Alyssa J Freitas

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Digital Minimalism Series

Welcome to another minimalism post! Keeping in line with my commitment to be more thorough and provide you with higher quality posts as opposed to a great quantity of posts, we're going to cover a lot so get ready.

Digital Minimalism Series | http://www.alyssajfreitas.com/2015/08/digital-minimalism-series.html

I've decided to divide this into a series in order to give you the most comprehensive look on how to manage your digital life from a minimalist perspective. Recently I posted about social media minimalism, so we won't go into that, but what I will cover in this series is how to be a minimalist when it comes to digital photographs, files, phone/apps, email, reading lists (i.e. the millions of bookmarks everyone seems to have!), calendar, and task lists. I've touched upon most of these topics in previous posts, but from the eyes of an organizer as opposed to a minimalist. Now, however, we're going to figure out how to reduce the time and energy you dedicate to these areas and how to maintain only what brings you happiness as opposed to simply filing everything away.

More and more our digital lives are becoming synonymous with our ACTUAL lives. We spend countless hours in front of a screen and can hence accumulate a lot of digital clutter. Going online should be a source of pleasure and enjoyment; after all, we get to catch up on the activities of our friends and family, get great ideas and information from people all around the world, and consume the content created by our favorite artists. What I've noticed is that instead of feeling rejuvenated and inspired during and after "digital time," I've felt drained and overwhelmed. With such a vast internet to explore and the ability to save and compile so much of our own documents and information it is easy to loose sight of why we even bother with technology in the first place: to gain access to useful sites, increase productivity, and have fun!

By approaching your digital life with the intention of focusing on what is important and valuable to you and cutting out what is unnecessary you will find greater fulfillment and enjoyment! Instead of sifting through hundreds of pictures, you'll be able to locate a select few high quality photos of memorable times. And instead of scrolling through countless, useless emails you'll be able to consume life enhancing content and find important messages faster. By being intentional with all of you methods and subscriptions in the digital world, you will most certainly be better off!

To give you a better idea of where all of these minimalist posts are going, I'm going to focus on three overarching themes: physical, mental, digital. As we've already discussed in this post, there will be an entire series dedicated to the digital side in addition to the existing social media post. One post has already gone up under the physical theme about determining what to buy and you can expect more posts of that theme in the future as well as posts about the mental aspect of minimalism. Stay tuned on Tuesdays for minimalists posts :)

How do you feel about your digital life? What areas are you looking to improve upon? Let me know how I can help you!


-AJF


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rickshaw Run

I am all about anything and everything Indian, so when I stumbled upon this miniseries on YouTube I was instantly captivated.

Rickshaw Run | http://www.alyssajfreitas.com/2015/07/rickshaw-run.html

JacksGap is a YouTube channel and blog all about travel run by Jack and Finn Harries from the UK (read: get ready for adorable accents). They have incredible videos and are dedicated to raising awareness and funds for charitable causes. In this series they supported the Teenage Cancer Trust by driving three rickshaws across India.


They had fun, ran into troubles, and beautifully captured the adrenaline rush that is traveling in a foreign country. Check out the trailer and make sure to give the whole series a look!

-AJF 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Minimalism: Do You Really Need To Buy That?

I've always been one who loves to throw things away; I actually get a sort of high whenever I clean out a part of my room. As I've been ramping up my efforts to have less things I realized that, yes cleaning out is important, but what is more important is keeping it that way. Enter: not buying new stuff.

Minimalism: Do You Really Need To Buy That? | http://www.alyssajfreitas.com/2015/07/minimalism-do-you-really-need-to-buy.html

Who doesn't love shopping (if you don't, please just refrain from answering so I can make my point. Thanks.)? I know I do, especially when I find things that are just oh my goodness so perfect for me I must buy all of the things. The problem with wanting to get new stuff is that it is somewhat incompatible with the new lifestyle I am pursuing (hello, minimalism). 

Here's a great example. I have a backpack I have been using since my sophomore year of high school which means I am entering year five of using it. It is stylish, fits everything I need, and is totally unique. Since I've been using it for so long, it is getting worn out and I've had to sew it multiple times. I went to the Target the other day and spotted a backpack that was similar and was like "This is great! Perfect replacement backpack!" However, as I continued walking around the store I wondered if I really needed to buy a new bag? Mine is still in relatively good condition and just needs to be sewn in one or two places. No doubt I can last two more years with the bag I currently have so why would I waste the money and fill up space with something I don't truly need?

Then, I started to think about all the stuff I have bought over the years and ended up throwing out in one of my cleaning sprees. If I don't fundamentally change the way I make purchasing decisions, this cycle of waste will only continue. I've identified some ways to effectively combat the urge to buy more so I thought I'd share them with you today.
  • Before making any purchase, at all, ask yourself if you have something similar. There is no need for duplicates and when you pause you may realize that you don't really need it.
  • Ask yourself if you can do without. You probably don't need another shade of red nail polish if you're being honest.
  • Would you be upset a week from now if you didn't get it. Sometimes I'll imagine how I would feel if I waited to purchase it and a week from now the item was sold out. If I wouldn't miss it then I can walk away happy without it. 
  • Determine if you'd rather use the money towards an experience, rather than a physical possession. Something I have made a conscious effort in doing is spending on experiences, not things. This contributes quite well to a minimalist lifestyle and truly makes me feel more fulfilled! 
Asking yourself these questions and evaluating every purchase can help to maintain your minimalist life instead of adding more clutter. I hope these tips help!

-AJF

Read more minimalism posts here. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

On Kindness

There are many qualities and attributes that I value in myself and others. Respect. Decorum. Intelligence. Wit. Virtue. However, the one non-negotiable, essential for anyone and everyone I allow in my life is kindness.

On Kindness | http://www.alyssajfreitas.com/2015/07/on-kindness.html

Through middle school I was bullied. My classmates excluded me, spoke meanly to me, and made me feel as though I was a bother and not worth the time of day. I imagine many people experience this (particularly in middle school; we all have our own horror stories from that age) and it is such a sad fact. Although I do believe that this experience made me a MUCH better person and certainly causes me to be incredibly appreciative of my friends now, it could have all been avoided had those involved acted with kindness.

Every word you say has power which is why having kindness at the forefront of your mind is imperative. By acting with kindness we take an extra step to benefit others or hold our tongues when we don't have anything nice to say or pick someone up when they are feeling down. Being nice and having a positive and loving heart does not just improve the lives of those you interact with, but also makes you happier and more fulfilled.

When I am around people who are unkind and who speak badly of others I feel myself shutting down and the negativity pouring in. I wonder if they are able to say such cruel things about people, what must they say of me when I am not there? As I have been exploring minimalism more and learning that cutting out clutter and that which does not bring you joy is a major way to improve your life, I have reaffirmed my belief that it is not worth my time or energy to be around unkind people.

We all deserve to be treated with respect and love, so I encourage you to implement this mentality for every interaction you have. Remember that how you make someone feel is a true measure of your character.

What are your thoughts on kindness? What qualities must someone have to be your friend?


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#InspirationInterviews Feature

I'm just dropping a quick line today to share something pretty exciting. Lucy-Claire of Sunny Days & Lovely Ways reached out to me to ask if I would be part of her series #InspirationInterviews.

#InspirationInterviews Feature | http://www.alyssajfreitas.com/2015/07/inspirationinterviews-feature.html

She was just the sweetest and asked some really great questions. If you want to learn a bit more about me, you can read the interview here. Definitely check out some of the other great ladies who have been interviewed; you can really learn a lot!

Thanks again to Lucy-Claire for the feature!

-AJF