The Opposite of Minimalism Saved My Mental Health

The simple truth about learning your needs, the long way.

Ted Moreno
5 min readFeb 13, 2022


Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Unintentionally, I’ve always been a minimalist.

This wasn’t some choice I made to give up earthly possessions to find my inner peace. It was down to my insatiable appetite to move house twice a year.

I could not settle anywhere.

In November 2020, I moved into a new flat in a city, ready to start fresh, just like I did 6 months prior. This time, however, I stayed. I’m still here.

For most people, 14 months in the same place isn’t that strange, but it’s a huge deal for me. I’ve even started buying things. Tatty things that people only buy to make their house look like a home.

My routine was destructive, and boy did I feel it

Moving house is supposed to be one of the most stressful events a person can go through. Do you know how to make it less stressful? Do it 24 times in 10 years.

The first time I moved was for the same reason everyone else did. I moved away to college hours away from my hometown. We lived somewhere different every year until most of my college roommates moved away.

Somewhere along the way, it got into my head that a house move represented a fresh start. So when I get unhappy, I feel the need to up sticks and find somewhere else to live, chasing that fresh start.

This becomes destructive (not to mention expensive) when you never actually address the underlying issues of why you’re unhappy. I just knew that if I moved one more time, that would be it; I’d unlock happiness.

Some people can happily live their life this way (I’m looking at you nomads!), but I’m a person who needs a slow life. Frantically looking for a new house, arranging moving vans, and packing and unpacking an entire house every few months is anything but slow.

The four walls felt like a trap every time

Maybe it was paranoia, but in every home I lived in, whether with friends, strangers, or by myself, I never felt safe. My fight or flight instincts were always up because my anxiety levels were always…



Ted Moreno

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