I’ve been feeling on edge lately, like everything is coming at me all at once. Just thinking of it makes me feel like I’m going to break out in hives. And I know it’s due to the chaos I let into my life on a daily basis.
Some days, I’m completely okay with having a crazy life and know that in the end, I’ll be okay. Other times, I’m a wreck, want to have a meltdown and cry over everything with some ice cream. And this is saying a lot since I don’t eat sweets often.
Have you ever looked back in life and missed the “good, ole days” where “times were simpler” and just start taking trips down memory lane just to escape? Me too. It’s hard living in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing technology-obsessed world. We question whether we’re doing enough, if we are enough or if we’ll ever be successful enough to keep up with society’s “ideal” way of living.
The further we drift towards the chaotic side of life, the more I want to pull back and stay on the simple side of life. And to be really happy, I’m determined to keep myself grounded as much as possible. I honestly feel that a simple life is a happy life. If you think about it, life is simple. We as humans just complicate it. So, if we can complicate it, we can “uncomplicate” it, right?
NO. 1: SET A MORNING ROUTINE
For some reason, when I have a routine set every morning, I feel more at ease. In an ideal world, I want to set a routine that looks something like this: start off my day by making my bed, make myself a cup of coffee and sit down with the Bible for 30 minutes. Afterwards, roll out the mat, do some meditation/yoga, eat some breakfast and then start getting ready for the day. When you set a morning routine and finish it, you’ll feel more accomplished.
For me, right now, I’m easing myself into a regular routine again and I’m starting my day with making my bed. Setting a morning routine is one of the easiest ways to simplify your life. Do it and you can thank me later.
NO. 2: ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
A happy life is one full of gratitude. Looking for the good in everything each day gives me hope so I try to do it often. The Five Minute Journal is great for doing this. It helps you to think of three things you’re thankful for at the beginning of the day, asks about three things that would make your day great and an affirmation. Then at night, it asks you three things you’re glad that happened to you during the day and if there’s anything you could’ve done to make your day better.
I love this journal because it helps you to be intentional by forcing you to look for the good throughout your day. If you can’t afford the journal, start your days off by thinking of three things you’re grateful for and feel the happiness that those things bring.
NO. 3: INNER PEACE
Ever since I read Megan’s post, I have made it a point to try and feel peace each and every day. Inner peace is something that I want to practice feeling every day of my life. To slow down, enjoy this gift of life that’s been given to us and really take it all in. When I have time, I love to use the Yoga Studio app for morning meditations. I love the feeling of thinking about nothing and relaxing my body to a point where sometimes, I fall back to sleep.
If you wake up with anxiety, just take it easy and do two things: light your favorite candle and start meditating. Even 15 minutes has helped me a ton with my anxiety. If this isn’t a one of many great ways to simplify your life, I don’t know what is!
NO 4: SET THE TONE
Whether it’s listening to a new book on Audible or your favorite podcast while you get ready for the day or cleaning out your closet, pump yourself up. Motion creates emotion. How you set the tone for the day is what the day will give back to you. Even if something negative happens, you’ll be able to plow through it. It happened to me once where I was dancing in my car on the way to work. I was determined to have a great day. Although my work shift was long and I came out to a flat tire, nothing stopped me. Not even thunderstorms deterred me because I was in a great mood.
Trust me. As stupid as this sounds, I get so excited and feel like I can take on the world when I watch/listen to this motivational YouTube video. It’s always my go-to to start my days and/or when I want to lift my mood and feel unstoppable!
NO. 5: EAT TO LIVE
It’s not ironic that when you eat well, you physically feel well. Obviously there will be days where you’ll feel bad and want to eat your feelings away with terrible foods, but don’t make yourself feel physically worse just because you’re in a negative state of mind.
I always regret it when I treat my body terribly with bad foods. The way I see it is, why make yourself feel worse and with regret too? Even in the bad times, be good to yourself. Kick start your gut health with a morning cocktail shot consisting of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper. After your morning workout session, start your day with a green smoothie or some eggs with a side of broccoli and lemon juice to keep your energy levels sustained.
Do this for two weeks and you’ll feel a major difference in your energy levels. Eat to live. Don’t live to eat.
NO. 6: MOVE IT!
I find that the simplest workout such as a walk does my mind and body wonders. Even if it’s taking a walk, I always feel better afterwards. There’s just something about moving that makes you feel better. I hope my body gets to a point one day where it craves movement of any kind! One of the biggest ways to simplify your life is to work at preventing health issues.
If you have a hard time staying motivated in the gym, it’s normal. Just remember that you will ALWAYS feel better after a sweat session. Do it to feel physically and mentally better. When you switch your perspective on this, you’ll realize that you really can’t live without being good to your body. Don’t wait to get active. Your body is the only place you have to live.
NO. 7: DECLUTTER
For the last five to ten years, I’ve been uncluttering everything from my life. From friends who don’t add to my life to my personal belongings. The funny thing is, I just cleaned up my closet this last week or so, edited my wardrobe and feel like there’s more that needs to be done. The feeling of euphoria is when there’s less clutter in my living environment with nothing on the surfaces of my furniture, but things that actually belong there.
Oh and decluttering includes unsubscribing from emails. It’s a long task, but I promise that an emptier inbox feels so much better! I’m working on getting better at reading and deleting emails right away instead of letting them sit in my inbox even if I’ve already read them.
NO. 8: PLAN AHEAD.
Planning ahead not only saves you time, but it does something to your mind. It really does make your days simpler and less stressful. Everything from your outfit for work, gym and daily meals, planning it all is one of many ways to simplify your life. Find a routine to plan these things and stick to it.
I find that when I plan my work and workout outfits the night before, I sleep better. Enjoying my mornings with less stress because I’m not rushing in a panic is being good to myself.
NO. 9: SELF-AWARENESS
I always make it a point to be aware of how I’m currently feeling. It’s so important to not keep your feelings to yourself and to learn how to talk about them. If I’m sad, my friends know it. If I’m happy and excited, my family and friends know it. I’m also really careful of who I express my goals and excitement to because I want to stay positive by protecting myself from negative people.
How do you feel currently? Be aware of how you feel and if it’s on the negative side, talk it out. Life is much easier when you’re aware of how you feel. That and if something is really wrong, you can take care of it right away so you don’t have to stress about it should the problem get bigger if you wait. Having someone to talk to about your emotions really helps to keep you in check.
NO. 10: THE SMALL THINGS
Celebrate everything, including the small things. I’ve learned so much about this by watching Megan and Lydia. They really are great at expressing their gratitude and joy with every thing in life. With friends coming into town to a beautiful PR package, I strive to have their gratitude, appreciation and celebration attitude and make it a part of who I am.
I admit, it’s hard to celebrate everything, but when I think about it, babies and kids do it all the time. They’re always happy, laughing and looking forward to something. And that child-like attitude is one I want to embody!
NO. 11: BRAIN DUMP
Ever can’t sleep because you have a gazillion things running through your mind? We all have. Believe it or not, one of the many ways to simplify your life is to clear your mind so you can sleep better. Right before I go to sleep, I pull out my phone and write down everything I’m thinking, any ideas I have, what I need to do and update my calendar. Even if I’m about to sleep and the thought is on my mind, I pick up my phone, write in it and go back to sleep.
Before bed, cozy up in your soft robe, put everything that’s on your mind in a notebook or in your notes app on your phone. When I say everything, I mean everything. Every thought, idea and to-do should be dumped out. Once you “brain dump” into your preferred recording method, you’ll find that you sleep better and at ease because you wouldn’t have “forgotten” something.
NO. 12: DISCONNECT
Disconnecting yourself from your phone, computer and television is a way to simplify your life. Trust me when I say this. You can survive without watching television. I did it for about four years. You can live without having internet. I did it for a year, I just learned to be resourceful. Being and living in the moment is a way to simplify your life and you’ll find that you’ll be a lot happier too.
Personally, I disconnect from my email inbox after 7:30pm on weekdays and don’t answer any on the weekends. To me, it’s important to not only train myself to disconnect, but to train others to respect my time too. If I respond to emails at all times of the day, I’m telling others that there are no boundaries and that they can expect a response from me at any time of the day too.
NO. 13: LEARN TO SAY NO
Not going to lie, I’m such a yes-woman. I love to help people so it’s hard for me to say no. However, I started learning to say no about two years ago with my good friend, Mary. Once I told her no, I realized that I was respecting her and her time as well as mine. It’s hard to practice and apply this to your daily life, but remember that the time you give to others is time you take away from yourself.
If something is asked of me and it doesn’t align with my current goals, I say no. The hard part is not feeling guilty. Saying no to others means saying yes to yourself. However, you need to know your priorities and where the lines are so you don’t ruin relationships or neglect to build new ones either. There’s a time to be with family, a time to play and a time to work and if you do it right, you shouldn’t feel guilty when you do one thing over the other.
I hope these tips give you some ideas as to how I’m learning to simplify my life and hope you’ll apply some of these ideas to your life because a happy life is simple life.