my very first blog post!! First of many. For those of you who don’t know, (and haven’t read my ‘about me’ page yet), I have been a registered nurse for about six years. I have worked in a variety of different areas and discovered something about healthcare. Healthcare these days is not focused on preventing illnesses, but more along the lines of treating the symptoms by pushing pills. Don’t get me wrong. I like my job and helping people and healthcare has come a long way, but I just want to do more and what I can do at work is limited by my license.

Let me tell you what whole health is. Whole health is literally focusing on every aspect of your health. Everything from what you put into your body, how much exercise you have, how stressed you are, what kinds of relationships you have, what chemicals you are exposed to…etc. I became interested in natural and holistic remedies about three years ago and since then I have done research and decided to change mine and my family’s lifestyle. We have a long way to go still but we have done so much already.

Why Whole Health Living is My Answer
Why Whole Health Living is My Answer

Let me tell you the big thing that got this started. I had already been researching a little but my focus was mainly on healthy eating and exercise. About a year and a half ago, where I worked we had an increase in female patients in their thirties and forties with cancer. These were previously healthy women with no pre-existing conditions. One was even a marathon runner who tripped and broke a rib while running. From the chest x-ray they found that she had lung cancer. This lady was in her 30’s with no symptoms and had never smoked a day in her life. I will be 30 in just a few days and I am in pretty good health. Big wake up call for me.

I started doing more research to see what could possibly be the cause of the increase in women with cancer and stumbled on information about cancer causing chemicals in things like cleaning products, make up, body wash, and even chemicals put on the foods we nourish our bodies with. Before now I had never really paid that much attention to organic and non-gmo food except to know that it cost more. Exposure to these chemicals can even expand as far as the products used to build your house, what your mattress is made out of and even what my children’s car seats are made out of. Whew! All that stresses me out and gives me anxiety. I am going to focus on the smaller things right now and the things I can change. But it is scary to me just how many chemicals surround us daily.

“I had never really paid that much attention to organic and non-gmo food except to know that it cost more.”

This blog is the focus of everything wellness. Everything from exercising and healthy eating to the awareness of hidden chemicals that can actually make you (and your kiddos) sick and how to avoid them. I work in healthcare, so I see unhealthy people everyday. Your health is directly related to three very important factors that everyone has control over: your diet, how much you exercise, and your stress level. (I am going to do a post about these later…this one is getting so long). Everyone has to start somewhere and it is a long journey.

I am also using this blog as a resource for myself. I LOVE learning new things. (I mean “love” in every sense of the word. I would go to school forever if I could get paid to…just saying.) So I started this blog as a way for me to “take notes,” in a sense, of what worked and what didn’t.

I have so many ideas and plans for this blog and I am super excited to get started.

Where are you on your journey to living a whole health focused lifestyle…newbie, getting there, or expert? Offer any tips and tricks.