There are many documented benefits of living simply. People who adopt this approach to life report feeling happier and more fulfilled. It can also have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. Changing your lifestyle overnight is unrealistic. But there are several steps you can take to live a happier and simpler life.
- What Do You Want?
It’s a simple question but not so easy to answer. What do you really want? To change careers? To work from home? To live in a bigger house? To raise a family? Rather than focusing on the end goals, think about how you want to feel. When you wake up in the morning, what do you want to think about? And last thing at night, before you fall asleep, how do you want to feel? Focusing on feelings can be empowering. You may find that how you want to feel is contradicted by your lifestyle.
Go right back to the basics. Figure out your priorities and what is most important to you. Take some time to ponder this question. Whatever decisions and changes in your life, always keep these core feelings and priorities in mind.
- Your Home
In the last few decades, the emphasis has been on ‘things’. Easier access to credit has meant that we can buy more stuff and worry about paying for it later. But things don’t always make us happy. The high is short lived. Stripping back our possessions and living uncluttered and unencumbered has far more benefits.
So, the first step to simplifying your home is to declutter. Go through the process of working out what you need and what no longer has value in your life.
When it comes to making changes in your living space, work out what is important to you and your family. How do you want to use your home? What do you want to do there? Make changes around these ideas, rather than adopting new designs for the sake of it.
When it comes to renovations, keep those simple too. Look for easy updates that will have a big impact. Eg., if you have always wanted a shower but don’t want the hassle of tiling the whole bathroom, opt for shower stalls instead. This provides a simple solution that takes little work. The same is true in the kitchen. If you’re not happy with this space, look for simple fixes that can be implemented quickly.
Simplifying your food choices means going back to basics. Look for good quality, seasonal ingredients. Cook everything from scratch. Avoid cooking with processed food. Instead, make your own. You don’t have to be a chef or good at cooking to do this. There are many delicious recipes that are easy to put together.
When planning your shopping list think about the whole week. Write down all the meals you intend to make and work out the ingredients. This will simplify the process and reduce wastage.
Often it’s the smallest things in our life that have the greatest impact. Living simply means appreciating these small things. For example, lighting candles in the evening. Or picking fruit in the summer. Think about what makes you happy and try and incorporate it into your day.