So, your life is crazy is it? Do you feel as if you are on a roller coaster that won’t stop, running here and there, forgetting things and falling behind? If so, you are not alone. We seem to be a culture addicted to fast-paced living, sometimes complicated living.
When you compare how we live to some other cultures in the world, it’s no wonder we suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Crazy living can make you sick – if not sick, just plain tired and crabby,
If you are at a breaking point, it may be time to simplify your life. To put in place some practical boundaries, deal with excess and take some time to smell the roses. The good news is, there are some very simple things you can do right now to bring relief to the chaos.
Simplifying is trendy now, however, it is also amazingly practical and a way to clear clutter so that you can enjoy life more, You don’t have to be an extreme minimalist either to enjoy all that simplification has to offer.
Here are just fifteen ways to simplify your life. Even implementing a few of these each week can make a tremendous difference in your life, physical health, and mental well-being.
Understand what simplification means
What does it mean to you to simplify? Before you begin taking steps to simplify your life, it is important to have a well-laid plan in mind. Understanding what it means to you to simplify and how you would like your life to look is paramount to this plan. Keep in mind that your idea of simplification may be different than others and this is ok. Understand also that simplification doesn’t happen overnight – it is a process that takes time, energy and focus. Jot down any ideas you have about simplification and start here to formulate a bigger picture. This can serve as your framework as you move forward.
Millions of people are sleep deprived, victims of minds, on information overload. Sound like you? Do you toss and turn at night, staring at the ceiling thinking of all of the things you have to do? If so, it’s time to give your body what it needs to cope, more quality sleep. Adopt some healthy sleep solutions such as leaving your phone or tablet off about an hour before bed, enjoy a warm bath with Epsom salts, drink a cup of herbal tea before bed and try to go to bed and get up at the same time each night. Once you are getting some regular sleep, you will be able to face your simplification project with zeal and clarity.
Recommended Reading: How To Use Essential Oils For The Best Night’s Sleep Ever
Learn how to cope with stress
O.K. stress is inevitable and very hard to escape, however, there are ways to mitigate this monster in your life. Simple stress reductions techniques that will make you much more capable of dealing with life in general. Meditation is a wonderful way to relax and refocus. When you do this, you will let go of your stress burden. Adopting a healthy diet and participating in regular exercise also helps tremendously with stress and releasing feel-good hormones that help you cope. When you feel anxiety coming on, learn how to diffuse the situation on the spot by deep breathing, affirmations or other techniques such as visualization. No matter what tool you choose, getting a grip on stress is essential to the simplification process.
Understand the meaning of necessity
This is a very hard one for many people, We often feel that we need everything that we have and more. The sad part about this is that the more we have, the more clouded our judgement often becomes. If you are serious about simplification, it is time to get out a pad and paper and focus on what you need. Ultimately, these may end up being the things that you value the most – be cautious that you are valuing them for the right reasons. With your list in hand, it will be easier to start downsizing. Keep in mind, there is nothing inherently wrong with keeping a few items that have sentimental value – just be sure that you can draw the line at some point.
Tackle declutter projects one at a time
Getting rid of clutter is essential to the simplification process. It is always best to tackle a small project first. Perhaps a hall closet or even a bathroom. As you approach the task of weeding through your belongings, keep in mind the meaning of necessity and your goal for a simpler life. Be willing to part with anything that you have not used in the last year, be it clothes or otherwise. As you declutter, take inventory of what you are keeping. You can go back later and track whether or not you need the item at a later date. Once you have decluttered a small area, move on to a larger project such as the kitchen, attic or garage. Don’t forget about the fact that you can always sell or give away things that you no longer need. Start a throw-away box, a donation box and a sell box for easy sorting. Also, always have a place for everything – don’t leave anything out of place once you declutter. It is essential that everything is placed back in its home after use.
Value your time
Do you often say to yourself or others, “I don’t have enough time?’ Or perhaps you say, ” If only I had another hour or two in the day.” Truth be told, we all get the same amount of time in a day – 24 hours and there is only one way to feel as if you have more time, become a better time manager. This will require you to schedule, prioritize and evaluate where your time goes. One valuable exercise you can do is to draw a circle and first shade in the essentials with regards to your time. For instance, if you work or go to school, how much time a day does that take. Next, how much time do you need to sleep – keep in mind 7-9 hours is best. Once you have finished with work and school, fill in the rest as far as your ideal goes.
For example, how much time do you want to spend on a hobby, with loved ones, etc…. Now, for comparison, draw a realistic pie chart of how you presently spend your time. What do you need to stop doing? Where do you spend needless amounts of time? Asking yourself these questions will help you make some changes in how you spend your time. Aim to make a least one small change a week to reclaim your time.
Set boundaries with your time
As you begin to reclaim your time, it is paramount that you set some new boundaries. Many people, maybe even you, have a very hard time saying “no” If you are always up for that volunteer position or game for every social occasion that you are invited to, you may be giving up valuable time. Again, don’t worry about saying no, you have to set those boundaries so that not only people know what to expect, but also that you can make the most of the time you have.
Schedule “nothing” time for yourself
Simplifying your life means slowing down, breathing deeply and taking the time to just exist. Schedule at least an hour a week for yourself to just do nothing. You don’t have to have an agenda, just be. Getting away in nature is a good idea, away from the rat race. Many people find that they can unwind and clear their mind when they are alone in nature.
Consider a smaller home
Having a large home is often an invitation to collect more stuff than you need. If you are in a good position to sell your home and find something smaller, it will help with your simplicity journey. Most of us have way more space in our home than we need. Take a walk through your home and assess where you spend time. Chances are there is a room or two that you rarely, if ever use. Determine how much square footage you need and find something that suits your needs. When you do find something, it is likely that you will have to reduce your furniture and “stuff” load even more. Keep what you need and let the rest go. Remember that it may be in your best interest to clear out quite a bit of clutter before you put your home on the market so that potential buyers can see the house.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
As you consider simplifying your life, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from a family member or friend. Sometimes we are so close to our stuff that we can’t see clearly what we need to part with. Often the best thing for us is sound and considerate advice from a loving and honest friend. Just be open minded and willing to listen.
Assess your shopping habits
Do you need to put an end to needless spending? If you are drawn to deals, whether you need something or not, or perhaps you are an avid garage saler, it may be time to assess your shopping habits. You can get rid of as much as you can but if you still have spending habits that are out of control, you will never reach that point of simplification you so desire. Set up a budget for yourself and only purchase what you need. If you must purchase a nonessential item, such as new sweater or pair of shoes, make it a habit to get rid of one thing in exchange for the new item. The “one in one out” method is a great way to ensure that you will not be overrun with stuff and always maintain an equilibrium.
Pay off your debt
Nothing clutters your life more than owing others money. As you embrace a simpler existence consider paying off as many debts as you can. Some of the things you are getting rid of can be sold to help pay off your debt. Once you are free from debt, adopt a cash-only budget. If you don’t have the cash to pay for it – don’t buy it.
Keep a journal
If you are not accustomed to keeping a journal, now is a great time. As you simplify your life, it will be useful to record your thoughts and insights. Writing is cathartic and allows you to reflect. It is important that you celebrate even the smallest steps that you have taken toward simplifying your life. Keep your dreams and desires in the journal along with your struggles.
Do a digital detox
How much time do you spend on a computer, tablet or phone? Things like social media, email, and texting can take up big chunks of time and energy. A good way to be sure that your electronics are not ruling your life is to give yourself a set time each day to check your email, social media, etc… Try to refrain from using your devices apart from this time. You may even find it useful to have one day each week that you are completely free from your electronic devices.
Plan your meals
Running to the grocery store last minute or eating out all of the time can leave you ragged. Creating a meal plan and shopping list will help you get organized, save you money and improve your health. Start with a seven-day plan, keep your meals simple, but healthy and add on as you get more into a routine. Take the time to prepare some healthy meals and enjoy the process. Many people find great satisfaction in spending time cooking meals. If possible, consider growing a vegetable and herb garden to supplement your food bill.
No matter how many of these steps towards simplification you decide to implement, the important thing to remember is that simplification is as much a mindset as it is an action. If you don’t have your mind around what it means to simplify, you will never arrive at a place where your life has the freedom you desire.