Simplify Your Life Week Blog #1

For Simplify Your Life week, we are going to look at how to help simplify your mind and your life

5 min read

Oh hey, Darling!

It’s National Simplify Your Life week - I’m not sure who decided on that, but I’d love to take advantage of the opportunity to talk about a few things that I’ve been mulling over on the topic.

When I think of life being overly complicated and needing the antidote of simplicity, the first thing that comes to mind is clutter. So in the spirit of Simplify Your Life week, let’s look at decluttering our minds/lives here today and over here think about ways of decluttering our space.

Modern life can make for muddy waters

Here in the 21st century, we have mile-a-minute lifestyles. Almost by necessity, we find ourselves overwhelmed and swirling. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to be said for the conveniences, abundance and opportunities of today, but there are so many more decisions to be made than during simpler times.

Our minds can get very cluttered with the constant influx of new information, new situations, decisions, turmoil caused by global events, economic ups and downs, and skill sets become irrelevant almost overnight… So intense!

When the overwhelm hits, I like to think of this quote from Alan Watts:

"Muddy waters are best cleared by leaving them alone." Alan Watts The background image is of rippling water

Sometimes, the best thing to do is put it all down. By the time we get stressing about being stressed it’s important to reevaluate everything we’ve got in our swirl and see if there’s anything that can be let go. And that doesn’t mean you have to go on a retreat from your life just to try to get a little perspective (though if you get the chance - a holiday is a wonderful way to get outside of your regular environment and give you a fresher perspective). Most of the time though, it just means setting yourself up to really look at everything that’s clouding your mental waters. This could be taking some time to journal, take a walk, catch up for coffee with a friend, crafting, or anything other activity that lets you take stock of your thoughts.

By the time we get stressing about being stressed it’s important to reevaluate everything we’ve got in our swirl

The glorification of "busy"

Sometimes allowing the muddy waters of your mind to settle reveals that you’ve made yourself overly busy. At the expense of our wellbeing, many of us have made busyness, productivity and stress a badge of honor. 

It makes us feel important to have a full schedule or be able to complain about how many hours we have to work or to make it seem like we have a fulfilled life just because it’s full.

"You don't have to be stressed to be important" Martina Martian The background image is of many colorful post-it notes

At some point, more isn’t better. Sometimes more is just more. You are important regardless of how much you do in a day. Seriously, stop and think about that for a moment. Can you honestly say that you feel important or worthy if you haven’t accomplished something? 

We’ve been a bit programmed to think that the only way to “pass” life is to work - that work is what makes us worthy. In school, we don’t get rewarded for having a great recess, we got grades for the assignments we did. In society, one of the most valued things is money. Most of us only get money when we work. In our culture, we are taught that down-time, self-care, relaxation, and unstructured time needs to be earned by burning out first. 

Decluttering our minds can lead to decluttering our lives from the things that aren’t useful to our wellbeing. We do still need to learn and work, but those aren’t the only things that make you important. Filling your time and your mind with some space that’s just for fun and peace and nothing is good - and it doesn’t make you less important to find yourself enjoying a decluttered life.

Daily habits hold the most potential for decluttering

Sometimes it’s just enough to go back to basics and find the beauty in the routines and simple pleasures of life - like getting into a bed made with freshly washed sheets. When was the last time you really revelled in something so basic and routine? (I do it every Sunday night - I announce it with gusto - “It’s clean-sheet-night!” - and dive into bed, smiling. When’s the last time you smiled just snuggling down into your cosy bed?)

Making your bed with clean sheets may not be a daily thing, though it may be a habit you keep like me (Sunday is laundry day). Daily routines, the things you do everyday, are opportunities to bring a smile into everyday too. You have to or choose to do it everyday, so make it something you enjoy! Declutter your routines and habits from drudgery and spark a fresh perspective in each and every day.

Declutter your routines and habits from drudgery and spark a fresh perspective in each and every day.

What’s something you do or that happens everyday that makes you cringe? Is there something you can do to make it less stressful? Maybe even make you smile? 

  • Tough commute - try creating a bopping playlist or listen to an audio version of your favorite book. 
  • Dirty dishes need washing - buy a dish soap you love the smell of or grab some anti-fatigue matting for in front of the sink so it’s not so hard on your back. 
  • Choosing an outfit for the day feels dull or daunting - upgrade your wardrobe with one or two new items that look, feel and fit great.
"The secret to a simplified life is hidden in your daily routines" The background image has a sleep mask, headphones, a cup of tea and a notebook - items that might be part of a morning routine

You actually do have choices in how you want your daily life to run - but you have to declutter your mind enough to make space and have the stamina to make one more decision.

Simplicity could bring more smiles to your face - looking at one daily habit at a time. I hope you choose a little extra simplicity during this Simplify Your Life week.
With love, Jess

A Thought for Your Thoughts:

Take 2 Minutes - Reflect

What’s the big hurdle of your morning routine? What’s something you could do or buy or integrate into your habits that would make your mornings a better start to each day?

Take 5 Minutes - Research

Want some tips on how to break bad habits and create new ones? Check out this blog on habits that part of a series on how to make real changes in your life.

Take Some Time - Recommended Viewing

A few things that I have used to simplify my morning routine are:

  • Having a smoothie for breakfast - it’s fast and healthy! My recipe is: one banana, ½ avocado, ½ cup blueberries, fill up with oat milk. Whip it all up in a blender. I use this one (affiliate link)
  • I have three go-to, 15-minute workouts that are easy to fit into the morning - yoga, body combat and resistance bands. Resistance bands are actually something I recently discovered I enjoy and are easy to use at home (if you’re interested in starting a resistance workout - check out this workout and these bands to get you started - affiliate link)
  • A gratitude practice - I spend time thinking and talking about what I’m grateful for each morning - it helps frame my attitude toward the day in a positive way. Many people also journal their gratitude - Hustle Darling notebooks are here if you are a paper and pen kind of person, or there are lots of apps that will help you record the things you are thankful for

Could any of these work for you to help simplify your morning?