Minimalists + Gifts

We’ve reached the first week into the new year! By this time all gifts have been exchanged between families, friends, and coworkers. Decorations have been put away and you’re starting to get back into your work mode. I can assume that there are gifts still lying around that you haven’t put away quite yet. Perhaps it’s because you don’t necessarily need the gift. Being a minimalist can be tricky business when it comes to receiving gifts. You may like the item but not need it or you simply don’t like it. So what do you do with it? In previous years, if I received these kinds of gifts, I would stash them in a place where they’d “belong”. Received some lip gloss? It went in a random bathroom drawer. Article of clothing I didn’t like? Shoved it in some corner of my closet only to be seen again in a few years.

minimalists and gifts picture

So what are we supposed to do now? Get rid of the gift. 

Okay, that came off a little harsh but it’s true! You appreciate the gift but it unfortunately serves no purpose in your life or fits your lifestyle. So why keep it? Why let it go to waste and collect dust? There are plenty of options out there and all of them are okay! Let’s begin.

 

  1.  Return it. Did you receive a gift receipt? Awesome! This is the easiest way to take care of an unwanted gift. This gives you a chance to go to the store and either find something you like/need or gives you an opportunity for store credit that can be used in the future.
  2. Sell it. This one can make you feel a little guilty but I promise it’s okay! Let’s say you received a jacket that didn’t fit you. There was no gift receipt and the person who gave it to you no longer has a receipt for it. There are plenty of apps, websites, and stores you can go to to sell any unwanted items(not just presents!) You can either get something in return or get cash that can be used elsewhere! An added bonus? This item will eventually be purchased by someone else who will love and appreciate it! Win-win!
  3. Re-gift it. Make sure to use this one wisely. You may already feel guilty about not wanting to get rid of this gift so make sure you aren’t re-gifting it to the person who gave it to you. I am 100% a fan of re-gifting. Throughout my many moves I’ve found so many things that I never opened or used. I’ve sold or given away things but I’ve also re-gifted some items! It does help save you some time and money but it also lets you bring happiness to someone else. The item was not useful to you and just sat in storage for who knows how long!? Now it has a chance to be out in the world and appreciated by someone who really needs or wants it!
  4. Save it. For minimalists, this kind of goes against what we want to work towards but I cheat with this rule every now and then. If you know it’s something you’re going to need in the future and will use it, save it! I’ve stated in a previous post that I have some tupperware and other kitchen items saved in storage. Is it taking up some space? Absolutely. Am I going to need these for when I move out? DUH. I was reading a minimalist post once where they said to go ahead and get rid of them because it’s an item that can be purchased in the future when you actually need it. Look, I get it. It eliminates some space but some people are not financially able to do that. Why would I donate a perfect condition tupperware set just to buy another one in a few months to a year!? Madness. You know what else I have in storage? Plates. My brother and I went in on my mom’s Christmas present together this year and got her a new dining plate set. So what did she do with the old sets we had? She gave them to me and my brother. They definitely aren’t the kind of plates I aspire to have but they’re free and that’s one less thing to worry about when finding a new apartment! Into storage they went and it’s another thing I can cross off my list.

 

There you have it! I have used all 4 of these tips since becoming a minimalist and dealing with the birthday and holiday seasons. If you’re anything like me, I know you’ll have some guilt at first. You’ll just need to keep the positive thoughts in your head! The item was meant to be used and loved. If you’re not going to be that person then it deserves to find the perfect owner!

New Year’s Resolutions!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We have officially reached 2019. Another year has come and gone and now it’s time to start it all over again. Resolutions have always been hard for me. I try to go above and beyond and start out really well but then burn out a month or two in. The goals I try to do now are pretty simple and I try to have them benefit my mental health as much as possible. One year, I wrote down on a slip of paper everything that made me happy. All the slips would go in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, I opened the jar and read about all the happy moments I had in the year. There were a lot of emotions: some made me cry, some made me happy, and some made me mad. Overall I rather enjoyed it as it was a nice reminder of all the good things in life.

blog post_ NY Resolutions

  • Start and finish school
    • School has never been my first choice. I tried a few classes here and there after high school but was more focused on my career. A few months ago I made the decision to go back. I didn’t want to take any time off work so I looked into online programs. I am now enrolled at University of Phoenix with a certificate program. This allows me to be done in about 6 months. I start my first class middle of January and while I’m looking forward to it, I’m also terrified!
  • Create a daily routine for myself and stick with it
    • There’s so much going on in my life that it’s hard to keep myself disciplined with certain things. Now that I’m adding school to my hectic schedule, I created 2 daily routines for myself: one for when I do work and one for when I don’t. I’ve created a basic outline for both of what I imagine will work best but I plan to make adjustments once I actually start school.
  • Continue therapy
    • It’s hard asking for help. It’s taken me a long time to ask for help, even with my own friends. I constantly feel like such a burden to everyone in my life and I don’t want to think that way anymore. I’m tired of letting my mental health take over so many areas of my life. I’ve started taking medication again as I know I truly need it. With therapy, I hope to overcome some issues and to learn how to live with my anxiety in a more positive way rather than negative.
  • Create a budget
    • I budget my bills pretty well. I always pay on time and make sure I have enough for everything. This year I’m making a new goal for myself with my budget. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I still live with my mom. Living in California is expensive enough with roommates and can be near impossible by yourself. With this budget I want to go into as much detail as possible in every aspect of my life so I can see where I can save more and spend less.
  • Learn to be more assertive
    • I am not an assertive person. I feel like there are times that I am but generally I’m a pushover. It’s hard for me to say no to people(especially authoritative figures) and if I feel like I’ve been wronged or my feelings are hurt, I won’t address them with the person. I continue to let myself be “used and abused” over and over again until I start to break. This year I want to push myself to be more assertive. I don’t want to continue putting myself in uncomfortable situations just because I feel like I should. If something bothers me with a friend or relative, I want to be up front about it so they understand their actions and how it affects me.

 

This year I want to focus on me. I never put myself first in any situation and now is the time to. It’s time for me to break out of my comfort zone and explore endless possibilities for myself!

 

Tell me about your resolutions in the comments!

 

Anxiety and Depression 2018

It’s taken me about 10 tries to try and write something up about this because I don’t really know where to start. This won’t necessarily be a “blog post” either. This is me reaching out and addressing my anxiety and depression. I hope that it can be helpful for some of you and give you hope for yourselves.

2018 has been a whirlwind year for me. My health has been a major issue -mental and physical. I’ve had so many doctor visits, tests done, and medication switches that I don’t remember who I really am anymore. I recently had something happen in my life that really made me realize that I need help. I’ve been struggling with my mental health for a long time and let it take over a lot of areas in my life. I decided to go back to therapy and try antidepressants again. I used to be really against medication but because of everything going on and my hormones being imbalanced, I know that this is the best option for me right now.

It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Right now it feels like I’m 50 feet below dirt and drowning in water at the same time. It’s hard to focus on a future when I can’t focus on what’s happening in my current day. I try to stay positive as much as I can but I’m not in a place where I can do it by myself and feel okay about it. Not yet, anyway.

2019 I’m trying to stay hopeful for myself. I’m taking steps to take care of myself and to put my needs in front of others. I’ve always struggled with that and I think that’s why I’m now in the position that I’m in.

For anyone that is also struggling with mental health, you are NOT alone. Make yourself heard. Talk about your anxiety and depression with your friends, family, and peers. I was never comfortable with it until recently. I’ve found that it actually helps a lot when people are aware of your triggers and symptoms. Everyone handles their anxiety differently and one thing may work for one person but not the other. Help them understand what you need and help educate them about mental health.

I’ve provided some numbers if you need to reach out to someone. I’ve called the Suicide Prevention Line before and there’s no shame in it. They are there to help YOU. YOU are the priority. Never forget that, even when it seems like you’re the last person in the world that deserves anything.

I love each and every one of you and wish you all a positive new year.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Call Center: 1-800-273-8255

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)