Be More with Less

By Josie Barton

In my opinion, the key to a better mental state is a clean physical state. With the stress of academic, athletic, social, and financial responsibility, many college students are subject to depression and anxiety which can affect one’s overall mental and physical happiness. To obtain an uncluttered mind, one must create a minimalistic lifestyle.

Starting is always the hardest step, but once you begin, the rest becomes part of a daily regime or schedule. Create a list of the reasons you want to simplify your life. Note the beginning factors of stress, and why they have impacted your life.

Declutter your room. As you look around your dorm, group similar belongings such as notebooks and textbooks together and store them in the same cabinet or drawer. Take a good look in your mini fridge and make sure there aren’t week-old leftovers molding in the back.

Simplicity is key. Look through your clothes and donate the items you no longer wear. Only hold onto the items that you use right now, not the things you anticipate using in the future.

Deep clean your room. This one is a big factor. Vacuum your floor, sanitize your countertops, and clean your sheets. This will make your room feel much less cluttered and look and feel brand new. Make tidying your room up a daily occurrence instead of letting your wardrobe pile up beside a full garbage can.

Buy a plant. Although this may sound silly, the presence of a simple yet profoundly beautiful form of life on your windowsill can increase your daily serotonin. The responsibility of caring for a plant, watering it daily, and making sure it receives the right amount of light will give you a sense of purpose and dependability. If responsibility is not a strong point for you, find a plant that requires minimal care.

Research foods that fit your lifestyle. If you are a college athlete and have trouble balancing an appropriate diet with the limited cafeteria options, research foods that are high in nutrients and try to work your way around different cafeteria options. Along with healthy meals, keeping a water bottle near you while studying is a simple way to make sure you consistently hydrate.

Watch your costs. Instead of shopping at a near-by Walmart Superstore, shop at Aldi which holds simplistic and organic foods at low prices. Reduce the amount of times you eat out with friends to once or twice a week, depending on your schedule.

Spend more time outside. Instead of spending your few free hours a day on your bed on social media, stick your headphones in, listen to your favorite podcast, and go for a walk through the Shenango Valley Cemetery or Riverside Park near Thiel. A daily or weekly walk can give you a quick break from reality.

Making these small and simple changes to your life will increase your mental and physical happiness. As a stressed college student, simplifying your life can greatly impact your sleep schedule, social life, and academic and athletic success.

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