July 13, 2020
Most people reading this will agree on one thing .... life today is busy! Almost everyone you meet is juggling a lot and 'busyness' seems to be another pandemic that has quietly consumed us in the last decade.
Being constantly connected to technology, bombarded with constant adverts for new products, juggling over-committed schedules ... it can all be exhausting on us mentally, physically and emotionally.
Most of us will admit to having far more in our homes than we actually need ... or possibly want! For many, the constant need to tidy, clear up and often 'find' these items steals a lot of our joy ... and our time.
Of course this is often easier said than done but if you start with a few simple changes, the results can be amazing.
Here are some simple tips to help introduce simplicity into your lives and become less stressed and gain more joy.
The space around us has a huge affect on our wellbeing. A cluttered room can often mean a cluttered mind.
Whether it is your home or office, follow Marie Kondo's advice and sort through your items. Only keep what 'sparks joy' and give away the rest! Friends or family may have good use for your children's nursery toys or spare cookware. Sell it on eBay or donate to charity or any of the much needed centres that look after those in need.
Much has been written about the negative impact of all this technology on our brains, however, the full extent of the damage will only become clear over time.
Suffice to say, we all know that it is not good for us or our brains or our stress levels. Make tech free time part of your daily life and in particular avoid using your phone or computer first thing when you wake up and 2 - 3 hours before you go to bed.
Set times to check your phone & email. Just because our email is now on our phone, does not mean we need to respond in real time to every single message. The same with your messages and groups. How many of these are actually urgent?Turn off notifications - those constant pings do not move you towards inner peace. Turn them off.
You do not have to become a yogi or guru or even meditate daily to become more present. Simply catching when your thoughts are busy in the past or present and returning the to the present moment is a great start.
Whether you are alone or with someone, giving your full attention to the task or conversation at hand will bring a lot more joy to your life.
There are SO many benefits of taking the time to breathe properly! When we breathe deeply it focuses the mind and also relaxes and calms our central nervous system. It is probably the best single activity you can do when you feel stress taking hold.
Long, slow deep breath in and long slow exhale - Repeat!
Life is not a race to be endured, but a journey to be enjoyed.
Many of us rush through life, talking quickly, walking quickly, eating quickly. Slow down. Pause. Take time to enjoy and appreciate each moment. Eating more slowing is so much better for our gut health. Speaking slowly, walking more slowly .... these are good practices to try.
Become aware of your energy - of what drains you and what brings you joy or increases your energy. For example time is nature or quite time alone are common ways that many people recharge, while others may feel recharged being with family and friends. We are all unique and our needs are different, but the important thing is to know what your blances your energy.
When your energy is running low, simply take some time out to recharge!
Cooking and baking can be very calming activities that soothe ruffled nerves because they take up all your attention and make you focus on tone thing. The result can be an almost meditative effect on our mind as we create a new meal or batch of cookies.
Roll up your sleeves and enjoy some calming time in your kitchen. Add in your favourite relaxing playlist and you will reap the benefits.
Who hasn't enjoyed the odd Netflix binge .. or 10 .. during lockdown? While initially a great way to escape the stress of the news reports, hours glaring at a screen from. your sofa has many negative effects.
In our 'time poor' lives, they replace the hours spent doing healthier pursuits such as fitness, walking in nature, reading, sleeping, catching up on chores or even catching up with family and friends.
So much screen just before bed also plays havoc with our quality of sleep. By all means watch your favourite programmes, but set a limit and stick to it.
Sleep is so incredibly important to all aspects of our health and wellbeing. Not only is it critical for healing and repair of our bodies internal organs and cells but a lack of sleep has a real negative impact too. Not only does it make us feel grumpy and negative but our ability to cope with stress or illness is hugely reduced if we are not getting enough sleep. Ideally aim for 8 hours sleep a night and staying screen free at least 2 hours before bed.
When we shop, our brains release a pleasure chemical called dopamine which can also become addictive. This can lead to buying many things you don't want or need adding more clutter (and stress) to your home and bank balance.
While we all certainly want to support our retailers during this incredibly difficult time, it's important to become mindful of our shopping habits and start to shop wisely.
One solution which will both support our economy and also help to keep your home clutter free is to create a list of all the occasions (birthdays, babies, engagements, wedding, new home, new job etc) that you need to buy for in the year ahead. Do up a list, adding any items you need and shop according to this list.
Beware of those impulse buys.
Do you really, really need this? Do you have space for it? Ask these questions before you buy.
July 16, 2021
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May 12, 2021
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