Living a simple life can manifest in a lot of different ways depending on what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to do. In a world that’s busy, hectic, and sometimes overloaded with all the things, choosing simple living can not only help you live a less stressful life, but it can also help you save money. A simple life is not only a way of living but a state of mind — it’s an all-around experience.
When we’re talking the simple life, we’re not channeling Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie from the early 2000s but instead looking at slowing down, streamlining, and perhaps cutting out some materialism. It can be difficult, though, to go from a saturated lifestyle full of all the things to a more simple way of living, so the first thing you need to remember on this journey is to give yourself time and grace to accomplish what you’re hoping to accomplish. Here’s what you need to know about living a simple life.
How to Live a Simple Life
The way you go about this personal journey is up to you. Typically, living a simpler life focuses on consumption and materialism, but there are more ways you can live simply. Here are a few ideas.
- Practice minimalism: Consider decluttering your life of extraneous material items. You certainly have extra things around the house that you don’t need. Channel Marie Kondo to get rid of things that don’t spark joy so you’re paring your belongings down to just the essentials.
- Live off your land: Maybe it’s time to start a garden in your yard where you grow your own produce. This is one that you can ease into, because starting a garden is a lot of work. If you live in an apartment, you can try growing some herbs and produce where you have space. Even taking a step in the direction of providing for yourself is productive.
- Say “no” more often: Simplifying your life can also mean simplifying your schedule. Say “no” to more commitments where you can so you’re not taking on unnecessary work. You don’t have to be the room mom for every one of your child’s school parties. You don’t have to chaperone every field trip. And you don’t have to be a member of every parent organization. Choose the ones that work with your life and your schedule and cut out the rest.
- Declutter your budget: In the same way you’ve cleared out your home of all the extra, do the same with your monthly expenses. Do you have a magazine subscription and a stack of unread magazines? Cancel it. Are you paying for cable when a streaming service would suffice? Cut the cord. Take a look through everything you’re spending in a month and see what can go. This can also be a great way to find extra money for necessities or socking it away for your kids’ college funds.
- Eat sustainably: What we eat has a greater impact on our planet, so eating sustainable, whole foods is can be good for both you and the environment. Of course, any change can be tailored to your family’s needs, but by being conscious of the environment, animal life, and our food system, you are contributing to a smaller carbon footprint. And what’s better than that?
- Slow down: We know, this is way easier said than done, especially if you have kids. Most likely you’re on the go all the time, but if you can, try to slow down, even a little bit. Give yourself a little bit of extra time here and there. Maybe you put the kids to bed five minutes earlier so you have five extra minutes for yourself. Maybe you wake them up a few minutes later so you have a few extra minutes in the morning. While it doesn’t sound like a lot, those minutes can make a world of difference for you. It will probably require reconfiguring your daily routine to do this, but in the long run, you’ll be happy you did it.
- Be positive, and let things go: Life can get really frustrating, and there will always be people who annoy you, upset you, or make you mad. Allow yourself to feel those emotions briefly and then let them wash away to focus on being positive. Anger will only make you feel worse if you dwell on it, but ignoring those feelings completely also isn’t healthy. In order to let your mind be clear, it’s important to feel what you want to feel but then land on positivity in the end. If you tell yourself to be positive, you’re more likely to actually be positive and feel better.