Thursday, January 25, 2018

10 Simple Living Tips That Will Make Life Sweeter

Hello my friends!  I'm so excited to share today's post with you because it's on a topic I think we can all benefit from:  slowing down.  Yes, in this crazy, fast-paced world, I think a little piece of all of us wishes things were different, slower.  I think most of us appreciate the technology and information we have access to living in 2018, but perhaps there is a part of us that longs for a simpler time.  

Some of my favorite books are historical fiction (my favorite of all time, of course, being Little Women), and I think part of the reason why is that those books transport you to a simpler time.  A time when a rare bowl of ice cream or a bouquet of flowers were celebrated.  A time when people visited each other at their homes.  A time when afternoon tea was a thing.  I mean, come on...who wouldn't love to bring back afternoon tea?!

I know I'm not the only one whose heart and soul is longing for a little bit of yesteryear.  If you search the hashtags #simpleliving or #slowliving on Instagram you'll see what I mean.  Many people are starting to be more intentional about how they spend their time, what they buy, and how they live.  If simple living sounds like something you're ready to get on board with, here are ten good places to start.

1.  Minimize, minimize, minimize!  If you truly want a simpler, slower pace of life, the best place to start is by getting rid of A LOT of stuff you really don't want or need.  I started a capsule wardrobe not long ago, and it has been a game changer for me when it comes to deciding what to wear, packing for trips, and doing laundry ('cause there's WAY less of it, y'all!).  As I mentioned here, stuff keeps finding a way into our homes and unless we find a way to keep showing it the door, we're going to feel overwhelmed by it.  Think of a room in your house you want to start with, and then plan a time for a major purge.  You will be so glad you did.

2.  Take time to NOTICE beauty when you see it.  This is a very important mindset shift if you want to experience the joys of simple living.  When you see something beautiful, stop for a bit - even just a few seconds - and enjoy it.  It could be a colorful sky, your child laughing, or a gorgeous cupcake.  Whatever it is, really train yourself to appreciate all the sweet, simple pleasures in life. When you make up your mind to do this each day, you will be amazed at how much more positive your thoughts are, and how many beautiful things there are in this world.  

3.  Schedule some breaks into your busy day.  You must, must, must take time for self-care, friends.  Work hard, accomplish what you need to, but also know that you need some time to relax and enjoy life too.  Schedule your tasks for the day and maybe a coffee break or a FaceTime with a friend, whatever it is that will restore you during your busy day.  Be intentional about doing what is good for you.  

4.  Appreciate what you have.  Oh, I'll never stop singing your praises!  Gratitude is seriously a game changer.  When you spend time intentionally thinking about what you do have instead of what you don't, you will become less anxious, you will be happier, and you might even figure out world peace.  Ok, not sure about the last one, but any clinician will tell you...gratitude is where it's at.  Whether you start a gratitude journal, or use a simple form like this one, make practicing gratitude part of your everyday life.  

6.  Spend some time alone.  As an extrovert, I never cared to be alone for much of my life.  In fact, I found ways to outright avoid it.  But now I've realized that even the most extroverted among us need time just to ourselves.  We need time to be still, time to be with our thoughts, time to disconnect and just be.  Plan some time just for you as you plan each day.  

7.  Write letters.  Currently, I'm reading Sense and Sensibility and I have been struck by how much time the characters spend writing letters.  It makes sense, I suppose, given that they have no phones (cell or otherwise) or email, but I think there's something so beautiful and fun about a handwritten letter.  It's also so fun to receive them.  Think about a person who would love to receive a letter from you and plan a time to write to them.

8.  Make home your happy place.  Being so busy that we're never at home is the exact opposite of simple living.  Why not make home a place you want to be by adding some hygge to your decor, keeping your abode clean and organized, and displaying photos that are precious to you.   

9.  GO OUTSIDE.  Ok, yes, home is now your happy place, but so is the great outdoors.  Seriously!  Even if you're indoorsy like me, there are so many amazing health and mental health benefits to spending time in nature.  Don't believe me?  Go outside for 15 minutes today.  Bundle up if you must, I know it's January.  You can take a cup of coffee out there with you, if you like, or just go for a brisk walk.  Make this a daily habit for one week and see what a difference it makes.  Trust me, you will feel so much more peaceful and energized.  

10.  Have a rotation of simple yet delicious meals you love and keep the ingredients on hand.  Ok, real talk, this is about not making 3809 trips to the grocery store in a week.  This is for me as much as anyone else.  Life would be a whole lot simpler for me if I would meal plan (I'm working on it!), but I'll start with this baby step, and you can too.  Think of three meals that don't require a lot of ingredients (maybe they're even meatless), and buy the ingredients for those meals maybe every other time you go to the store.  Keep your pantry stocked so you have the option to not keep running back and forth to the grocery store, and you can still make a lovely meal to enjoy with your loved ones, or have something to feed unexpected company with, even on short notice.  

Ok, my Besties, have I sold you on simple living yet?  What tips would you add to the list?  Here's to slowing down and making the most of each moment we are given!



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