How to simplify your life

I am always up for keeping it simple, making life easier, more efficient and allowing more time and space for the important stuff. This journey of simplification is ever evolving as different priorities appear and disappear and needs change!

Its easy to become complex; our society is indeed complex, what with the internet, television, shopping, work, family commitments, possessions, eating, debt … these things pile on top of each other endlessly.

This is a rather bad formula, as our days have a limited capacity, and so do we as humans. We can only do so much, only handle so many tasks and possessions and social commitments, and filling ourselves to those limits means we stress our breaking points.

So how do we simplify everything? As simply as possible. It sounds hard right! According to zenhabits its actually fairly easy, and leads to a quiet, content, lovely life full of space, with only the things in it that matter. What matters the most to you? For me this is my family, my friends, my passion for healing and throw in a little room for creativity and I am one happy girl!

Here are some zenhabit ideas:

  1. Block off some disconnected time. The Internet is amazing, but always being connected means you’re always pulled in a thousand directions at once. It’s hard to focus, hard to connect with others, hard to get out into nature and be active. So schedule some time every day for disconnection: maybe a block in the morning where you get your best work done, and a block in the afternoon when you get out and active, or connect with friends or family.
  2. Start eliminating commitments. List your commitments, and pick one to eliminate today. Free up time for what’s the most important to you.
  3. Start purging possessions. Every day, find 5 things to donate or give to friends. Or clear an entire shelf or bench, leaving only the things you actually use, getting rid of the rest. Slowly your possessions will be simplified to just the essentials.
  4. Ban shopping for 30 days. You can do this. Don’t buy anything except the essentials (food, toiletries, basic supplies). If you think you really need it, put it on a list to be evaluated after the 30 days. As a little test back in 2012 I did this with the aim of lasting 12 months(!) I think I did pretty well, throughout the year I only bought; a dress for my grandfathers funeral, 2 pairs of pants and 2 lightweight summer dresses for our travels in South America. It was freedom! Remembering this makes me want to try again!
  5. Wash your bowl. When you’re done eating, mindfully wash your bowl. When you’re done with anything, get in the habit of pausing before moving onto the next thing, and cleaning up after yourself. Put your food away. Put your clothes where they belong. Put your keys in one spot. Clean the sink before you leave it. This simple habit will keep you mindful while saving you lots of cleanup later. Im a shocker at this point -- I might have to give it a go. then at least Mr Whole Living will stop rolling his eyes at me when for the 10th time I have lost my keys or messed up the kitchen he just cleaned up!
  6. Schedule time for what’s important. What’s most important to you? Your partner and children? Creating? Reading novels? Cooking, gardening, crafts, carpentry? Make the time for it.
  7. Get outdoors once a day. Too often we are stuck at a desk or on the couch. Get outside, take a walk, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Go for a hike or a run with a friend. Play some sports. Run around and play tag with your kids. These simple activities will change your life.
  8. Eat some plants. Learn some simple recipes that incorporate super healthy foods you might not be eating: kale, spinach, broccoli, quinoa, berries, flaxseeds, lentils, avocados, black beans, squash, raw almonds and walnuts, garlic, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon. These simple plants will make you strong.
  9. Drink tea. Green tea brewed from relatively fresh whole tea leaves is calming, healthy, and wonderful. A daily tea ritual keeps you grounded and mindful.

And there you have it -- try one, try them all. Get your zen on!

Love, J&A x