All around me I see people who live busy lives, sometimes because it's a product of that particular season of life, but often it seems there is a false sense of accomplishment or importance in being busy. I think it's good to have space in our lives for quiet and thinking, to just see where the day takes us. Choose to live a slower pace. Decide what's important to you. It really is that simple. It might take some time to make the adjustments but start taking small steps now to work toward your goal. I bet you'll feel the weight just fall from your shoulders.
I receive a lot of comments and emails about living a simpler life. I didn't really set out to slow down, it just started creeping into my daily life and the more it crept in, the more peaceful I felt. I'm a slowly reforming type A. I still have my moments of insanity but I try to find more balance these days.
I believe living a more simple life comes down to three things: reducing stress, managing time and finding joy.
1.) Rid your life of chaos and negativity.
Eliminate the negative as well as the unnecessary things that make you busy but don't add value to your life.
This one has been big for me. I'm a work in progress. I'm trying to cut out negative thoughts about myself and others. It changes my perspective to focus on the positives, while eliminating the negatives in my mind and my home. I invested time organizing my house and try to stay on top of it. I ask myself if I need it or love it (hopefully I answer yes to both), if not, then it goes. The same rules apply to bringing new things home. I limit the magazines I subscribe to and even the TV shows that I DVR. I cleared out my email subscriptions. I limit my time online. Instead of bringing me pleasure, all of that felt like another item on my to do list. I ask myself is this adding to my life? Pinterest? Yes. Obviously! The Bachelor? No! It's different for all of us. When there is too much chaos in my life I can't think. I can't focus. I can't relax.
2.) Be smarter with your time.
There will always be obligations that you can't get out of, but you get to decide how you spend your free time. Choose wisely.
Say no. Sorry, I can't. That's all that is necessary. Then say yes to yourself. Few things make me as anxious as having a calendar full of commitments and appointments. I try to limit myself to one social visit during the week with a friend. I love a day when I don't have to leave the house (I'm an introvert at heart) and try to have 2-3 of them a week. I try to plan my errands so I can do them all in one day. I menu plan, have a laundry day, pay bills twice a month and have a cleaning schedule. I keep tweaking til I find something that works for me. I don't have it perfected yet but I've come a long way.
3.) Feed your soul.
Do more of what makes you happy. Seek out joy. Be inspired.
For me, this changes depending on the day. It could be yoga, a walk through the Village, knitting, having friends over for dinner, reading, creating in my studio, playing games with Em, baking with Maddie, snuggling and watching a movie with my guy. There is no better feeling than waking up excited to live your day.
Here's the thing I've come to realize, when I have less in my life it feels like more. When I put space in my life, I live it more fully. When I live life more fully, it feeds my soul.