No one tells us that the student life is tough. The glamorous mess of university life, as depicted by most movies and books, gives us the illusion of control over the situation as well as the idea that it can be managed easily.
Well, they lied.
University life is tougher than what we’re used to, and although there is never a dull day there are things we need to juggle constantly to keep all kinds of work from piling up. Life maybe a little easier for those living in res, seeing as dining halls and support staff help organize students’ living spaces, but when we’re trying to maintain DPs by juggling assignments, deadlines and tests with some attempt at a social life, the last thing on your mind is an untidy room. Life is a double edged sword for those living in digs because you have the added burden of dishes that need washing, food that needs cooking – and eating. The clothes which need a place other than The Chair, or The Corner is not objective Number One.
Everything is everywhere and so are you.
This happens to the best of us, but this doesn’t have to be a regular date with your conscience about looking after yourself.
A Zen movement popularized in Japanese homes, and spreading in subtle ways around the world, shows us a minimalist way of life where Less is More.
Now this may come as a shock to those who don’t follow it already, but have you ever had to think about how to declutter because you can’t handle having so many things around you anymore?
Well here’s how to encourage yourself to spend time doing the things you enjoy, guilt free, as you begin to adopt this stress free exercise:
- Order is Tranquility: organize the things you already own so you know what you have. This way, you know what you won’t need anymore.
- Don’t be a Drag: Psychological research shows that we a finite amount of willpower. So instead of doing things (or people) which sap your energy, focus on 5 things you need to cut down on doing. This can be as simple as giving the daily caffeine fix or as difficult as keeping your hands away from checking your messages every five minutes. We are human, so start small. Think about cutting down your sugar intake, or the number times you drive onto campus.
- Calories in/Calories out: Physical well being stems from mental well being, so the spaces we find ourselves in and the people we find ourselves with, do cause some stress. The trick here is to be realistic about who and what is around you. So keep that which makes you stress less; and this means things you own, and the people around you.
- Think global, Act local: our ideas come from outside, but to implement those ideas we need to think about our individualistic approaches. This means that you are in control of how much you actually need. Western thoughts on minimalism is synonymous to “decluttering”, whereas the East sees it as owning less. The reasons to buy something must be practical and in tune with what one believes about the concept of “possession”. When you want to buy less, you have more to spend on yourself in other ways: take that music lesson, yoga class, improved graphics card, trips to the beach without worrying about petrol costs. And for those who think about the future more than the rest of us, you get to save when you stop wanting to possess and buy on impulse.
- Results: You get to see only that which you truly enjoy having around you. No mess, no fuss, and all of the time to do other things.
For more on how to live life mess free, visit: Less is more, minimalism in Japan
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