Recently, we found ourselves asking each other, “Where did the day go?!” Our to-do lists just kept getting longer and longer and our free time was non-existent. There wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything finished. We started talking about how nice it would be to have more time for ourselves. Time for reading, time for writing, hell, a NAP!?
We knew something had to change!
The truth is, we should have been making it a priority all along. So, we made it our mission to simplify our lives. It wasn’t easy. It is hard to make yourself do nothing sometimes, especially when you are used to always having something to do. Now that we’ve changed gears and are living more simplistically, we have just been… happier!
Here are five ways that we have simplified!
1. Find solitude
Finding some alone time will help you de-stress. We love to go camping, hiking, and fishing… anything that gets us away from town and the feeling of being surrounded by too many people and things. However, you don’t have to wait for the weekend or even be an avid outdoor enthusiast to find escape. Make time to read or write in a journal. Wake up earlier so you have time for a relaxing breakfast and coffee. You’ll be amazed how something so simple can really lift your spirits for the day.
We already minimized quite a bit before moving to Korea. We sold most of our belongings and squeezed the rest into suitcases. However, after a recent 10 day trip to the Philippines where we packed in two small backpacks, we got home and found ourselves feeling surrounded by things. We immediately started minimizing. I cut my wardrobe in half, de-cluttered the apartment, and tossed things we never used. We have learned to buy less and it has made a huge impact.
3. Limit your screen time
When we aren’t in the classroom, we sit in front of our computers planning lessons, surfing the web, and wasting time. When we got home, we watch TV, blog, or stare at our phones. Make it a point to unplug and be more present in your life. Go outside! Read a book! Talk to each other! There is nothing more annoying than hanging out with someone who is constantly looking at their phone.
4. Use less chemicals
Recently, we made the switch to “No Poo,” which is an alternative to shampoo. It is a simple solution of water and baking soda which allows your hair to naturally readjust its oils. Once you’ve done it for a while, your hair will balance itself and you can go days without washing your hair (of course we DO still bathe). This has really helped to cut down on our time spent getting ready every morning!
5. Just say, “NO.”
We love being social and hanging out with friends. However, constantly going out for dinner or drinks was not only costing us a lot of money, but a lot of our free time as well. Finally learning to turn down invitations for a quiet night in together every once in a while has been so nice. Learn to prioritize your time and stop overextending yourself.
Obviously, not all of these are for everyone, so we want to know… What are some ways you simplify your life?