Have you experienced times when you felt overwhelmed, stressed out, and caught in an overly complicated life? Rest assured that others have also had those feelings. Because of this, a movement toward simpler living is growing, and you can join that journey today!
Living simply means different things to different people. How your neighbour across the street decides to simplify his life may be far different than how you would choose to make such a change. And it doesn't necessarily mean giving up your job or your car, or choosing to live in a tiny house or van in the woods.
Although you may decide you want to do some of these things, none of them are necessary for you to live a simpler life.
This process is a journey, not something you can do all at once. You can simplify your life with one small change at a time. These suggestions may lead you down the path to living more simply.
- Examine the situations and people that bring stress to your life. Make a list of these. Also include anything that leaves you feeling overwhelmed or trapped. (If it is current world events, know that you are not alone! Cut back on news, social media and focus on the smaller world around you)
- Consider how you might eliminate involvement in these circumstances or with these people.
- Can you follow through with disengagement from these stressful situations and individuals? If possible, select the one that you can most easily disconnect from and begin taking steps to do so.
Focus on reducing one stressor at a time. It isn't realistic to think you can do away with all of them at once.
2. Next, think about how you spend your money. Do you make unnecessary purchases? Review your bank account debits to see where the bulk of your funds are going.
- One fairly easy way to live a simpler life is to reduce spending on unnecessary expenditures. Focus on streamlining your expenses to decrease unwanted stressors.
3. Pare down the amount of "stuff" you've accumulated. Many people collect a huge amount of belongings.
- Consider this: The more stuff you have, the more time you must spend cleaning, tidying up and taking care of your belongings. Not to mention the space in your home it takes to store it all, or concerns you have that someone might break or even take your stuff!
- If you haven't looked in those boxes in the garage for 5 or 10 years, you can probably disconnect from the items in them without much distress.
- There are a lot of wonderful tv shows - Marie Kondo etc - if this is something you would like to start considering. Packed full of real life examples and tips and tricks for dealing with your stuff.
4. Begin spending more time outdoors. Returning to nature offers time and opportunity for reflection on your life and feelings. This may not seem like an ace idea as the weather so rapidly changes - but bundling up warm and getting out for a brisk walk is great for the heart and soul!
5. Explore what makes you happiest. What brings you real joy? Maybe spending time with your children or your nieces and nephews is special for you. (Zoom if needed) Perhaps you want to revive a favourite hobby you love. With all that’s going on with the world just now, with so much that is out of control, a hobby or small thing that you can do - that you can control- is proven to be of great benefit.
6. Regard your time as if it was pure gold. What do you do with most of your time? With whom do you spend the bulk of your life? Are you okay with that?
- Make a decision to spend your precious time doing enjoyable activities. If you do them with others, ensure they're people you care about and really want to be around.
7. Strengthen your relationships with those you love. Protect your cherished connections to others. I get it, its hard right now. And SUPER unusual and like nothing we have ever had to process. Setting aside time for ‘special’ moments eg ‘Friday night is movie night’, Monday is game night, can break up your time and give you, and others, something to look forward to.
8. Contemplate your eating habits. The food you eat and your nutritional habits are central to your existence. This really is a whole other blog post! Sufficient to say that the adage ‘you are what you eat’ remains true, no matter what it is that you are eating. It’s TOTALLY ok to eat a donut or bag of chips.. as long as that snot all that’s on the menu.
9. Examine your level of physical activity. A closely connected habit to food intake is exercise.
- If you find yourself feeling disconnected from your body and its importance in your life, try to do some physical activity each day. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program to ensure it's right for you. Even just walking for twenty minutes a day can bring you great peace of mind.
The path to living a simpler life is connected to returning to your true self. To find inspiration in beginning your own journey, review the above suggestions. Only you can decide your path toward living a simpler life, and you can begin today!
If you like any of the ideas you have read here please do subscribe to our monthly newsletter “The Ripple’ below. As a small family biz we can’t wait to spend 2021 really exploring the family journey of becoming more earth friendly, I know our youngest daughter has a lot to say on the subject!
In love and kindness,