How Minimalism Helped Me Recover


I wasn't always a minimalist. I was an organized clutter person. After my accident, I wanted to keep everything, that way I could go back to it if I had trouble remembering things. I kept multiple journals, schedules, planners, paperwork, etc. It was organized but there was a lot of it. Everyday tasks were difficult. Picking out an outfit for the day was daunting, keeping track of where everything was, was exhausting. It started to become overwhelming, and in return cause stress that was ultimately hindering my recovery.


I wasn't fully on board with this whole minimalism thing. I didn't know a lot about it. So I started small. My 2018 goal was to get down to a 100 item closet. That included socks, shoes, outerwear, all of my clothing, etc. (excluding It undergarments). I thought that it would be a difficult process, but what I found was that it was a peaceful process instead. It felt good to get rid of things I knew I didn't want or need. To go back to basics and keep only what I truly loved in my closet. It became easier to pick out outfits in the morning, saving my brain's energy for other decisions during the day. Ultimately it improved my quality of life. Then I started thinking if that process worked in the closet- how much better would I feel if I applied it to every aspect of my life?

 Empty Room

My 2019 goal was to go through all the closets and cupboards in my apartment. The way life worked out, it sped up the process as I moved houses not once but twice over 6 months. I had a "packing party" packing up boxes of stuff that was ultimately just stuff, and deciding where it needed to go. What are things I used on a daily basis? Was it something I was going to miss? If the answer was no, then the items were donated to local shelters that I knew would put it to good use.

Is minimalism the answer to everyone's life and everyone's recovery? No. But I can tell you that when you go through that transition of figuring out who you are and what your life supposedly is about- it's confusing enough. Sometimes the stuff that surrounds us gets in the way of things that truly matter. For me, it was getting in the way of my recovery. It was stress more than things that made me happy. I am in no way shape or form a minimalist expert. I'm learning every day. But what I do know is that in my experience it provided clarity. For someone who has lasting symptoms of a TBI injury, clarity means everything.

Topics: Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord, Recovery, Minimalist, Minimalism

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