10 Ideas to Help You Simplify Your Life

 "As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness." Henry David Thoreau

It often feels as though life is shooting by at a tremendous rate—so fast that we can barely keep up. It's chaotic and I don't know about you, but my head often spins until the day's end when I simply collapse with exhaustion.

It's interesting because I truly am that exhausted at the end of the day but my life is fairly simple. I try not to involve myself with too many activities. It's stressful to dart here and there every single day. Quite frankly, I don't even enjoy driving that much either. I prefer simplifying things because it makes life more peaceful. If you're in search of a way to simplify your life, here are 10 ideas to help you achieve it:

10. Turn your phone off. 

When the end of the day has arrived, turn your phone off or to silent. Ignore phone calls (emergencies are an exception) and text messages. Stay off of social media. It's tempting to sit and browse Facebook or Instagram while you're curled up on the couch but grab a book or go for a walk instead. As a society, we have a bad habit of allowing social media to command our time. You may have thought you were only going to quickly check your newsfeed but 30 minutes later, you're still browsing someone's page. Turn it off and let your mind unwind.

9. Don't dwell on the past.

Maybe someone wronged you. Maybe you hurt someone you cared deeply about. Whatever the case, let it go. Dwelling on the past only brings more grief and regret or it makes you long for something that is over. You can't go back in time to relive the past, so why keep thinking about it? There is absolutely nothing you can do to change anything that happened in the past.

8. Focus on the present.

Concentrate on the present since everything you are working on today will have an impact on the future. The future is uncertain anyway, so why focus on anything other than today? You'll feel less stress when you learn to focus on today. Plus, you'll learn to adequately understand what you want out of life, allowing you to make better decisions.

7. Get up early.

Ahh... This is something that took me a long time to establish as a regular habit. If you're a parent, then you know that later in the afternoon or evening, life will be chaotic as you try to get dinner, baths, and books read—all before bed. By the time everyone is tucked in for the night, you're ready to pass out. Getting up an hour before everyone else allows you time for yourself.

6. Get more sleep.

If you're going to wake up earlier than usual, then you should go to bed a little earlier. Trust me when I tell you that getting a good night's sleep is absolutely essential. Individuals who get more sleep tend to perform better than their counterparts who are burning the candle at both ends. Try to stick with a sleep schedule and avoid naps if you have trouble sleeping at night. It also helps to unwind prior to bedtime. If you're having trouble getting into a new bedtime ritual, melatonin helps and so do blackout curtains.

5. Declutter your home.

Get rid of things that are sitting around gathering dust. If you're not using it, then remove it from your life. You don't have to throw anything away. Donate it to a nearby organization to help those in need. Old clothing, shoes, dishes, books, etc., can benefit those less fortunate. Or, sell your items if you're looking to make a quick buck.

4. Manage your stress.

When your body is overwhelmed with too much stress, it negatively affects it. Find beneficial ways to manage your stress daily, whether you meditate, do yoga, or hit the jogging trail. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis will enable you to better handle life's ups and downs. Physical activity produces endorphins (gives you that happy feeling), more energy, and helps you remain healthier overall.

3. Scheduling and Planning

Keep a schedule of all appointments and gatherings. Try to maintain a consistent routine every day. Yes, life happens but once you've established a routine, it is easy to stick with it. Plan your meals ahead of time. If you can, premake any meals that can be readily stored for the week. This makes life a LOT simpler when you're rushing around in the morning trying to get out the door.

2. Spend time alone.

Disconnect from everyone and spend time in solitude. Now, this does not necessarily make you a lonely person. Spending time alone allows you to become comfortable in your surroundings without the need for constant attention from others. It teaches you independence, how to think deeply, and how to effectively unwind without endless distractions.

1. And finally, learn to say NO. 

If something doesn't fall into your scheduled routine and you really would prefer not to participate—politely decline. Don't take on too much because you feel obligated to help someone out. You're under no commitments to volunteer at your child's school, at the local shelter, to take on extra hours at work, etc. Sure, maybe it would be kind of you to do so and maybe you need the extra money, however, you might end up spreading yourself too thing, which is stressful. You are the most important person in your life, even if you have children. If you don't take care of yourself first, then you cannot effectively be a good parent or perform well at work. It catches up to you eventually, so just say no.


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