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This year as we approach the holidays I’ve been thinking about how we used to celebrate each year in the small suburban town that I grew up in. And as I was talking with family about how we celebrated the holidays, we talked about how things were much more simple during that time. And we talked about how much busier and crazier things are now. This showed me that most people need to simplify their lives.
It’s hard to find magic in the chaos of modern-day life. We have constant demands on our time and attention. That prevents us from slowing things down and living in the moment. In the past it certainly prevented me from nurturing my body, mind, and spirit…and maybe that’s an issue for you too.
Most people nowadays spend a lot of time feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and exhausted…and that’s not a great way to live. It becomes even more of a problem because that level of stress in the body will become a chronic illness.
One of the best ways to create a balanced life is to get back to simplicity. When we slow down and cut back on the clutter and chaos, we allow ourselves to be surrounded by less energy that can weigh us down. That allows us time to create magical moments and experience the magic around us.
Here are twelve ways that you can simplify your life
Spend less time with technology
Let’s face it, technology has become a major obsession for most people these days. Smartphones, laptops, tablets…all create information overload. And many people are addicted to their gadgets! I had that issue myself a few years ago. When I went on a cruise, I decided not to use my phone because calling from the ship was so expensive! So I stashed my phone in the safe for the duration of the cruise. I went through withdrawal at first. I actually got anxious because I didn’t know what to do without my phone. But after a day, I got used to it and it became really nice to not be so connected. So limiting the time you spend engaged with technology will give you more free time to be present in the world…and we all need more of that!
Stop the social media scrolling to simplify
Do you pick up your phone to check social media first thing in the morning? Is your phone the last thing you look at before you go to sleep? Have you ever checked your social media while at a red light in your car? If you are constantly reaching for your phone throughout the day, then you may be losing a lot of time scrolling on social media. Social media can be a serious time thief. You find yourself scrolling your FB timeline and before you know it, 45 minutes have gone by. Do that several times a day and you could find yourself having to make up that time elsewhere. Or giving up time when you could be doing things that lift you up, nurture you and that mean more to you.
Turn off the television
The average American watches about 4 hours of live television a day. Americans also watch an additional hour and a half a day of programming on services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. So for many Americans, most free time is dedicated to sitting in front of a screen watching television shows or movies. Limiting television viewing simplifies your life by giving you more of your time back to do things that have more meaning in your life.
How much time do you spend clearing out your email inbox each day? There are most likely some newsletters and marketing that you receive regularly that you automatically hit the trash button. Instead of sending it to trash, decide which email subscriptions no longer hold your interest and unsubscribe. It will help to simplify your inbox. You can use a service like Unroll.me to make it easier to unsubscribe to unwanted newsletters.
Learn to say no to make things easier
People-pleasing has become a way of life for most people. We want to please others to gain their approval. But this need for approval often leads people to say yes when they really want to say no. They wind up doing things that they either don’t want to do or don’t really have time to do. It can lead to the overwhelm of having too much on their plate. But it’s okay to learn to say no more often to things that you don’t have time for or don’t want to do.
How do you handle requests for your time? When someone asks if you are available to help with something, tell them that you need to check your calendar. That prevents you from automatically saying yes. And it allows you the time without feeling pressure to check in with yourself. Then you can see if you actually do have the time to help out. You can then call, message or email the person who asked to let them know if you’re available.
Doing these 5 simple things can not only simplify your life, but they can help to take some stress off of you as well! And it’s important for you to show yourself some self-love and kindness by letting go of overwhelm! You deserve better in your life!