The simple life. Just typing this and reading it lowers my stress level until I stop and think of how do I get a simple life and this escalates it again. It’s so easy to declare you are going to simplify your life until you start doing it. I have been working on simplifying and honestly the very thought of what I was going to have to do to simplify was so overwhelming that is paralyzed me. I decided to set categories to work on and focus on one area at a time, one step at a time. READ ON as I share 5 ways to simplify your life….
- Declutter – this one is huge for me because I really like organized spaces and sometimes life just gets in the way of keeping them that way. It can be so overwhelming to get started on this so I recommend starting small like a junk drawer. Get it organized and notice how you feel. When it feels good you will be excited for your next project. Don’t think about everything else you need to organize or declutter. Just have joy in the moment over getting that one drawer finished or maybe not even finished but started. I have this room in my house that I lovingly call “the graveyard”. This room has been my catchall room for boxes unopened, possessions that I needed to sort, furniture that needed repair or no longer was useful. Every time I would walk in this room, I felt this overwhelming sensation that I would turn right around and walk out. I finally decided it was time, past time to get this room under control. So, I started with one box. I sorted things into keep, sell, donate and if I was not going to keep it I moved it to another room. Eventually I started seeing some breathing room in the space and the room became a happier place to walk in and no longer a graveyard.
- Simplify your Commitments – it is so easy to say yes when asked to do things but if this gets you in a bind with your own schedule then you need to learn to say NO. I really work on keeping myself present for the things that are a priority in my life and when other things present themselves, I have more time to be able to add them in if I want or let them pass if I don’t. Pare down your schedule and you will open up so much time for you to do what you really want!
- Simplify your to-do list – I am the queen of taking on the world and doing everything myself. I love projects and can get consumed with random things when I really need to be focusing on something else. I was at a conference recently and this speaker was telling us to stop doing anything that doesn’t help you rejuvenate. I love mowing my yard but don’t love cleaning my house. If I were to follow his advice, I would get help for the house. However, I am not in a position to do that so I practice the art of reframing. When I clean house, I don’t groan and stress out over it, I just plug away one task at a time and check it off my list as having accomplished something. This way it spins something I don’t enjoy doing into something that I have succeeded with. I do agree with the speakers’ sentiment though. Don’t volunteer to do things you don’t enjoy. What can you delegate? Do you really have to be the one (this one is tough because so many of you will answer yes but when you really look at this very closely the answer is no).
- Simplify your daily routine. Numerous people I speak with all comment that they just don’t have time to take care of themselves. If I were to do a deep dive into their daily routine and took away all the extra screen time on facebook (etc), TV, phone calls that others have sucked them into or last minute frenzies due to disorganization we would all find some extra moments just to breathe and take care of ourselves. Be intentional with your routine and get your personal care done first…before taking care of everyone else!
- Simplify your thoughts. We don’t realize all of the negative self-talk we do to ourselves. This brings us down and creates this invisible weight that is difficult to shake off. Really focus on what you say to yourself not just when things are going right but in your day-to-day life. Don’t beat yourself up for not living a simple life! Negative talk only handicaps us. Maybe the best way to start simplifying your life is when you do anything at all tell yourself great job. I loaded the dishwasher – great job! I took out the trash – great job! If you start with positive reinforcement, you will crowd out all the negative talk. When you do hear your negative thoughts notice them and release them and focus on something positive (no matter how small) to turn the moment around.
Simplifying your life is not easy so don’t get overwhelmed. It doesn’t mean you have to throw everything you own out or get rid of every friend you have. It means being mindful of your time, your thoughts, your possessions and the people around you. Focus on what brings you joy and that’s the simplest and most wonderful thing of all!
To your health,