5 Quick and Easy Ways to Simplify Your Life (and Feel Better Right Away)
The more simple your life, the better. This is what I’m starting to think and I recognize that I’m not the first genius to think of this. Marie Kondo is an international sensation for a reason after all. As a mom, however, this can be easier said than done.
Life can be complicated and messy. Many of us are struggling with overwhelm or anxiety.
Many of us harken back to a time of greater simplicity. We tend to over-romanticize the 1950’s and 60’s as a simpler time. Heck, I have always thought I should have been born back then so that I could be a hippie. I am quite infatuated by the whole idea of being a hippie, minus the drugs and nudity of course.
Instead, what if we could find the simplicity of those times but maintain the current democratic and egalitarian society we currently live in. Honestly, 2018 is not all that bad, we have come a long way. But let us find ways to reconnect to that carefree feeling that we had as children.
Now, I have a confession to make. I am definitely not a minimalist. My house and my minivan are messy and full of stuff. In fact, I continually oscillate between the states of consumeristic overdrive and Zen Buddhist monk.
Where would I like to be? Somewhere in the middle, “the middle way” as the Buddhists call it (see I told you I was a monk). The middle way refers to moderation. Nothing too extreme. Not too tight, not too loose. This is the paradox of the universe, not just my problem.
As a mom, I find the desire to provide my kids with the best of everything to be a strong motivator. On the other hand, I recognize that all of this stuff is oftentimes unfulfilling. So I bought a new necklace? I get the instant high of the purchase but if the item, a necklace in this particular example, doesn’t carry with it any particular meaning, then it gets forgotten quickly and any positive emotion I gained at the moment of purchase is long gone.
The other drawback is that clutter in your physical space can manifest as clutter in your mind. I don’t know about you, but clarity of mind is something I could use more of. I work from home the majority of the time as well, so having a space that is clean is important to me. I’m sure my coaching clients who visit my home office appreciate coming to a place of clarity and calm. Not only is clarity good for your mental health, it’s also good for productivity and business.
I don’t’ want to get too into this, but the environmental impact of our consumerism cannot be forgotten. Our landfills are overflowing and we are using valuable resources to pump out piles and piles of plastic crap for the masses to buy. Adopting more moderate spending habits and creating ways in which we recycle and reuse our items will benefit good mother earth.
So I have a few tips that I would like to share, to help simplify your life and mine, as I will be trying them too. Some of them are mindset shifts that require inner work and others are quick action steps that you can implement right away (a great start to the new year!?). When it comes to simplifying life, it’s not only about minimizing the amount physical stuff we own, it’s also about how we spend our time and the quality of the activities in our lives.
Here it goes:
1. Evaluate how you are spending your time and set some boundaries. Learn to say NO to low quality activities. Say NO to the stuff that is not serving you.
2. Limit you media consumption and your e-communication time. This includes limiting use of the cellphone, desktop computers, television, streaming TV.
3. Downsize your stuff. Go through an overhaul. This is where the Marie Kondo craze comes into play. More and more people are starting to understand that clutter weighs you down. Find a local organizer to get you started if it feels too overwhelming to tackle on your own. I know some people are even downsizing their house and moving into a tiny house. Cool, right?
4. Spend time with people you love, doing things you love. This seems like a no brainer, but I think it needs to be said. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and loving. Stay around people who get you, and appreciate the best version of yourself.
5. Build some predictability into your life. Auto-pilot is a real problem for many of us. Create a weekly meal plan with healthy meals, a workout schedule, a regular movie night or board game night, schedule a monthly or quarterly date night with your partner. This frees up mental space but also means that when you go on “auto-pilot” it will be a healthy routine rather than the easiest and most-convenient choices. Having a routine also gives you an excuse to say NO to things that don’t serve you. “Sorry, I would love to help you that night but that is workout time!” Or “Sorry, that is date night!”
This is just a short list of the things you can implement today to start to simplify your life. To simplify means to fill up on the things that are important to you and nourish you and to pare down on the things that are draining and not in alignment with the person you are. I’d love to hear your tips and what has worked for you. If you are having trouble wading through the complexity of motherhood and modern life let’s set up a non-obligation consult call to see if I can help.