“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essentials.
Eliminate the rest.”
- Leo Babauta
A simpler time is something many dreams. We crave simplicity, happiness, and ease of life.
The world seems to be growing more chaotic and moving away from simplicity with each passing year.
Is a simpler life possible in the busy chaos of modern life, or is simplicity lost in the decades past of simpler times?
Do you want a simpler, more mindful life but don’t know where to begin?
These are a few mindful practices that contribute to living a simpler life.
I hope they bring you as much serenity and calm as they get me.
When my children were tiny, if they become overloaded with too much stimulus, say at a birthday party, they would become agitated, agitated, and meltdown. They would need to be removed from the chaos of the party to nap. After an hour or so of rest, they would be all smiles.
A life filled with over-scheduling, always running from one thing to the next, is the opposite of slow, simple life.
If I overload myself with deadlines, meetings, family obligations, and appointments for days, I, too, become agitated, upset, and meltdown. I feel like my minor child is still in me.
I think many of us are this way. We over-schedule our days, leaving no time to slow down and rest and then wonder why we feel anxious, short-tempered, exhausted, and finally burned out.
Just as I would put my children to sleep for a rest when they were feeling overloaded, I recognize the importance of prioritizing rest & downtime for myself.
I block out time throughout my day to recharge. It doesn’t need to be an extended period. A 15-minute break or a long lunch helps relieve some of the pressure.
I plan downtime during the weekend to realign myself with the quiet and calm I crave, recharging before Monday.
This way, I’m not running myself ragged.
Before I can simplify my life, I must first identify what’s most important to me. I am only one person and my time and energy are limited. When I try to do it all, I end up exhausted and frustrated, only to realize I’m not doing my best in any area of my life because I’m spread too thin.
Honoring my heart, I am writing down the things I value above all else. This shows me where to spend most of my time and energy best. If I’m doing something that takes up precious time that means nothing to me, I have to ask myself, “why am I choosing to do them?”
Often my life has been filled with things that I did not value. Now, I see that my time and mental wellness are too essential to burn the light at both ends.
I focus on the things that matter most to me and let go of the things that no longer serve me.
Prioritizing my values and letting go of the rest frees up much mental space and time. With the extra time and space, I can dedicate more of myself to the areas in life I value, like my health and relationships.
We live in a world where many think faster is better. I have found that faster is not always best. It’s only fast.
It is helpful to do activities where I can slow down and take in the world.
Time slows down when I walk. I experience the nuances of life when I walk—the smell of the flowers, the beauty of the sky, the sound of the birds.
I get to step back into a simpler time when I go camping. It’s a form of time travel. There is nowhere to rush off to, no emails to answer, no electric conveniences. Life slows down to its simplest form. I enjoy the sunrise and the magnificent beauty of mother nature with my husband without distractions from the modern world.
To live a simpler, slower life, I need to tune in and cultivate awareness of the present moment. Often, the chatter in my overthinking mind can prevent me from slowing down.
I quiet my mind by practicing meditation daily. Bringing my awareness to my breath teaches my mind to pause.
I practice being in the now by eliminating distractions around me. I turn off the TV in the background to give my full attention to what I’m doing or whom I’m speaking to.
Nothing takes me out of the moment, like a notification coming across my phone or computer. I silence all notifications.
This way, I give my undivided attention to the people and tasks in front of me.
Because my relationships are the things, I hold dearest above all else