When does minimalism actually hurt your mental health? Does it strain your relationship with your loved ones? Is it really the best decision you will ever make? I’m answering all these questions and giving you some valuable tips along the way!
Whereas I’m well and truly a dedicated minimalist (it’s even in the name of my blog and business …), I do realize now that there are some big challenges on the way to minimalism. There are downsides that make it difficult for some people to fully implement minimalist habits into their lives.
What Nobody Told Me About Minimalism
Despite having read books, listened to podcasts, scrolled through endless blog posts and watched documentaries on minimalism I never came across these next 3 things. This blog post doesn’t necessarily focus on the downsides of minimalism, but rather presents tips on how you can overcome some of its hurdles.
1. Minimalism, Scarcity Mindset & Financial Anxiety
Healthier relationship with money. This is the reason why many people turn to minimalism. They’ve been consuming compulsively for years, even decades, and want to return to basics. They might want to eliminate their debts or learn the value of things they once took for granted. But what happens when you’re already a huge saver? When you’re someone who is struggling to let go of their scarcity mindset? Someone that is so obsessed with saving that every purchase fills them with guilt and regret?
I found that minimalism can make it difficult to balance out your relationship with money if you’re already incredibly frugal. It can make every little purchase feel like a failure. Yes, saving is fantastic and minimalism can make it possible to achieve financial independence even on a really low income. However, your mental health is just as important and if you lose that mental wellbeing, you will never actually enjoy the benefits of financial independence. Nor will you enjoy the benefits of minimalism.
No matter how much you save, how many rooms you declutter, how many times you say no to new clothing/gadgets/shoes it might never feel like enough if you’ve set yourself impossible expectations. Your mental health guides your perception of literally everything that goes on in your life and bad relationship with money is absolutely toxic.
How to deal with that? Read on or scroll to the answers at the bottom of this page to learn more.
2. Obsessive Minimalism
We all know compulsive shopping is obsessive. Newsflash – minimalism can be become really obsessive too. I’m a member of many decluttering/minimalism groups on Facebook and this is a common concern. We’ve experienced so many benefits of minimalism, that we absolutely crave the act of decluttering. We can’t stop and we’re continuously coming up with plans on what to get rid of next. This leaves us always yearning for more and never being content with where we are right now – see how similar this is to obsessive shopping?
As someone with obsessive tendencies, I definitely need to tread carefully when it comes to minimalism. I need to check in with myself a lot. What does that mean? I need to ensure that my minimalism is something that genuine feels right in that moment and not something I’m doing out of fear.
3. Minimalism Makes You Stronger
It might seem obvious, but the world is not always in favour of minimalism. It often doesn’t make it any easier. Sponsored ads from your favourite influencer, marketing material on every corner and the constant FOMO. I mean, you might even be watching a video on minimalism and have to endure a pop-up ad. And whilst it can be tiring and lonesome (not everyone in your life will applaud your minimalist choices …) it will only make you stronger.
Why? If you’re to embark on this journey, you really need to commit. We all have so many cards stacked against us when it comes to minimalism, so what it does in the end is make sure that we’re really doing it for ourselves. I’m aware of how minimalism/tidying up/decluttering has become a hype, but the fact remains that a vast majority of life in a capitalist society is not catered to minimalism. This fact alone will make you stronger, more persistent, and even teach you things about yourself you never even knew.
Next up, it’s time to move on to the 3 questions I started this post with.
Answering Your Minimalism Questions
When does minimalism actually hurt your mental health? If you’re someone that is already super frugal, minimalism can cause extra stress. What to do instead? Work on establishing a healthy relationship with money. Whether we like it or not, money will always be a factor in our lives so it’s important to have a steady relationship with it. You can start by learning how to budget instead of aimlessly saving every single penny. Hop on top Skillshare and learn about managing personal finances for free!
Does it strain your relationship with your loved ones? It certainly doesn’t have to at all. Coming from a very non-minimalist background, my family and friends haven’t always been the most understanding when it comes to minimalism. However, communication is key. And, if you’re going to take away 1 thing from reading this post, let it be this one: never push other people into minimalism. Share your knowledge with others, show them how it benefits you, don’t be afraid to answer their questions, but don’t force it upon anyone. In doing so, you might strain your relationship and only end up disappointed.
Is it really the best decision you will ever make? This is completely up to you! From my point of view, minimalism isn’t really just one decision. It’s not just that one time you watched the Minimalism documentary on Netflix and decided to clean out your entire wardrobe. Instead, it’s a learning process that encompasses so much more than just physical possessions. I recently wrote about how minimalism affects my friendships, business decisions and even free time here.
The 3 realisations I had on my minimalism journey might not be the same for you. However, I wanted to share them and open a discussion on the unique things you never knew about minimalism. What is something nobody ever told you about minimalism? Share it below – I am so intrigued!