Give Yourself a Dose of Digital Minimalism

Your home may be the very picture of #minimalism after you used all of the at-home time in the last year to #declutter and #donate your extra stuff to ClothingDonations.org. But your digital life may also need a good dose of minimalism. “Distracting ourselves with videos, TV episodes and quick online reads is a poor substitute for our prepandemic plans,” StudyBreaks says. Spending less time may offer you the space to tackle long-term goals, so now’s the time to do a “digital decluttering” to make time for offline pursuits.

Minimalism Doesn’t Mean Austerity

Think #minimalism means an austere lifestyle? Think again! You don’t have to sleep on a bamboo mat, wear the same outfit every day or drink only loose-leaf tea. But it does mean that you slowly pare away the things that don’t matter or get in the way of your focus — or avoid buying them in the first place. Advertising continuously assaults the psyche to create wants for things that aren’t really that necessary or useful. Minimalism (and its post-purchase streamlining strategy, #decluttering) counters that by helping one focus on the people, things and experiences that matter most.

Minimalism Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Think #minimalism is stark or boring? Think again! When you can eliminate household décor items that aren’t meaningful or beautiful, you get a home that holds things that are of true significance to your life, Becoming Minimalist says. Photos, artwork, natural elements and travel souvenirs will create more warmth and interest than store-bought tchotchkes because they inspire memories and associations. Take a hard look at your spaces and #declutter and #donate anything that’s only there to take up space or doesn’t have a deeper meaning to yourself and your family.

Declutter Before Deep-Cleaning

The snows of February are melting, and warmer weather is on the way. But before you can enjoy the outdoors in your shirtsleeves again, make time in your schedule to tackle the spring cleaning. To get started on a deep clean, sort out anything that isn’t going to be useful next winter, such as the sweaters nobody wore, the blankets that don’t match and the holiday decorations you didn’t put up. Bag them and schedule a free #donation #pickup from ClothingDonations.org so that a new home can enjoy them next winter.

Coping With Cabin Fever

Cabin fever is a natural side effect of winter. Cold temperatures, dark nights and snowstorms conspire to keep people indoors — and you can do only so much binge-watching before you start to get that unnerving, antsy feeling of being all cooped up.

This year, cabin fever is likely going to be more widespread and severe due to #COVID-19. Options for typical indoor pastimes such as a dinner out, a session at the gym or a concert are severely restricted or prohibited.

Cabin fever is more than boredom, however. “Cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people face if they’re isolated or feeling cut off from the world,” says Healthline. “Cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.”

Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, hopelessness, sleep disruptions, lethargy, and anxiety or depression. You will need strategies to keep cabin fever’s effects at bay when you’ve already done every jigsaw puzzle and streamed every Netflix show.

Maintain a schedule even though you’re more or less limited to the confines of your home. Include time for a variety of activities including exercise and outdoor time (bundle up if you must), and you’ll be a step ahead of the winter doldrums.

Keep your social life active at a distance by connecting with friends and family on Zoom, FaceTime or one of the other available platforms. Most people are in the same situation, so even if you feel like there’s nothing new to share, ask them how they’re coping.

We at ClothingDonations.org suggest you take advantage of the extra indoor time to #declutter. #Cleaning out a closet or cupboard and getting rid of the stuff you don’t need will not only give you a sense of accomplishment, but also help you feel more contented within your space.

People who develop severe eating disorders, sleep problems, anxiety and depression, of course, should seek professional help. But those of us who are just sick of being “stuck inside” can shake things up in little ways and make it through the winter — hopefully the last in which the #coronavirus is a major factor.