In recent years, I have had a deep internal push to live a more simple life. This desire was further fueled by a life threatening illness. I found myself having this increasing need to get rid of ‘stuff’ and by that I mean clutter, distractions, things and actions that is not adding value to my life or creating stress or ‘noise’.
I became vigilant at getting rid of clothes and other household items by donating to charities which I am still doing on a regular basis. I am also selling things I don’t need for a small price. Giving the stuff I don’t need to those that need it has been quite a rewarding experience – a win-win.
Over time, I am learning more and more ways to de-clutter and simplify my life and it feels bloody great!!. It fits in perfectly with my goal to live a more , fulfilling and peaceful life. In the process, I have also become a lot more environmentally conscious. These days, I not only getting rid of stuff, I am shopping a lot less – only buying things I really need and where possible environmentally friendly.
Since I no longer have the six figure corporate salary, but very little income from my yoga/meditation classes, it makes sense to spend less. The more we earn, the more we spend (on things that we don’t really need). In my experience, not having a lot of money also makes you creative at coming up ideas to spend more wisely.
I want to share the following ideas that has been helping me to simplify my life and make it more enjoyable:
- De-clutter the home – get rid of all items you don’t really need or use. Donate/Sell to those in need. This helps create space in the house, easier to clean, less stress from things not getting lost and creating more mental peace. You don’t need 10 handbags, 30 shoes, 50 kitchen utensils etc.
- Organise – this is my key goal for 2019. Having always had lots of mental clutter and home clutter, I’m known to be absent-minded and always loosing things. Once you de-clutter the mind/home/life, start organising. I aim to have a place for everything at home where it is always put back. Over time, my home, my car, my mind, my life is starting to feel cleaner, clearer and more satisfying. I still have a way to go but I am getting there. Don’t stress yourself to do all this overnight. I caused myself stress just by trying to declutter a lot in short amount of time. Aim to declutter bit by bit every week. Set a goal that doesn’t feel overwhelming. Everything I suggest is about reducing stress and not creating more stress.
- Reduce Commitments – I used to be the type of person that had to be very busy to feel productive. I used to have multiple events/catch-ups in a day running around like a headless chook. Now with my goal of slowing down, I choose my commitments wisely (prioritize) which allows me to be more relaxed and in the present moment. For someone with high anxiety levels, this is very helpful.
- Slow Down – ties in with above, this is my big on-going goal. This will benefit you enormously physically, mentally and spiritually. Slowing down and being in the present moment is one of the most important ways to create a happier, more fulfilling and healthier life.
- Spend wisely – buy things that you really need or really desire that you will make a good use out of. This will also reduce financial stress which is one of the big stressors of modern life and killer of marriages and health. Where possible, look at environmentally friendly products. Our environment has suffered a lot over time due to consumerism.
- Paying of all debts – allows you the freedom to live the way you want rather than work like a donkey to pay for the big mortgage, car etc for the rest of your life.
- Regular detox from technology – I admit to having been addicted to social media. Take regular breaks from social media/emails etc. Your self-esteem should never depend on the number of likes or outside validation.
- Un-subscribe – this is my recent big one. I finally found some time to un-subscribe all my emails/text/social media from all things that I don’t feel is helpful for me. It’s awesome not having to delete a million emails etc. A big time saver. This also may mean to unfriend or cut off relationships that is draining you or is toxic to you. From a spiritual perspective, there is lessons to be learnt from all difficult experiences so before you cut people off, ask what the person is trying to teach you first (also we should also always look at our own actions first).
- Cut down on TV/News – I no longer watch news. I find it feeds negativity. It is best to focus on the positives of this world (some news are relevant but most you can do without). I no longer watch TV but Netflix (low cost) when I feel like a break. You don’t need to sit through ads etc.
- Spend more time with nature /find free activities – it is true what they say – best things in life are for free. When we spend less time on things that create stress and negativity, you have more time to spend on experiences that are positive and uplifting for the body, mind and soul e.g. hiking, gardening, playing outdoors, painting, dancing, swimming, surfing, etc.
- Spend time with real people (and what’s really important) rather than on social media. Ties in with above. Most of us spend more time on social media than people in real life e.g. our own family. Spend time on what/who is really important. I’ve learnt through a serious illness what is really important in life. Don’t wait until you are dying to really live (fully).
- De-clutter mentally – this is another big one for me being someone with high standards and old habit of being tough on myself. Become aware of your thoughts, get rid of negative self talks – be kind and gentle with yourself instead. Overthinking has always been one of my worst traits. Don’t think too much or make things more complicated than they are. Use your intuition to guide you. With mediation and slowing down, I have learnt to access the higher intelligence/intuition within me to help me make decisions. When the mind is calm, you get more clarity and can make wise decisions as opposed to a stressed out, full (over-thinking) mind.
- Self – reflection – regularly ask yourself how you are creating more stress in your life. Reflect on your own actions/thoughts and how they are contributing to your stress levels. Make it a goal to reduce/change it.
- Create a morning ritual which allows for calmness and peace. Having quiet space in the morning to do your favourite/helpful things makes the rest of the day more enjoyable/peaceful e.g. meditation, journaling, watching a sunrise, jogging, slowing sipping cup of coffee etc.
These are effective ways I am making my life easier. I would love to hear from you on how you are creating a simpler, happier life for yourself.
I’ll leave you with the saying – you can earn money back, get your health back but time lost is lost forever, so let’s choose to spend our time more wisely.