A reflection on minimalism in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak

I used to wear light makeup everyday in the past many years. For me, wearing makeup to work was like putting on my clothes. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, due to the need for wearing facemask, I gradually wear less and less make up. In recent one month, I did not wear any cosmetics on my face everyday. It is liberation for me and I find myself very comfortable with no makeup on nowadays. Because of this, I reflect on the concept of minimalism. A minimalistic lifestyle is about living with less. Minimalism is about discarding excessive stuff and living a life based on experience rather than materialistic possessions.

In fact, there is no definite rule to live as minimalist. We do not have to restrict ourselves to possess less than a certain amount of things. Minimalism is a way of living that can lead us to find freedom in life. It is not a sin to possess materialistic goods, the possessions lead to a problem only when we identify with what we possess.  It also includes our status, relationships, career, and health, etc. Even identifying ourselves as being a minimalist may restrict our freedom of being a minimalist.

Most of us may already know how to be a minimalist and the benefits of being a minimalist. However, many people find it difficult to be persistent in living a minimalistic life. If many of us want to be free, how come we cannot stick with our goal of living minimally?  We may be able to find the answer in mindfulness. Being mindful means we are being aware of our present moment, including out experiences, thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. For example, if we want to have a minimalistic wardrobe, we need to be conscious about what we buy. Being mindful while we are shopping can help us to stick to our shopping plan and avoid impulsive buying.

Besides avoid hoarding of excessive stuffs, minimalism also emphasizes the experiences in our life. Practicing mindfulness enables us to live in the present moment and be more aware of our experiences. For instance, as minimalists, we may not need to go to fancy restaurants for meals.  Dining at a simple restaurant with healthy food is also very enjoyable, if we eat mindfully and treasure the different sensations of eating the food.

There are many ways of being a minimalist. The essence of minimalism is to discard excesses in our lives and focus on what are important to us – peace, freedom, happiness and meaning in life.

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