10 SIMPLE LIVING TIPS FOR LESS STRESS AND MORE FREEDOM
Simplifying our busy lifestyles to make things easier and less stressful can give us more time to lead full and enriching lives. However, achieving that simpler life isn’t always easy as our lives become increasingly complex. To make it easier for you, check out these 10 simple living tips for less stress and more freedom.
TRYING SIMPLE LIVING FOR YOURSELF
Simple living is all about streamlining and clearing the clutter from your life. Simplifying all the different aspects of our busy lives makes it easier to go about our day. We can get things done and still have more time for ourselves and the important people and things in our lives. A simpler lifestyle can give us less stress and afford us more freedom.
However, a simple life takes a little bit of work to become simple!
Our lives are becoming increasingly complex and finding ways to untangle them can be complicated and daunting!
To make the process easier for you and give you some ideas to really help simplify your life, keep reading for my 10 simple living tips for less stress and more freedom.
A QUICK NOTE ON GETTING STARTED
These are some simple living tips that I’ve found made a difference to me in my own journey to a more simplified life. There are plenty of others and the ones I’ve chosen here might not resonate with everyone. Yet, they’ll hopefully inspire and encourage you to explore what works best for you! It’s a learning process for us all!
Take one aspect at a time, make a few changes and let them settle. Find out what gives you the most benefit and build on it.
Quick tip – Don’t feel compelled to try them all at the same time! Unless you’re super-motivated and adaptable, it may be better to take it step-by-step. You want the changes you make to stick and have impact. You might not be able to keep up if you try to do them all at once!
10 SIMPLE LIVING TIPS FOR LESS STRESS AND MORE FREEDOM
#1 Streamline your home
Everything starts at home. Home is where we come back to at the end of a long day. It’s a safe space where we relax, have fun, entertain and spend time with our family. It’s a haven where we retreat from the world and recharge our batteries ready for the next day.
You want your home to be somewhere that you love to be, not that’s a burden on your time and energy.
You don’t want to be worrying about the state of your home, whether you need to clean it or when to get the next load of laundry on. Instead you want to be thinking about other things and saving your energy for much more fun and fulfilling stuff!
- Get on top of the clutter in your home, find ways to remove the unnecessary items that just take up your space, time and energy. Reduce the amount of stuff that you need to look after, tidy and clean.
- Develop routines for your housework so that the grime and dirty laundry doesn’t build up but gets done, little and often.
Your home will run smoothly and be much easier to look after with minimum effort from you. That means you can spend your time and energy focusing less on maintaining your home and more on developing your life!
#2 Learn to say no
Saying no is like a muscle. It gets stronger with use.
Life is full of demands and shiny things to tempt us or push us into saying yes.
Yet, when you say yes to everything because it all seems important, then nothing is important after all.
The only result is a full diary, more to do and probably more stress and less time for you.
Learn to say no when you’re being pushed to do something you don’t want to do, an invite for something you’d rather not join in with, an extra glass of wine when you’ve had enough, a pretty bag in the shops that you don’t really need to buy.
Saying no takes practice and it also takes discipline.
Focus on why you’re saying no and what you’ll be doing instead, rather than on what you’re missing out on by saying no.
#3 Learn to take care of yourself
Everything happens at home, but it also usually starts with you.
When we’re overloaded, tired out or run down because we haven’t been looking after ourselves, then life seems much more overwhelming and tough.
It’s amazing how little niggles become frustrations. Frustrations that aren’t dealt with can turn into resentment and anger which is definitely not the way to lead and love a simple life!
Self-care and putting yourself first isn’t about being selfish. It’s about learning to find ways to empower and strengthen yourself, physically and emotionally, so you can be there for everyone who needs you.
Thinking of it like that certainly helped me get to grips with the idea of self-care being far from selfish! In fact, I now understand that if I don’t find a little time for myself then I’m a grumpy mum, wife, employee and person. Full stop!
There are plenty of simple ways to take care of yourself. Just small changes here and there to your daily routine can really help keep you strong.
They don’t have to add to your To Do list and you needn’t feel guilty for letting them take you away from other, supposedly ‘more important’ things.
If you’re struggling to get started or just need some encouragement, support and ideas, check out my 20 ways in 20 days Self-Love Challenge.
#4 Practice gratitude
Gratitude is fast becoming one of my favourite simple living tips.
Gratitude is something that we so often overlook but I believe it has a fundamental role in determining our happiness in life.
Are you happy? Would you like more clothes? More money? A bigger house? More shoes? More friends?
If the answer is yes, have you thought about what happens when you get these things? Will you be wanting more? Bigger? Better?
If we’re being honest, I think many of us wish we had something different because the grass is always greener on the other side!
Well, what about spending time looking after your own grass and seeing if that makes you happy.
Instead of wishing for more of what you haven’t got, be happy and grateful for what you have now.
- Think about 5 things you’re grateful for in life.
- The things that make you smile and get out of bed each morning.
- Things that you wouldn’t want to be without.
Focus on them, prioritise them regularly. Feel more content with these 5 things to enrich your life instead of being envious of the things that you don’t have but wish you had. You might not really want them anyway!
#5 Identify your priorities
There’s one thing about simplifying life that I hadn’t appreciated until I was a way into my own journey.
When you’re trying to get rid of the clutter, it’s part and parcel of the process that you have to work out what that clutter is. In identifying the clutter, you’re kind of forcing yourself to prioritise and work out what’s important.
In the past I would have said that everything is important, otherwise why would it be in my life? But actually, when I really think about it, there are very few things that are truly, deeply important. My kids, my family, my health and happiness, my relationships, my time and the legacy I’d like to leave for the world.
My priorities might change over time, but essentially these are what drives me onwards every day.
Identifying these priorities makes my life a lot simpler.
I focus on doing things that honour these priorities and do something towards them every day if I can. The rest of what I thought was important in life takes a back seat and I don’t clutter my brain, heart or time with the things that don’t matter so much.
#6 Create space in your diary
One of the main motivating factors for me in simplifying my own life was that I wanted more time. Not necessarily more time to fit things in, but just more time for me, my kids, my family and my sanity!
I wanted to do less, be less busy, less stressed out because I was always chasing my tail. I craved more free time, more down time that wasn’t filled with a list of things to do and places to be.
I wanted to have time to explore new opportunities, read books, play with my kids, watch mindless TV, take a nap.
This tip is way down the list but really it should be near the top. One of the most impactful ways of creating less stress and more freedom for yourself is by creating space in your diary.
- Stop overbooking, underestimating how long things take, committing to everything.
- Forget FOMO (fear of missing out!), learn to say no (see above), be intentional (see below).
- Create space in the form of free time. Carve out blocks of time when you don’t have to be anywhere or do anything apart from what you feel like doing at that particular moment.
- Keep it simple, uncomplicated and go with the flow.
#7 Delegate, automate and organise
This is one of my favourite simple living tips! Make your life easier and therefore a little simpler by taking away some of those routine tasks. Here are some ideas…
- Walking the dog
- Paying bills by direct debit
- Order your grocery shop online
- Set reminders and alerts on your phone
- Your paper filing system
- Your emails
- The medicine cabinet/box, pantry/larder/food cupboards, make-up and toiletries
These are just some ideas…
Look around your home and check your diary. Think about the things in your life that you need, require or use often and ways you can make them easier and simpler.
#8 Simplify your wardrobe
We make dozens of decisions every day. Some little, some enormous. Some internet sources estimate that an adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions each day which is a lot of decisions!
One of the first decisions of our day is what we’re going to wear. We throw open the wardrobe doors and often look for inspiration, only to be confronted with too much choice, too little that we actually want to wear and not enough time to give it some careful thought. The result is confusion, stress and throwing on something similar to what we wore yesterday! Sound familiar?
I’m the first one to admit I’m no style guru but I do like to look put together and vaguely looking nice. It makes me FEEL better for the day ahead if I think I LOOK ok.
One of the first simplifying projects I undertook and the one that still makes a big difference to me every day, is simplifying my wardrobe.
By getting rid of the clothes I never wore, curating a wardrobe full of clothes that I loved to wear and felt good in, finding my signature style and stopping buying random stuff just because it was in the sales, I learnt that less truly can be more.
My wardrobe is smaller but I know everything in it is just right for me. All the pieces coordinate with each other and I can pull an outfit together in the space of minutes.
That’s one less difficult decision made in my day. And, more time to do other things and stress less each morning. Bingo!
If you’d like to give it a go for yourself, try these resources:
- 10 easy steps to declutter your wardrobe
- How to simplify your wardrobe and love your clothes
- Make Your Wardrobe Work For You – the workbook
#9 Listen to yourself
As one of my simple living tips I can’t stress this one enough although it might not seem the most practical way of simplifying your life!
Believe in your mind, body and heart. If they’re telling you something isn’t right, listen. Make changes, try something new, ditch an old habit, learn a new skill, give up something.
A simple life is a freer, flexible one. Make your life as uncomplicated as it can be by decluttering, minimalizing, organising, planning, cutting back and streamlining.
The purpose of this is not just to see how simple you can make things, but it allows space for you to listen to what you need and want in life.
Personal growth, self-development, time for family, making memories, living life to the full. These are the ultimate aims of simplifying your life but to make that happen for you, you need to listen to yourself.
Ask you yourself some searching questions, for example…
- What do you need?
- What makes you happy?
- What inspires you?
Once you listen to yourself then you can identify your priorities, what’s important and what’s not.
#10 Get outdoors
Whenever I need to find calm, peace or clarity I go for a walk. I take a few minutes, striding out in the fresh hour.
Moving my body, having time to reflect and think, makes me work through the thoughts in my head.
Nature has such a calming influence on me. It helps me put small problems into perspective, helps me work through big problems and simplifies my jumbled thoughts so I can take easy, effective and strategic action.
Try a walk today, even for just 5 minutes, and let me know how you find it!
Of course, if walking isn’t your thing, try running, karate, yoga, meditation, reading – anything you enjoy which calms and grounds you. Go back to basics, do more of what makes you happy and keep it simple and sustainable.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS
If you have any other tips or thoughts to share on these 10 simple living tips, please drop them in the comments!