To me, being outside is about letting go of everything that’s weighing me down. Life’s little stressors, baggage from work, the minor failures that slowly add up every day, and impact overall happiness and health. Being on top of a mountain, in the forest, or on a freshly groomed slope can help whisk all of the negativity away.
I realized that nature doesn’t have to be my only escape. There are little things I can do in my day-to-day life to minimize the stresses and be more relaxed. Here is how I got started:
Clean up and clean out
Keeping my house clean isn’t a huge task, but after a weekend away or a long work week, there always seem to be a few more dishes in the sink and a few more piles of laundry. Cleaning things as I go has helped me keep everything in order all the time.
Periodically cleaning out each area of my life has also led to a more organized existence. With the exception of sporting apparel, cleaning out my closet was a ruthless endeavor. I’m not much for fashion, so anything I wasn’t consistently wearing I donated.
Don’t decorate, fill your house with things you love
When I got my house, I put things on the walls – prints and all the trail maps I’ve collected. It’s normal to add some personality to your home. But clutter is distracting. Solve this problem by keeping the things you love, that make you happy when you see them and throw away the excess. The vintage skis my dad and I found in a thrift store on one of my first big ski trips? Those are staying on my wall. The experts only wall decal from Amazon in the kitchen? That can go.
Spend time doing things you love
For me, adopting a more minimalist lifestyle wasn’t about organization and order. It was about freeing up my time and space to do the things that really matter. Minimizing one area of my life allows my to maximize another. I’d much rather have a relaxing Sunday hiking outside than stressing about what I need to accomplish for the week ahead.
The idea to gradually change lifestyles occurred to me on a hike. The things I own am just weighing me down. To me, nature is about being present in the moment, enjoying the wind in your face or the views in front of you. I can carry that feeling through the rest of my life by simplifying.