Remove decorative items other than your favourites| Minimalism Series

When it comes to decoration in my house I like to keep it minimal, easy to clean but at the same time aesthetically pleasing.

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It’s important that you give your house a theme and ask yourself what needs to stay and what you need to get rid of because it doesn’t fit that theme. My theme is all about plants, candles and a few family photos. All of this makes us feel good at home and gives a touch of personality to the space.

You have to ask yourself a simple question “Does it serve a purpose functionally or visually?” if yes keep it, if not, why bother?

Not everyone gets this mindset and sometimes it can be a difficult for family and friends to understand. Especially when you move to a new house, people tend to offer you decoration pieces amongst other gifts.

The majority of people see an empty surface on a new house as “they didn’t have the time to buy something to fill/complete that space yet”, when instead, I look at it and feel satisfaction for not having the need to clutter that space.

I know it’s difficult to just tell someone “don’t get me anything, I don’t need it” (Hint: I don’t want it), the person will just ignore it and get you something anyways. So my advice is to tell them what you would like to have, such as something useful and not expensive.

I noticed that by keeping empty surfaces in my house it makes it easier to organise and clean the space. So I definitely recommend doing it!

I’ve been writing separate posts about my minimalism challenge experiences, so make sure you’re following the blog or any of my social media channels to not miss out on these!

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Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash

Turn off social media notifications on your phone| Minimalism Series

Don’t you just love when you’re talking to someone and they keep getting distracted by their phone? What about when that someone is actually you?

Those damn notifications are always there and they make us unproductive, unreliable and inattentive.

Guess what, you are so used to visit social media that you don’t need notifications to keep reminding you where and when you need to open that app. Your brain is already programmed to keep clicking on those logos every time you unlock your phone. You know you’ll open it eventually and find out what is happening. There is nothing urgent going on while you’re away, trust me.

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As a Social Media Manager and Blogger I can assure you that things like sharing a picture online and checking how the engagement is doing is one of the main thoughts always alive in my brain. But that’s not healthy and I found a few tricks to fight it. You can read more about it here – Social Media Weekend Detox

I’ve decided the only notifications I would receive on my phone would be from Whatsapp or Messenger, but even those were carefully selected. I’ve muted certain groups that are not as important and every time someones sends a message on these, I see it once I open the app. Not a big deal and no one will get upset with you for not replying straight away. If it’s urgent, they’ll call.

So here’s a challenge for 2018 – turn off social media notifications on your phone, and let me know how it goes by living a comment below.

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Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash

Meditation| Minimalism Series

Because the body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness, everyone should try meditation at least once in their lives.

I wish I’ve used meditation techniques back when I was studying at University. With all those exams, assignments and deadlines it would’ve been extremely useful.

Nowadays, I use it to find time just for myself and to help dealing with daily stress. I’m sure you hear the word “stress” several times per day. People have become so used to it and it’s so common “to be stressed” that we think it’s okay. If other people have it, it’s something normal, why would I have to fight it? Well you do have to fight it and meditation is just the beginning.

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At first I didn’t quite understand the correlation between meditation and minimalism, but it all makes sense to me now. Once you get rid of the things that don’t matter in your life you start having more time to deal with your thoughts and your mind in general.

So I’ve started by trying the app Headspace, which was excellent to learn the basics of meditation. Then I kept experimenting and I’ve been using the app Calm since November.

I use it on my train journey to work every morning, on average 10 minutes of meditation. It helps me start the day in a very good mood and it gives me a patience boost to deal with any problems at work.

If the day has been too chaotic I like to meditate on my way home too. It helps not taking work problems with me home. A lot of people tend to do that, but your family doesn’t need to deal with that kind of stress.

One of the things I like the most about the app Calm is the great user experience. You’re always greeted with soothing background noises that you can choose from a varied list and makes you feel more relaxed before you even started meditating.

You also have a selection of meditations to choose from such as body scan and walking meditations, plus sessions on topics like loving-kindness and forgiveness.

There are lots of apps and podcasts that can help you with meditation. It’s all about taking time to be calm and present in the moment, in doesn’t matter when, where or how often. Just give it a try. And let me know if you have any tips on a comment below!

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Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash