I started this post series in January with the post On the way to Simple Living: Intro.
Now, after 16 posts, you know how I´ve changed my life during the last 4 years. And how it has affected to my and my family’s wellbeing.
It´s time for the last post now. It’s going to be a list of things that I see important when seeking simpler way of life.
So, here we go…
1. Keep your focus on YOU
There are a lot of opinions what you should and what you shouldn’t do to feel better and be happier. It´s always worth to listen to good advices. But remember, it’s you who are the most important person to listen to. You ask and answer to the questions on your way to better natural wellbeing.
You are the specialist of your life and your body & mind. You know the best what makes you feel good and what´s not. So, if you love crafts and hate sports, then make more time to crafts. And vice versa.
2. Mind your mind
Things in our mind, have enormous effect on our wellbeing and happiness – either positive or negative. Our ways of thinking, our attitude, our skills to process emotions and experiences, our ability to accept and to let go. All those things affect how full our heads and lives are.
The less reasons we have to be anxious for, the better we feel naturally in our body & mind. And the less material things we need to feel good. That´s why practicing our mind is as important -or even more important- than practicing our body on our way to more balanced life.
3. Start from the basics
When we start simplifying our life we often think what we can throw away. Yes, simplifying means less stuff but it means also going back to basics; eliminating meaningless material and immaterial things from our life so that we can sleep enough, eat without hurry and have time to exercise enough. We often forget things that we can´t see. So, when you’re giving up useless stuff, make sure to use that extra time you gain for sleeping enough and eating well!
4. Remember that changing is never easy
Simplifying life has a lot to do with habits. It´s about getting rid of the bad habits and learning new, better habits. We often criticize ourselves when we fail to break our habits. Why? Breaking the habit isn´t easy for no one and being hard on yourself makes it even more difficult. That´s why learning more encouraging and positive way of talking to yourself is important in making the change possible.
5. Hold on to the positive progress and steps forward
When you start to change your life and yourself, there are days when you make progress and days when you face setbacks. It´s natural to get depressed about setbacks, but they´re not the reason to quit trying. See the steps you’ve taken forward. Teach yourself to notice the tiniest signs of positive change. They help you to keep your head up.
6. Have compassion for yourself
Simplifying is about emotions too. We get attached to things even if we wouldn’t want to. Stuff at our home is not just stuff. There are lot of feelings and memories attached to material things. That´s why it´s very human to feel difficult to throw something away. Learning self-compassion helps you to have more self-empathy. You understand better why it may be hard for you to let go of things at your home. And inside your head.
7. Find the balance
When we start to change our life we easily focus on one thing, go to extreme with it and forget about all the other things. That´s why learning to keep your eye on the big picture and taking all the elements of your life and wellbeing into account is important. It helps you to find the balance. Asking yourself a question WHAT IS ENOUGH? is a great way to seek balance.
8. Practice relaxation
The tempo of modern life is fast. To cope in this kind of world we´ve learned to multitask and do things faster. It has helped us to achieve many good things but also to suffer. Do we have skills to relax our body & mind totally? To breathe deep? And to just be present? We need those skills to stop the hurry and stress. Learn to calm down your body & mind and you´ll notice that you’re able to live more mindful and relaxed life, naturally. You may even notice that you actually need less to be well and happy.
9. Share and have support
Simplifying life is like loosing your weight; it´s easier when you have company, someone who supports you. So if you, for example, find it difficult to cut down your screen time, tell it to your friend. Sharing your thoughts and hearing what your friends think help you to feel better. Sharing helps you to realize that you´re not alone and that most of us struggle with the same kind of things in life.
10. Do it slow, make it enjoyable
Maybe the biggest mistake that you can make when starting to change your life is to decide that now I will change everything at once and for all! It´s a pretty sure way to fail, get depressed and not achieve any progress in the long run. Remember, if you’ve been living the same way for years, it´s natural that it takes a lot time and work to change it.
The best way to make permanent changes is to take it slow. Be patient and start putting your plans into action one small thing or thought at a time. Proceed slowly and with small steps. Let the changes you make fall into your life smoothly and naturally. And remember to stop once in a while and enjoy the progress you’ve made!
Thank you all who have followed this blog series! I hope I´ve been able to give you some inspiration and useful ideas to seek better balance in your life. Good luck on your way to living simply and feeling better!
I will continue working with my life. So far, simplifying my life has meant a lot of positive changes in our family life. All worth of the hard work they’ve required. I’m ready to see what kind of changes the future will bring!