Is living a simple life better?

Is a simple life better?  Is it ok to live a simple life? Or should we be trying to keep up with the world, growing our career, stockpiling our possessions, and focusing on more, more, more.

simple living is better

It’s not easy to live a simple life these days.  Simplicity isn’t valued anymore.  It’s all about how many “toys” we can acquire and how far up the corporate ladder we can go.

Women especially are encouraged to “hustle.” We are told to fill our schedules to the brim, never saying no.  The internet is full of self-proclaimed “Boss Babes” who proudly declare that they rarely sleep, and work as much as humanly possible because it’s allowed them to buy the life they want.

Sounds good, right?

Except that, it all sounds so very tiring.  We are human after all and we can only manage so much on our plates.  It doesn’t matter how much energy you have today, eventually there will come a day where you may crash and burn.

Because, we need rest.  We were created to work, but also to rest.  And if we don’t balance it we won’t be able to keep going forever.  

That’s where a simple life comes in.  Is living a simple life better?  Well, if you mean better than working yourself to exhaustion, collecting stuff that begins to own you instead of you owning the stuff, and being less connected to technology, then I believe the answer is yes.

Imagine not having constant pressure of living up to expectations the world put on you for your life.  Imagine living a life where you get to decide how that looks like.

Imagine slowing down.  Embracing a rainy day as you curl up into a big comfy chair with a good book and a cup of tea, while a candle flickers close by.

Or taking a walk on a gorgeous spring day, breathing in the fresh air and taking your time as you take in all the sights and sounds that nature offers.

Or we pull out board games, books, and puzzles on a quiet evening instead of zoning out to the tv, or spending hours mindlessly scrolling.

I promise you, you will never look back on your life and say, “man, I wish I had spent more time watching TV/browsing the internet/staying glued to my cell phone.

HOW TO LIVE A SIMPLE LIFE AND BE HAPPY

Okay, let’s just get one thing out of the way.  A simple life doesn’t mean you are promised happiness.  However, I believe living simply does increase happiness in a lot of people and if you are feeling sad all the time with the current state of your life, it might be time to simplify things.

Here are some ways you can live a simple life:

Buy Less

Consider cutting back on shopping.  Do you really need what you are buying, or is it more of a want?  However, don’t you notice that many wants that we buy for only bring very temporary happiness?  Sometimes we buy something that we don’t even use much in the end.

If you really struggle to stop shopping, give yourself the 30 day rule.   The 30 day rule goes like this:  if you see something you want to buy, wait 30 days.  If you still want it after the 30 days, you are free to buy it. 

However, you may find by the 30 days you’ve long since forgotten about it, or realized you don’t want it as much as you thought.  It’s amazing what can happen when you stop impulsively buying things.

Also, if you have multiple credit cards, consider getting rid of all but one (or two at the most.)  It will help you keep yourself in check financially.

Declutter what you do have

Having a lot of stuff can lead us to feeling overwhelmed or in a state of chaos.  Go through your house room by room and start decluttering your things.  Be realistic on whether you need it or not.  Do you use it?  Have you used it in the last year?  

While we are at it, it’s time to get rid of those clothes you’ve been hanging on for years hoping you’ll eventually fit back into them.  They are just taking up space and there’s a really good chance you will never wear them again.  Keep your wardrobe down to what you feel good and confident in, and get rid of the rest.

Cut back on technology

The purpose of the constant advancements in technology is to make our lives easier, but I think we can all agree that it actually has done the opposite in many ways, right?  It’s complicated a lot of things and pretty much everyone has had times where they’ve just been so frustrated and sick of technology.

We are constantly connected, and while it’s pretty great that we can talk to our friends and family who live half way around the world, feeling like we can’t get away from a constant connection can exhaust us at times.

What would a little bit less of technology do for you?  Maybe it would give you time for other hobbies.  Maybe it would quiet your mind, away from the constant news feeds that are thrown in our faces.  

Start slowly when cutting back on technology because it can be hard.  You can take a day a week, or an afternoon or evening where you don’t have your phone in your hand.  Or maybe a tv free night.  Or a break from social media.

For me, a year and a half ago I left Facebook.  I constantly felt sad when I hung out on the app, so I decided it wasn’t worth it.  While it was hard at first, over time it got easier and now I’m used to not having it and don’t plan on going back.

Live Below your Means

Oh man, this is a hard one these days, isn’t it?  Prices have increased on everything and many people are struggling to get by.  That’s why it’s all the  more important to live below your means.  Living simply really requires us to be financially responsible, and not buying things we can’t afford.  

Take a long, hard look at your expenses and try to find some areas that you can cut back on.  If you find that you are living above your means month after month after month, it may be time to downsize.  You can downsize your home, but you can also downsize the vehicle you are driving as well.  

I know it isn’t easy to downsize, but you will sleep better at night knowing your bills are paid and you are living below your means instead of above.  Your stress level will drop considerably and it will all be worth it.

Take a long, hard look at your job

Re-evaluate your job or career.  You may decide it’s the right fit and it’s working and it isn’t burning you out.  But if your job is leading you to feelings of depression and like you just can’t keep up, or you feel like you are giving up so many other things you love for extra hours at the office, it might be time for a career change.  

While this might not be something you can do overnight, you can work towards it.  Make a plan, and slowly work yourself up to where you can switch jobs.

Take some time for slow living

Slow living is such an integral part of simple living.  Give yourself time each week to live slowly.   Read a book, take a leisurely walk, learn to knit or crochet, craft or create something, do some journaling, or sit on your back deck with a hot cup of coffee while you listen to the birds.

We constantly feel like we have to be doing something, and slowing down can feel really foreign at first.  You might think you are being lazy.  But being lazy and slowing down are not the same thing. 

You can have a productive day and still take some time to live slowly and simply.  Often it’s that slowing down that re-energizes us so that we can be the best version of ourselves in all the other areas of our lives.

THE BENEFITS OF LIVING A SIMPLE LIFE

There are so many advantages to living a simple life.  Less stress, less debt, less overstimulation, just to name a few. Simplifying your life is counter-cultural to what the world tells us we should want or how we should live. 

It isn’t always easy to do something that other people find strange (ask this homeschooling, simple living, stay-at-home mom how I know!)  However, it is often worth it to make the effort to do something that is out-of-the-box.

If you start making changes to your life to simplify it, you will probably enjoy it and continue on with it. You may even wonder why you waited so long to pursue the simple life.  

Take those first steps to a simpler life today. You can do it!

 

 

 

 

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