Life has certainly thrown us a few curve balls this past year or so. Some might even describe it as a complicated mess. And yet, while there is so much we can’t control in our lives today, there are still areas of life we can take control of. Here are 10 ideas on how you can simplify your life right now to reduce stress and create space for yourself and your things.
- Get rid of stuff you don’t need. Whether it’s books you thought you would read but never got around to, or clothes that haven’t fit you in years, releasing the stuff that no longer serves you will free up mental space as much as it will the physical space.
- Stop buying new stuff. Unless you are getting rid of something to make space for something new, ask yourself if you really need this new thing. A year of zoom meetings, zero travel and minimal social interaction has taught me that I need a lot fewer clothes than I own.
- Look at how you are spending your time. Are you minimizing your time on social media or has it become all-consuming? Has the coronavirus caused you to become a workaholic so all you do is eat, sleep and work? Make sure you carve some time for other things that may be important to you like exercise, family and me time.
- Be more intentional and planful. Really stop and think about how you’d like your day or week to go. Plan ahead and create routines that help you get through the day or week. With so many of us working from home now, it’s not always easy to separate the work demands from getting chores completed. I subscribe to a weekly fruit and vegetable service that delivers local farm fresh produce to my door once a week. It helps me ensure a well-balanced diet, reduces trips to the grocery store and allows me to focus on work priorities during the day.
- Practice mindfulness. Be present with your thoughts and your actions. That includes focusing on one thing at a time, resisting the urge to multi-task. Also, stop ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Stay in this moment, and seize this opportunity.
- Prioritize important tasks and get them done first. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by urgent activities that may or may not be important. By focusing on what’s important first, you can schedule a time to complete the task or get it done right away. Unfortunately, we can’t take back the time we’ve already lost focusing on the wrong activity or spending too much time on something that really wasn’t that important.
- Simplify your digital life too. Get rid of the programs you aren’t using on your computer but are slowing it down. Declutter the emails in your inbox by reading, actioning, then deleting, or archiving them. Organize your digital music, pictures and other electronic files into folders for easy access.
- Create a filing system for your bills and personal affairs. If you haven’t yet, set up internet banking and pay your bills online. Set up files for important documents that can be easily accessed when needed. A few weeks ago, I had to pull out an old invoice because our roof leaked and thankfully the roof repair was covered by a 10-year warranty.
- Budget your finances. Make sure you know what is coming in and what is going out of your bank accounts. Many people don’t even know how much they spend in any given month. Track your expenses to find money leaks and get a handle on your spending. Paying off credit cards in full every month is a good habit that will save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars over time.
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude. Everyday identify at least 3-5 things you are grateful for. Write them down and say them out loud. Taking the time for self-reflection is both relaxing and fulfilling.
Once you are able to simplify your life and reduce the unnecessary stress, you’ll find it easier to enjoy your free time and even find activities that bring you great satisfaction. Make simplifying your life a goal and enjoy the journey of eliminating, reorganizing and reprioritizing the things you can control in your life.
If you would like some additional support reducing stress or simplifying your life, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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