Simplifying life can help us create more ease, time and freedom with less stress. Here are 7 simple living tips to help you begin simplifying your life today.
WHAT IS SIMPLE LIVING?
Let me answer this question by asking YOU a question first. Does your life feel busy and complicated? For many of us, I think the answer agen ion casino would probably be yes!
Modern life has a way of pushing and pulling us to and fro. We fill our homes, schedules, days and minds with all manner of shiny things (real and metaphorical) that grab our attention and take us away from what we should or want to be doing instead. Maybe we feel we have to do/buy/be all these things, sometimes we just want them anyway.
The problem is that more of all this doesn’t seem to make us happier or more fulfilled. It often just serves to distract and detract from the life that we really want to be living.
So, if life feels complicated then simple living is the antidote. A simpler life doesn’t always come easy (we’ll talk more about that in a minute) but it does often make life easier. And, often, with more time, space and freedom to pursue a meaningful life in whatever way that means to you.
HOW TO LIVE SIMPLY
When I try to explain simple living, I think it’s helpful to give some examples. It feels a bit woolly to just say you focus more on what matters and less on what doesn’t! Although this is true, it probably helps to give you some ideas – and that’s what the simple living tips in this article will hopefully do so that you can try out simple living for yourself.
As I mentioned above, living simply isn’t that easy to do. Today we have more messages than ever before telling us what we need to have, do, buy and be more of in order to live life to the full. It’s countercultural and often feels a little weird to want to do the opposite! If simple living feels difficult, don’t be disheartened! I wrote an article about why simplifying life isn’t easy because you’re not alone if you feel that way.
WHAT SIMPLE LIVING WON’T DO
Before I share some simple living tips, I feel I should mention something obvious but important. Simple living won’t make your life perfect. It won’t remove life’s challenges, the difficult times and the sad times. Life is full of good bits and bad but I do passionately believe that a simple life has more margin and flexibility for when we do hit a rocky patch.
Whether you’re navigating illness, mental health issues, financial or work worries, a change in circumstance, bereavement or just struggling with your day-to-day, living a simple life can offer you more bandwidth. It can give you more capacity to deal with your troubles because there’s less focus on the clutter and empty padding that pulls us away from what matters because we’re too busy dealing with all the stuff that doesn’t.
7 SIMPLE LIVING TIPS FOR LESS STRESS AND MORE FREEDOM
To explore a simpler lifestyle for yourself, with more of what matters and less of what doesn’t, here are 15 simple living tips for less stress and more freedom. Explore which feel right to you and take your time to build them into your life.
1. Declutter your home
Everything starts at home so the first of my simple living tips will also begin at home. Home is where we come back to at the end of a long day and launch ourselves from at the start of the next. It’s a safe space where we relax, have fun, entertain and spend time with our family.
Your home should be a sanctuary and place you love to be, not that’s a burden on your time and energy. You don’t want to be worrying about the state of your home, whether you need to clean it or when to get the next load of laundry on.
- Clear the clutter in your home, find ways to remove the unnecessary items that just take up your space, time and energy. Reduce the amount of stuff that you need to look after, tidy and clean and feel the amazing benefits of a decluttered home.
- Develop routines for your housework so that the grime and dirty laundry doesn’t build up but gets done, little and often. Here are some tips on how to spend less time cleaning.
Your home will run smoothly and be much easier to look after with minimum effort from you. That means you can spend your time and energy focusing less on maintaining your home and more on enjoying it!
2. Learn to say no
Life is full of demands and shiny things to tempt us or push us into saying yes. Yes to that bargain in the shops, yes to the invitation for coffee with a friend, yes to the request for help at the school fundraiser.
However, when you say yes to one thing, you’re also saying no to another. Without being mindful of what’s important, what truly matters to you and what you feel called to say ‘yes’ to, then busy and complicated will become your status quo.
Saying no is like a muscle. It gets stronger with use. Practice the art of saying ‘no’, of getting comfortable with hearing yourself say it and knowing that it doesn’t mean ‘no’ forever, just not for now. Acknowledge that declining, postponing or giving something a miss won’t mean that your life will be emptier. Instead, a simple life is about curating a life that protects and supports you and a great way to start is by protecting your most limited resource – your precious time!
If you struggle with saying no, you might enjoy this article which explores how setting clear boundaries can help us protect our time, or this article on some other ways you can be intentional with your time.
3. Prioritise self-care
When we’re overloaded, tired out or run down because we haven’t been looking after ourselves, then life seems much more overwhelming and tough.
It’s amazing how little niggles become frustrations. Frustrations that aren’t dealt with can turn into resentment and anger, which is definitely not the way to lead and love a simple life!
Self-care and putting yourself first isn’t about being selfish. It’s about learning to find ways to empower and strengthen yourself, physically and emotionally, so you can be there for everyone who needs you, including yourself.
There are plenty of simple ways you can take care of yourself. Just small changes, here and there, to your daily routine can really help keep your body and mind strong and healthy. They don’t have to add to your To Do list and you needn’t feel guilty for letting them take you away from other, supposedly ‘more important’ things.
So often we think of self-care too little, too late. An early night because we’ve been burning the midnight oil this past month, a detox diet if we’ve been living on caffeine and carbs, a physio appointment for a neck strain that we’ve been trying to ignore. It may be an obvious statement but your body and mind are important. You want them to work as well as they can, for as long as they can. So, just like you look after your car to make sure it runs, you also need to look after yourself!
Make self-care a habit or create your own self-care routine with the help of my Self-Care Toolkit!
4. Limit screen-time
Have you heard the saying ‘create before you consume’? You don’t have to be a social media influencer to ‘create’. Think about writing your To Do list, journaling, planning your goals for the coming week, painting, drawing, decluttering, sorting, organising, exercise, meditation, playing an instrument, baking. What else could you ‘create’? Working on our own life gives us an opportunity for exploration, growth and learning.
Step away from the screens as often as you can to give your brain and eyes a rest. Explore other ways to spend your time. Don’t feel compelled to reply instantly to every ping, buzz and notification on your phone or from your inbox. You don’t need to be available to everyone 24/7. And, if you do enjoy having your phone near, here are some productive things to do on your phone instead of losing yourself down the rabbit hole of social media.
5. Practice gratitude
Gratitude is fast becoming one of my favourite simple living tips. Gratitude is something that we so often overlook but I believe it has a fundamental role in determining our happiness in life.
Are you happy? Would you like more clothes? More money? A bigger house? More shoes? More friends? If the answer is yes, have you thought about what happens when you get these things? Will you be wanting more? Bigger? Better?
If we’re being honest, I think many of us wish we had something different because the grass is always greener on the other side! Well, what about tending to your own grass and making that flourish instead!
Instead of wishing for more of what you haven’t got, be happy and grateful for what you have now.
- Think about 5 things you’re grateful for in life.
- The things that make you smile and get out of bed for each morning.
- Things that you wouldn’t want to be without.
Focus on them, review and prioritise them regularly. Honour these 5 things enriching your life instead of being envious of the things that you don’t have but wish you had. You might not really want or need them anyway!
Read more about how a gratitude practice can improve your life or try my 30-day Gratitude Challenge to get you started.
6. Avoid over-spending
Sometimes we have expenses that need to be paid for but, wherever possible, avoid wasting money on things you don’t really need. Shop mindfully, save wisely, create a budget and stick to it. Spend money on things that will add meaning and value to your life. Avoid stressing yourself out through debt, juggling multiple store cards, or not knowing where your money goes each month. If you struggle with debt, face it head on and seek support if you feel you need it. Here are some ways that minimalism can help you save money.
7. Identify your priorities
When you’re getting rid of clutter in life, it’s part and parcel of the process to work out what that clutter is. In identifying the types of clutter, you’re forcing yourself to prioritise and clarify what’s important and what’s not.
In the past I would have said that everything is important, otherwise why would it be in my life? But actually, when I really think about it, there are very few things that are truly, deeply important. My kids, my family, health and happiness, my relationships, my time and the legacy I’d like to leave for the world.
My priorities might change over time, but essentially these are what drives me onwards every day.
Identifying these priorities makes my life a lot simpler so this is one of the most important simple living tips I’d like to share with you today.
I focus on doing things that honour these priorities and do something towards them every day if I can. The rest of what I thought was important in life takes a back seat when I need it to and I don’t clutter my brain, heart or time with things that don’t matter so much. You might enjoy these 4 questions to inspire a simpler life.