Sunday, January 17, 2016

Life Cleanse: Unfollowing Toxicity in 2016

We're a month into 2016 and the bombardment of "new year, new you" targeted advertising. From Buzzfeed to tv to the "seasonal" section of stores focusing entirely on athletic apparel and storage bins, the pressure is on to completely transform oneself in the middle of winter. I tend to succumb to the fashion of the times only to wake up miserable sometime in February to see myself on the same track as last year. So, to liven things up, I'm recommending a different strategy: the Life Cleanse.

"What's a Life Cleanse? It sounds intimidating! I don't have to drink a bunch of kale juice, do I?"

Fear not, Anonymous mid-post commenter. The Life Cleanse is about scrubbing those corners of life that often go unnoticed with typical New Year's resolutions. The ideas can help one think a little more positively for the new year without getting caught up in a hate spiral of deprivation and self-hatred.

Ways to Cleanse:

  • Unfollow (but maybe don't Unfriend) all of those estranged people you only friended out of a sense of duty to past high school relationships, former work associations, or distant familial connections. You know, the ones you either cringe at or hate-follow to make fun of their political views and sad attempts at Minion memes
  • Unsubscribe to about 95% of the stuff in your email inbox. All of the grocery stores, pizza, places, web stores, etc. Missing news of a sale just means missing a fake opportunity to spend money that probably shouldn't be spent in the first place
  • Stop ordering delivery. This is a very optional tip, but also a very easy step to kill a pizza-and-Chinese takeout habit. If you can't be bothered to go and pick up the food from the place, maybe you just don't really need it? Keep frozen pizzas for emergencies; they're cheaper anyway.
  • Use things up. This one dawned on me when I got even more lotion and body wash stuff for Christmas when I already have a ton; I realized that I rarely even used lotion. Now I'm determined to moisturize every day to use things up. This also goes for random canned food, makeup that never gets worn, stickers that seem too precious for commitment, "pretty" notebooks that defy disfigurement with bad handwriting, half-used planners, anything. Just use it! Using up things that aren't super-great is taking up the same amount of life space as storing and grousing over having stuff that never gets used. Just. Use. It. Clean our your life, your choices.
  • Get rid of things that will never get used. It is 100% A-OK to toss, donate, and re-gift things that you've bought or received if you know you will never use them. I promise. Your aunt isn't going to walk into the same thrift store where you donated the hideous-but-well-meant sweater she gave you. If it will never be worn or used at all, toss it.
Those were just a few tips to get 2016 going right. We're already at the point when people start to fall off track for the sudden lifestyle changes that most resolutions call for. Why not go for a gentler method?

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