minimalism and quarantine
Slow Living

Minimalism and Quarantine

What can these times of quarantine teach us about minimalism? Here’s what I’ve learned about the bare necessities during the pandemic.

If this isn’t the perfect time to embrace minimalism, then I don’t know what is.

We’re home a lot now. And we’re confronted with piles of clutter and the realisation that the one place that’s supposed to provide sanctuary only offers overwhelm and a long to-do list.

We’re not going out as often. At work, meetings and conferences across the world have been cancelled. And it’s left us thinking: were they really that productive anyways?

Minimalism and quarantine

This pandemic has freed up hours we’d once spend stuck in traffic, attending meetings or running semi-important errands.

The hours now stretch out before us and, judging from social media, many people don’t know what to do with them. Unleashed from the chains of the school bell or the 9 to 5 time clock, instead of giddy freedom many people are finding only boredom.

Many others, however, are rediscovering some long-lost loves.

Old hobbies are emerging from dusty shoe boxes. Cakes are baked across Instagram Stories. Goodreads reading challenges are at last being met – even without the help of easy YA novels to boost the count.

These times of uncertainty have left many people re-evaluating what’s really important in their lives.

simple living and pandemic

Much of the superfluous has fallen away and our days have more hours. We’re now wondering: are we making the most of them? Did we ever?

The bare necessities

Pre-corona, the rush of our daily routines left us little time to question if we’re living a meaningful life or going after our dreams.

But we now have time. The outside noise has quietened and we can now listen better to our inner selves.

Because minimalism isn’t always about getting rid of your possessions and re-doing your home in the Scandinavian style.

Joshua Becker said it well:

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”

It’s the distractions that often take up so much of our headspace – whether it’s office politics or other storms in teacups.

And what do we most value? For some of us, it’s the things we haven’t done since we were teenagers.

Years have passed and we focused on work while those once-valued things became rare weekend indulgences or rusty knickknacks in the garage.

simpler lifestyle during pandemic

What I’ve learned

These past few weeks I’ve had more time. I’m no longer going out for my freelance work or attending any of my usual get-togethers.

Instead, I’m reading more and it’s reminding me how books have always been a constant in my life. I’m also picking up my journal again.

And it’s that simple – reading and writing are my priorities. The things I must make time for above all other distractions if I want to feel fulfilled.

So as we head into more weeks, if not months, under lockdown, let’s ask ourselves: where are we going for comfort? Where do we find stability in times of crisis?

And when this lockdown is over, and when the meetings and traffic jams are back, let’s not forget those things in the daily maelstrom.

They are the most important.

Read 24 Tips for Working from Home for tips on staying productive during quarantine.

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lockdown and living minimally

2 Comments

  • Tracey Bacic

    There are so many things to love about this time. The gift of time. For years I’ve been telling myself I want to ‘do nothing’, stay quiet, learn calmness. Finally, it’s happening. Because I have been forced. But I will keep up with some of these new rituals. Daily meditation and a gratitude journal. Stay safe.

    • Dee

      Yes it’s unfortunate that it’s happened this way, but it is indeed a lesson on how much is possible when we slow down.. I hope you’ve been well and safe, Tracey.

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