Ways to live more simply

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I recently read a blog post by Tyson Popplestone that resonated with me. It was about 30 ways to simplify your life. Whist I try to do many of these things, it’s a good reminder to come back to.

The ones I find particularly useful are:

  • Say ‘no’ sometimes.
  • Check email, Facebook and news once or twice a day. Not multiple times during the day, or as soon as I wake-up or before going to bed.
  • De-clutter – home and desk at work.
  • Establish routines – I’ve written about this before and how establishing something as  a routine means we don’t have to keep making a decision to do something. We’ve already made-up our mind in advance.
  • Live frugally – consider purchases and choose quality over quantity.
  • Don’t allow debt.
  • Consider what is ‘enough’ for you. I like to remind myself that I have enough sometimes when my mind is craving.
  • Meditate, do yoga, walk.
  • Eat simply – natural foods.
  • Take a day-off from media.
  • Give everything a place.
  • Stop multi-tasking.
  • Take an annual retreat – or three or four in my case!

The Top 20 Happiness-Boosting Strategies, Ranked By Science

The Top 20 Happiness-Boosting Strategies, Ranked By Science Hero Image

I was reading this blog post by Doctor Joel Almeida, and wanted to save it as a few things jumped out at me and reminded me of some of the work I’ve done with my therapist this year.

  • If you’re in an unfortunate predicament, change it or accept it. Then go on with the rest of your life. Don’t get trapped by rumination about what’s wrong with your life.
  • Know which direction you’d like to travel in life and how you can start. You don’t need to see the whole journey or worry about crossing bridges until you’re in front of them. All you need is a general sense of direction, determined by what you most value, and to know the next step in that direction.
  • Exercise and take care of your physical health.
  • Ask for and accept support. Do the same for others.
  • Meditate and seek support from your beliefs e.g. listening to dharma talks or reading books.
  • Be more active in your leisure time – it’s good to relax but too much watching TV and sitting on the sofa isn’t helpful.

Letting it out

I’ve been reading ‘Let it out – a journey through journaling‘ by Katie Dalebout and wanted to share some of the exercises that I’m finding useful.

Get going

  • This is the best advice I’ve read for ages – make mornings something to look forward to – rather than wanting to press snooze. Get up even 10 minutes earlier to read, drink tea, listen to music, a podcast or TED talk. Journal – do anything that doesn’t feel like work and write plans down if it helps me to commit. Remember that I don’t have to do it all, or even the same thing everyday. Mix it up depending on how I feel and what is needed at that time.
  • I’ve also found this advice really useful and have been able to put it into practice a few times – get back on the wagon no matter what the time of day. Ask ‘what are three things I can accomplish before the end of the day?’ For me usually there are small things like washing up, changing my sheets, doing some admin etc but I go to bed with a sense of achievement and don’t feel like the whole day was a write-off.

Get organised

  • Pencil self-care into my diary, especially to compensate for non-negotiable commitments that I’m not looking forward to.
  • I’ve started writing a to-do list for the next day so I don’t go to bed thinking about things.

Find presence

  • Katie writes about a ‘joy jar’ however I kind of already do that with my gratitude journal. I did remind me though of my memory box that if filled with lots of lovely cards, photos, trinkets etc from loved ones, and also an album my mum gave me of photos from when I  was born until a couple of years ago. I need to remember to get it out when I’m feeling low and need cheering up, or to feel a sense of connection.

There are so many suggestions in the book and I’m not even half-way through, but these are the things that feel like they have the most potential to make the difference to me at the moment.