Life can sometimes get the best of us. One moment we’re learning how to ride a bike, and the next, we’re thrust into paying bills and taking care of others. If you need to give yourself a moment to play catchup, don’t worry – you’re not alone. The list below is about 20 ways to simplify your life and ease into a healthy routine. Don’t rush through this list; start with small changes to create a life filled with more flexibility and less overwhelm.
Remove yourself from unhealthy relationships
You will thank yourself once you’re all well and healed, or even before that when you start to recognize the difference it makes in your life to leave behind what weighs you down. If it’s difficult to remove yourself from these types of relationships, then limit interactions. The less time you spend on relationships that don’t align with your authentic self – the more time you have for yourself.
Set boundaries and say no
People that don’t respect your boundaries either don’t have them or don’t respect you. You aren’t required to be present for everyone all the time. By setting boundaries, you’re choosing to put your needs first. When you make a conscious decision to speak up in situations that don’t serve you and decide to say no instead of wearing yourself thin – then you have the capacity to maintain healthy relationships.
Prioritize self care
Self-care is the best care, and I will shout it from any rooftop. Beware self-care isn’t just bubble baths and chocolate. I want you to dig a little deeper. Get into your feelings. Think about ways to focus on your mental, emotional, physical, and overall wellbeing.
Spend less time talking and more time listening
It’s that simple. Often we listen to others for the sake of it but don’t listen actively. If we stopped trying to relate and instead decided to listen genuinely, we make space for others to be heard. Being an active listener is a great way to nurture healthy relationships. In turn, you will seek to be heard when you’re speaking.
Make Marie Kondo Proud
If you’ve just learned about Marie Kondo – I’m judging, but I’m also a forgiving person. If there’s one thing Marie taught me, it’s that there’s joy in downsizing. Stop collecting everything from old stamps to more shoes. Ask yourself if you absolutely need everything you own (don’t tell me that answer is yes). The Mario Kondo method speaks to only holding onto things that spark joy in your heart and discarding the rest.
Learn to be happy with less
Less is more. If you do some quick googling, you’ll notice that often the folks with the big bucks don’t go around strutting expensive brand names. It doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t do that, but it does mean you’ll be able to save a heck of a lot more money and stop yourself from always wanting more. That’s the thing with having too much; there isn’t an end to your wants. Being happy with less allows you to live simply.
Invest in a crockpot
Did someone say easy meals with little to no effort – you don’t’ have to ask me twice. There are hundreds upon hundreds of recipes available online to get your chef on. I’ve made easy stews, roasts, and spaghetti, all with a little help from my handy crockpot. Imagine coming home to a warm dinner, ready for you to gobble down with a Netflix special. Get yourself a slow cooker and cut your prep time, cook time, and all-around time in half.
Meal prep for 2-3 days at a time
Whether you purchase a crockpot or not – meal prep a few days at a time and cut your time in half. If you meal prep in advance, you have the rest of any given day to do other things, like consume a nice glass of vino while immersing yourself in a warm bath. Spending one-two days a week prepping your food means you don’t have to worry about cooking every day. You can opt to cook your meals in advance or freeze certain food items for future use. Either way, simplify your life by preparing food in advance.
Designate one day a week for house chores
Don’t clean every day – I mean, unless it’s washing dishes, we aren’t creating a science project in our sink. To simplify the amount of time you pick up after yourselves and possibly others, try shifting your big clean days to once a week. This might look like starting early on a Saturday to get as many things done as possible and then doing smaller tasks throughout the week. Simplify your life by any means necessary by prioritizing tasks and spending a day tackling the big ones.
Spend less and save more
I get it; I like spending too. I often think, well, what’s the point of saving all this money when we should be enjoying life. Here’s the thing – it comes down to what you’re spending your hard-earned money on. If you want to go on a life-altering vacation around the world and your paychecks are going to everything but saving for that dream trip – then you need to cut back. After you’ve paid your dues – save the rest of your paycheck. Once you start to prioritize your savings, you’ll be able to make more room for moments in your life that aren’t material.
Wake up an hour earlier everyday
Okay, right, an hour might be a hard pass for most of you. Try waking up 15 minutes earlier every day and slowly transition into an hour. It’s true what they say – the early bird does catch the worm. You might be wondering what to do with an extra hour every day – fair question. Well, just about anything related to personal development and growth. Take your mornings to reflect, exercise, journal, or prepare for your day.
Practice deep breathing
Meditation isn’t easy. I still find myself in my thoughts instead of watching them without judgment, but even if I have a few seconds of uninterrupted silence – I take it. Some days I don’t want to sit in silence and listen to my breathing, but I want to practice mindful breathing. On those days, I practice box breathing. Box breathing is a technique that involves breathing in for four seconds, holding for four seconds, breathing out for four seconds, and holding for four seconds – then repeat. Deep breathing is a way to help you manage stress, anxiety levels and enables you to focus.
Engage intentionally on social media
Social media used to be the bane to my existence. Once upon a time, I would spend countless hours a day on Instagram – trying to grow my following and, in doing so, consuming way too much. Not all content is created equal. I slowly started to resent social media and feel anxious at the thought of another day spent on it. If you find yourself always reaching for your phone, try disabling popups from social media accounts, mute accounts that you don’t vibe with, and unfollow people. Be intentional with the way you spend your time, and you won’t feel drained.
Stop comparing your life to that of others
You’re bound to compare yourself to others, on or off social media. Nobody lives a perfect life. Nobody. People don’t often share their full truths, their daily struggles, and their insecurities all the time. So, when you catch yourself comparing, remember there is so much you don’t know. You have what you need right now. Learn to appreciate the good bits of your life. Not all that glitters is gold.
Learn to prioritize tasks
There is always something to be done. I want you to think of some ways you can prioritize daily tasks. Make a list of everything that requires your attention and prioritize what needs to be done right away and what can wait. Sometimes it might seem that everything needs immediate attention, but I assure you it doesn’t. In prioritizing your week, be mindful of prioritizing yourself.
Be content with the stillness
For some reason, many of us have adapted to a go-go-go life. In other words, we often live a life that requires us to hurry. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why? Not everything requires attention all the time. Sit down. Take a break. Drink a cup of water. Stand outside and breathe in the fresh air. Spend some time staring out the window. Be okay with being still. You might not believe me, but there is clarity in stillness. Be in the here and now.
Work on letting things go
It’s tough to let things go. I know, but there’s a weight off your shoulders that needs lifting, and the only person that can do this is – you. I don’t demand you do it. I simply ask that you try. You deserve a life that allows you to flow where you go. We hold onto things that have hurt us, brought us joy, or all-around agony. Work at your own pace on moving forward without the added burden of yesterday’s weight.
Unsubscribe from emails
If you’re having trouble keeping up with your emails – then get them out of your inbox. Treat your inbox as a sacred space and allow the things that require little effort. If you’re trying to save money, get rid of all those emails that remind you about sales (yes, even that shoe brand you like – it’s got to go). My inbox is reserved for only the things that inspire me, bring me joy, or encourage me to work on myself. Everything else is a hard pass. Start your unsubscribing journey today!
Keep your space clean
If you find it hard to focus, clean up shop. I love waking up to a room where my laundry is put away, the dog toys are in a bin, and my workspace is clutter-free. The great thing about getting rid of things that don’t spark joy is the amount of space it clears up in your home. The less you have, the cleaner your area. To simplify your life, you need to truly live simply.
Do what brings you joy
What sparks joy in your life? Make a list of the things that bring you joy and work on intentionally manifesting those things into your life. Living joyfully comes from practice. Even if you’re current job doesn’t bring you joy – you can still find joy in other areas of your life. Welcome joy.
I hope this post inspired you to try these 20 ways to simplify your life. Even if you implement a few of the items above and make an active effort to work on them, you’ll see that you’re doing yourself a tremendous service. It’s not easy breaking old habits, but it’s one that comes with practice. Wherever you are on your journey, I wish you well.
What are some ways you choose to simplify your life?
Disclaimer: The purpose of my post is to assist people in making changes in their lives through supportive guidance. This blog’s information is based on my life experience and sources credited in each post. By reading my blog, you acknowledge that I am not a licensed psychologist, medical doctor, or health care professional. My services do not replace the care of psychologists, doctors, or other healthcare professionals.
Written by Ilakkiya Maheswaran
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Ilakkiya believes that we are multifaceted beings on a lifelong healing journey. She is a blogger, adventurer and enthusiastic storyteller. She dedicates an invaluable amount of time to self-development and learning. Connect with her on Instagram and visit her website – www.wanderiscalling.com for daily doses of inspiration.