There is a rare beauty in simplicity in our modern world, it brings a welcome clarity amongst the constant pressure to have, do and be more. We’re under attack to acquire from the moment we wake up to the moment we close our eyes at the end of another hectic day . For many of us, the privilege of choice is draining our energy. Our society that has never had it so good, yet we’re anxious, nervous and constantly in danger of missing the present because we’re focussing on what’s next. Many of us long for a simpler way of living but fear this means giving up life’s little luxuries in favour of a remote life in a yurt somewhere near Nepal.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case as you can incorporate small actions into your everyday life that will bring you the peace and mindfulness simple living offers, without having to sacrifice everything you work hard to enjoy. Living simply doesn’t mean living without joy, in fact it’s a real example of how less is often more. Here are some ideas to get you started on cultivating a simple life starting right now.
Cleaning up your physical space does absolute wonders for your mental space too. Most of us know how good it feels to spring clean, organise and sort out things that have been hanging over us. From shredding old paper work, getting rid of read magazines, sorting mismatched crockery and getting that outstanding DIY job finished, any form of physical sorting is often mirrored with a mental spring clean – helping you feel lighter and think clearer. If you find it difficult to let go of things are drowning in stuff as a result, try thanking an object before you discard it. After all, it likely brought you joy once, is it time to let it go and bring joy to someone else?
Sweat the Small Stuff
…But see the bigger picture. Life is a constant balance between planning for the future but living in the moment. It’s not easy but it is possible. Start to cultivate a more mindful life by truly appreciating the small things that light you up. It could be as simple as listening to the birds at dawn, noticing the delicate fragrance of blossom on the breeze, tasting salt on your lips after a walk to the beach or truly tuning in and listening when a loved one is telling you about their day. Hold space for the small things that often feel mundane and you’ll start to see beauty in the ordinary instead of constantly longing to find fulfilment in expensive purchases.
A lighter life starts with lighter meals and simplifying your diet. Try to eat wholefoods wherever possible and prepare them yourself. The act of creating your own meals will help you appreciate them more when you’re eating them. Preparing food creates a connection between you and your meal, unlike microwave meals which we tend to zap and guzzle without much thought at all. Trust your body to tell you when it is hungry and what it needs, rather than forcing yourself to adhere to certain diet plans or structured eating times. Learn to listen and build a beautiful relationship with your body. After all, it works hard to keep you alive 24/7!
Be kind to yourself
We can often feel guilty about taking time out alone for some rest and relaxation. We’re under pressure to ‘do’ and ‘be’ constantly, comparing ourselves to those super productive people we read about or that colleague who just has it ‘made’. Or so you think.
We don’t see the whole picture for any life but our own and sometimes despite external appearances, that cool calm and collected colleague is actually at breaking point themselves. We also don’t see how other people respect their limitations and take time out because, well, they’re taking time out!
Find an activity or space that really lets you rest and escape back to you. It can be hard in such a busy world but anything from a spa break to an afternoon gardening can restore and nourish your energy levels. Be aware of how you feel when you take time out and notice when you’re feeling guilty or comparing yourself to others. You cannot be kind to others if you are not kind to yourself, so give yourself a break in every meaning possible!
Finally, and this is as important as it is scary, consider a digital detox for one day a week. Leave your phone at home, keep the lid down on your laptop, choose a book over a screen and let yourself be remote and unreachable just for a few hours. Technology makes our lives easier in a lot of ways, but it can also be a heavy burden as we’re always turned on and tuned in. Unplug, unwind and let your mind wander without purpose and you’ll find yourself refreshed and grounded, ready to take on modern living on your own terms and in your own time.
Photography: Bench Accounting | Brook Cagie
A designer and writer who loves helping businesses and entrepreneurs tell their story creatively.
Terri specialises in creating content which inspires connection; whether that is blog copy, social media graphics or building websites and brands. She helps small business owners identify themselves with a range of consultancy services and helps put their plans into action and share their purpose with their audience.
Having travelled extensively, Terri is a keen digital nomad who hunts out the best coffee and wifi connection any area has to offer. She adores the people, places and connections that she encounters when travelling and is grateful her freelance marketing biz gives her the chance to travel and work indefinitely. Having worked in Bali, Portugal and the Netherlands, Terri is currently based in the UK but has more than a few travel plans on the horizon.
Often found in or by the sea, Terri is infinitely inspired by the rugged grey oceans, stormy waves and cold water surfing culture. She curates a cold water surf website SeafoxCreative and loves nothing more than getting out and experiencing grey skies and green waves.