5 Ways to Simplify Life
5 Ways to Simplify Life Right Now
Ever think want to just simplify life? Every summer I plan to spend more time doing fun summer things like hanging out in the swing bed on our porch or scouting out new paddleboard spots. Then September rolls around I always feel like I didn’t do enough of either. And I also didn’t eat enough homemade salsa or read enough books or go for enough twilight bike rides. Now more than ever, slowing down and really enjoying life is of growing importance to people. I asked my most relaxed friends to share their secrets for a slower, happier summer. Here’s what they said:
Savor Your Mornings – Katey says her entire life changed when she finally had the audacity to not start working until 10:00 a.m. every weekday. No phone calls, no email checking, no getting an early start on spreadsheets. Instead, she gets up early (as usual) but she now gives herself an hour to walk the dog (before it gets hot and the house gets busy), thirty minutes to sit on the porch with coffee and relax or plan her day, and another hour as a stress-free buffer for whatever her family needs to get their days started. By putting her well being and the well being of the people she loves first, she says she approaches her work life later, but with noticeably more energy, peace, and gratitude.
Keep a Nature Journal – Paul tells me that his grandfather kept a daily journal that chronicled all the things he saw in nature. He noted the weather, the birds he saw, and if he saw anything out of the ordinary. When Paul took up the practice out of nostalgia, he said he instantly became more aware of the amazing things happening all around him.
Take Social Media Apps off Your Phone – We love social media – it helps us keep up with what friends are doing and with what’s happening in the community. However, it’s tempting to fill every empty moment checking to see if anything better is happening somewhere else. Try deleting social media apps from your phone and sticking to checking in once a day (or less) from your laptop. You’ll find you enjoy being more present.
Make Meals a Big Deal – Karen returned from a trip through France and Italy with the revelation that the emphasis on food was her favorite part of the trip. She use to be in the “cook once, eat all week” camp, but she has since switched to savoring the time she spends cooking, tempting her friends to indulge in two-hour lunches when they meet, and regularly inviting friends and neighbors to drop by for simple, communal meals whenever they can. Interestingly, even though she’s spending more time thinking about food and hanging out at the table, Karen says she naturally eliminated all processed food and has actually lost weight without trying.
Play Hooky – William says that in summer he gives himself permission to get out of his work routines. A cool, breezy day is a good excuse to take a vacation day and kayak his favorite river without the weekend crowds. He also sees a rainy afternoon as a good excuse to cut out early and watch the storm from his porch. His theory is that summer comes with some special moments that happen on their own time – his goal is to not let those moments pass by just because they happen during work hours.
If you’re slowing down this summer and you have tips, please share them with your fellow bed swing aficionados on our Facebook page!