In this modern age, we are constantly bombarded with messages that try to convince us that consuming more things and experiences leads to a better life. It's enough to leave you feeling dissatisfied and overstimulated.
Living a simpler life can be a remedy for overconsumption and overstimulation. Here are 10 simple living tips that can help you live a simple life so you can focus on what matters most.
10 Simple Living Tips.
If it doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life. - Unknown
The first thing you want to do is get rid of stuff you don’t need. The most difficult part of purging is probably letting go of things you're emotionally attached to.
Buying things and experiences used to give me a thrill. Naturally, I wanted to consume more because it felt good. However, I noticed that the feeling was always fleeting.
Trying to hold on to it gave me anxiety because it became the center of my attention. Once I realized that I didn't need to keep consuming to feel content and happy, I was able to let go.
If you make it a regular practice, simplicity can feel liberating because once you let go, you can be more present with the people and things around you. You might even notice that things you once found enjoyable are now just distractions.
Go through your clothes closet first and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in over a year. Then pull out all the ones that don’t fit. Lastly, if the piece of clothing has a hole in it, and you haven’t worn it in a while, you should probably get rid of it.
Once you’re done with your closet, you’ll have all the basic tools you need to tackle the rest of your home. You can start anywhere you like.
Just remember that it’s easier said than done to declutter and it's going to take some time to organize your whole house. Give yourself some kindness and patience. If there are certain items that you just can’t bear to part with, hold off on them until you’re ready to let go.
I have an emotional attachment to some of my things, so I know how hard it can be to let go. Just know that once you’re ready to let go of your stuff emotionally, you’ll be able to move forward and feel liberation over the things that are taking up precious space in your home and your mind.
3. Prioritize To Simplify.
If you want to simplify your life, setting priorities is a great place to start. To set priorities, you have to make a list of personal core values to help you make decisions.
Values are what's most important to you. Some examples are freedom, loyalty, and adventure. Pick 1 to 3 values that resonate most with you right now.
Identifying your core values will allow to you to prioritize the things that are most important to you so you can control how you spend your precious time and resources.
4. Create A Simple Morning & Evening Routine.
A routine can help simplify your life and automate it so you can stay focused on the things that you value the most.
Here is what my morning routine looks like:
- Meditate for 20 minutes.
- Journal and read for 30 minutes.
- Get dressed.
- Exercise for 20 minutes.
- Eat breakfast.
- Brush my teeth.
This is my evening routine:
- Clean up the kitchen.
- Go over my planner for tomorrow.
- Check on the kids’ homework.
- Watch TV with my husband for an hour.
- Brush and floss my teeth.
- Sleep for 7-8 hours.
Before I had a routine, I used to waste a lot of time surfing the internet and social media. I rarely had time to do the things that I really wanted to, like exercising, journaling, or reading a good book.
I had to prioritize the things that mattered to me to simplify my life in a way that best supported me and my family. Having a solid routine may take some time to create in the beginning, but it's worth the effort because your day will flow much easier and with more intention.
5. Practice Gratitude.
Gratitude will open up your life to more abundance without adding anything that you don’t need. I remember when I challenged myself to write a gratitude journal every day for 30 days because I heard about all the benefits but was a bit skeptical about it.
What surprised me most after just a few days was looking forward to the little things in my life that I took for granted before.
They were things like drinking my coffee slowly in the morning, enjoying a piece of chocolate by myself, and even the journaling process itself.
Practicing gratitude regularly can help you resist temptation the next time you want to buy something on impulse so you're less likely to collect things that you don't need.
6. Remove Or Limit Your Distractions.
A distraction can be anything that takes your attention away from something that needs your focus.
Distractions can clutter up your mind, steal away your time, and even cause you distress.
My biggest distraction is social media. I used to check my social media feed first thing in the morning and right before I went to bed.
When I asked myself why it was so addicting, I discovered I was afraid of missing out. I didn’t want to be left out of conversations or the interesting lives that other people seemed to be leading on social media.
One tool you can try to eliminate or reduce distraction is a digital detox. You can pick any device that is most distracting to you, such as your cell phone, and choose a particular day and time you would like to do your detox.
I like to do my digital detox once a week to give myself a break from social media, the news, and my email. However you choose to go about it, you’ll simplify your life by removing distractions while leaving room for meaningful experiences.
7. Trust Your Instinct.
Trusting your gut, or instinct, can help you lead a simpler life by reducing mental clutter. It's a way of turning inward, rather than outward, for answers that align with your core values and beliefs.
One thing I used to do quite often was ruminate, which caused me anxiety and stress. I used to overanalyze everything in my life. My mind would create worst-case scenarios and my body would often react with a corresponding negative emotion like fear.
This became a huge problem because it made it difficult to function normally. So I used meditation & mindfulness to help decrease my stress and constant thinking.
Once I got the hang of meditation & mindfulness, I started to listen to my inner wisdom rather than look to other people and resources to solve my issues.
It can be hard to trust your instinct sometimes because it's not a guaranteed solution to your problems or concerns. However, it might be a helpful tool to simplify your life so that it may lead to an answer that is right for you.
8. Practice Slowing Down.
Slowing down can help you simplify your life because it forces you to go easy on yourself, take a pause, and just be. This is particularly helpful if your life is fast-paced and you need a breather every now and then.
Slow living is simple living because you’re putting on the brakes physically and mentally. When there’s less physical activity and less noise going on in your head, there’s more "empty" space. And where there is more "empty" space, there's more room for your life to flow.
By slowing down, you’re making more time for rest and creativity. You allow yourself to take time for yourself and relax so you can recharge and show up with a fresh perspective and new energy.
9. Have Healthy Boundaries.
Putting up personal boundaries may help to simplify your life. For instance, when you say yes to someone but you really mean no, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and the other person.
You're giving your time and energy away when you didn't want to in the first place. Not only that, you can build unpleasant emotions inside such as resentment, anger, & frustration.
Saying no to others is also saying yes to a simpler and more enjoyable life. Other people might not like it at first, but if they cared about you, they would understand and respect your boundaries.
10. Practice Self-Care.
Simple living is just as much about self-care as it is about getting rid of extra stuff. When you practice self-care, you put the focus on yourself, which is itself a tool for living a simpler life.
When you take good care of yourself, you feel better about yourself and it can put you in a more balanced and harmonious state.
Last Thoughts On Simple Living.
Simple living is about eliminating what is extraneous in your life to make it feel less cluttered and complicated. Living a simple life is not just about getting rid of possessions.
It's about making room for the things that matter most to you like spending time with your loved ones or doing things that bring you joy. Having more joy in your life can lead to more happiness because you're focused on the things that bring meaning & satisfaction.
Bonus Tips To Live A Simpler Life.
If you want to simplify & create more meaning in your life, read the article, How to unplug and disconnect in 10 simple ways.
Check out this helpful post, A simple formula for living a happier and meaningful life, if you want a simple guide & a free printable to help you find more balance, joy, and purpose.
I hope you found these tips for living a simpler life helpful. If you have any tips for simple living that you'd like to share, please let me know in the comments!