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7 Ways to Simplify Your Life, Relax and Relieve Stress

Have you ever wished you could simplify your life? You can; and you’ll be healthier, happier and more thankful in the long run.

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It may be stressful to think of all the things we can do to simplify our lives. That’s why most of us don’t bother and keep pushing ourselves. Breaking your tasks, errands, and work down day by day will make it easier. Some people buy books for organizing their lives, but this takes too long and is, I think, unnecessary. This is especially overwhelming because, for most, it is just way too much information at once. How does that help simplify things? Instead, save money, skip the book and take simple steps that are free and easy to do – and start un-cluttering and simplifying your life today.

Take it one day at a time so you’re not so mentally flooded and physically drained. We impart these things on ourselves, and this is what causes us to be anxious, stressed and irritated by life and everything around us. Here are some ways to simplify and organize your life, day by day. If you keep it up, these will stick with you and make the future a lot less stressful. Start whatever day of week that you would want. I prefer to start my lists and plans on Sunday nights so I’m ready and less scatter brained Monday mornings, as I think most of us get “a case of the Mondays.”

  1. Prioritize: What is most important for the day? What can wait until tomorrow or later in the week?

Sit back and breathe. Get a single sheet of paper or a notepad and start jotting down what you need to get done for the day, or the week. Some get overwhelmed thinking about the entire week ahead, so if you’re one of those people, make a to-do list for each day. This will help you relax and focus on what needs to get done and what can wait. Focus on short term goals. This doesn’t mean to completely disregard your future goals. Keep those in a separate notebook.

  • Put the most time sensitive and important tasks at the top of the list.
  • Put a box or line next to each task so that when you finish it you’ll be able to check it off. This will give you a great feeling of achievement.

It may seem like overkill, but I have an agenda that has a week-to-week layout and I also keep a daily to-do list. For some, agendas can become cluttered and overrun with information. So, whatever works best for you, make sure to keep it as simple and minimal as possible. Include things such as paying certain bills, making important calls, or crucial errands and appointments. You can feel free to leave out things like, making dinner, doing laundry, or cleaning the kitchen because those are usual daily activities, for some. If you are a stay at home parent, these things are very relevant, so definitely add them.

  1. Routines supply consistency and simplicity

Some people find routines boring and pointless, but they can really help your day, week, month and even your year a lot easier and less stressful.

  • Pick out what to wear the night before.
  • Make your breakfast and lunch the night before so you’re ready to go in the morning.
  • Know what time you need to wake up in order to have enough time to get ready for the day.
  • Start brewing your coffee before showering and getting dressed.
  • Yoga and meditation are amazing ways to start your day, but you will have to wake up earlier.
  1. Don’t let others take advantage of you

Don’t worry about others so much. Sometimes friends and family can ask too much of you, which can make you worry and uptight. It may feel selfish and hard to say no to some things, but it will make your life a lot easier. It’s good to help people, but a simple favor could turn into a disaster and/or get in the way of what you need to get done. Don’t put off your important, time sensitive activities or appointments for others – or time to yourself – because you deserve it!

  1. Let go and get rid of things you don’t need
  • If you know you don’t need something, even if you’re keeping it because you think you might use it one day, get rid of it.
  • Organize your desk, with labeled folders and boxes.
  • Make a pile of clothing that you don’t wear and know you’re never going to wear and give it to friends, family, or donate to an organization.
  • Get rid of books that you’ve read and don’t intend on reading again.
  • Clean out your wallet, handbag or backpacks. More than likely, you don’t really need most things you carry around. This will be even better for you since you won’t be lugging around pounds of unnecessary items.
  1. Slowing down physically will cause your mind to slow down as well

Don’t speed through your day. Most of us think the faster we rush through the day that we will have more time later for other things. But this usually ends up with us being wiped out by the time we get home. If you do have a fast paced, exhausting job then try to stop a few times a day in a quiet area and breathe. When you get home, take a hot bath, have a cup of tea and enjoy some silence.

  1. Live in the moment and avoid multitasking

Try not to multitask because it will stress you a lot more than you need to be. Take it one step at a time. It will result in better quality work and it’ll be easier to accomplish. Don’t think about the next assignment. At most jobs you may have to multitask a lot, but just breathe and do one thing at a time. There might be a lot on your plate but who says you have to do it all at once?

Leave work where it belongs, don’t bring it home with you. If you work from home, it’s a different story. Try and put your agendas, notebooks, etc. aside and don’t look at them until you’re ready to sit down and work again. It’s okay to take small notes so that you’ll remember, but don’t stress over it. Take care of it the next day.

  1. Relax
  • You have to have time to relax. If you feel like you don’t, then make the time! Some things can wait.
  • Take a bath with oils and bath salts that have relaxing effects.
  • Try yoga and meditation.
  • Read a book or draw.
  • Do something that seems like a waste of time because it is sure to relax you.
  • Turn on some music and dance.
  • Exercise. Although exercise is a strenuous activity it will relieve stress and elevate your mood. Even going for a walk around town or a trail is very relaxing.
  • Do nothing, alone. It will be a peaceful time just for you. Make some time every day even if it is just for a half hour or so.
  • Listen to some soothing music, like ocean sounds, relaxing melodies.
  • Get a journal/notebook and just write. Write about anything: what’s bothering you, what you really want to do in life, what’s your favorite way to relax (which will help you later on), problems, goals…whatever you want! It will get the troubles and worries out of your head so you can clearly think and be in a better mood.
  • Turn off the TV and cell phone and computer to limit communications.
  • Play with a pet.

By taking these steps, or chose some you like most, your life will change for the better., Simplify You Life Week, NC State University Cooperative Extension, Retrieved June 19, 2013., 18 Ways to Simplify our Life, Mellissa O’Brien, Retrieved July 15, 2013., 4 Rituals to Simplify Your Life – Without Decluttering a Thing, Brooke McAlary, Retrieved July 15, 2013.

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