Dealing with mental health problems isn’t easy, I would know. I’ve been dealing with them my whole life and many of the years I kept silent about it all. Sometimes people over look the fact that somedays people with anxiety and/or depression struggle to get out of bed. And no, they can’t just will themselves to do things. I wish it worked that way. So today, a gentle reminder that it is perfectly okay if all you did today was breathe.
I spend years with a closet full of clothes and a desire to keep buying more, yet simultaneously feeling like I had nothing to wear to everyday. Last year I bought a book by Mari Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After reading it, I got rid of some clothes and other possessions, but I still couldn’t get rid of somethings even if they didn’t bring me any joy. I spend another fall buying more clothes for my first quarter in college. I always felt like I had a lot of clothes, but I was in for a surprise when I met my roommate. There is no judgement here, but she had considerably more clothes than I did. This made me feel somewhat better, but I was still struggling to get ready in the morning, and I wasn’t loving what I came up with either.
Fast forward to christmas break, I was surfing through Netflix looking for something to watch while I was knitting. I remembered bookmarking a documentary called The True Cost awhile ago and so I decided to finally watch it. Upon finishing it, I felt completely different. All of the sudden I had no desire to go out and purchase more clothes or shop at stores that support fast fashion. The documentary had gotten me on a roll and I started watching Youtube videos about sustainable fashion. After a couple of days, I decided that I didn’t want to buy anything new that would support fast fashion. But I didn’t stop there, it was another day and I was searching for an another documentary. This time I stumbled upon one about minimalism. After finishing it, I felt ready to make some big changes. I started with my old room at home and started getting rid of things that no longer brought me joy or no longer served a purpose for me. By the time I was done I felt like a big weight had been lifted off of me. Instead of my clothes lying in a heap, I laid them out on the floor and every morning it was easy to pick what I wanted to wear because all the items that laid before me, were pieces that I loved.
When I got back to my dorm room I spend several hours, packing away anything that didn’t bring me joy and unpacking and organizing that things that did. And since then, everyday it has taken me seconds to pick out my clothes and I don’t feel uncomfortable or mismatched like I use to. I even found ways to pair pieces that I loved, but never wear…like the skirt pictured above. I wear that outfit every week now, alternating between a black or a grey sweater.
Eventually I would like to try out the concept of a capsule wardrobe, I counted the pieces that I have currently in my closet and it totals up to around 50 pieces including shoes and not including workout clothes and I still have some summer clothes stored away at home. I think it would be cool to try project 333, but I haven’t decided yet.
The other really cool thing that I’ve noticed since paring down my possessions is how its affect my anxiety. I feel less anxious everyday. I’m not worried about how I look anymore, because I love all the pieces in my closet, and I’m not faced with extra decisions everyday that can lead to ramping up my anxiety. I discovered that something as simple as getting ready each day was actually starting my day with a dose of anxiety. I had too many choices and it was always overwhelming. But now my day starts out easy and stress free.