How To, Lifestyle

Simple

“Keep things extremely simple.” This is my new mantra for life. It’s good to sometimes switch it up. I love everything about this, it’s so easy to over think and over plan, I know I’m doing it right now. My boyfriend and I laid down for a nap and even though I wanted to sleep, I just couldn’t. It wasn’t happening. I had so many thoughts racing through my head. What to write about, what to pack for vacation, what to wear, daydreaming, everything. I was getting anxious just laying there. Plus, he was drooling on my head. Anyway, he’s still asleep on the sofa and I’m outside in the sun writing. 

Life can get very complicated, even when it’s not. This happens when the thoughts in our heads start to go crazy. And, when you have anxiety it can make it so much worse. We get busy, we over think, we over plan, we come up with crazy scenarios in our minds, the list goes on. So, how do we make life more simple? How do we act on “keep things extremely simple?” Here are my ideas.

How To Keep Things Extremely Simple

1. Give yourself a deadline

When making decisions or working on a project, give yourself a deadline to have it done.

  • Making a decision 

Give yourself 30 seconds to make a damn choice. For the small things, anyway. If you’re like me you’re wondering whether you should write or if you should clean. I could spend hours trying to decide. But, I gave myself 30 seconds to choose. And now I’m writing. For the bigger things, set a time you think appropriate. If it’s something like, whether or not to buy that sofa from Ikea, give yourself an hour. If it’s something like, going on vacation, give yourself a day. Just whatever you do, make that choice by your deadline. 

  • Projects

If your project doesn’t already have a deadline, create one for it. Whether it’s studying or whatever, create a deadline to have it done by. For me, I like to repaint furniture. So, I usually set a deadline to have it done by the end of the day, or the next day (depending on the size of the project). If I don’t do this, I could spend all month painting an end table. 

2. Simplify your home (or apartment, bedroom, etc.)

When our living spaces are messy, our minds can be messy. It’s kinda like a back and forth thing. A messy living space can create a messy mind. But, a messy mind also tends to create a messy living space. Just, get rid of the clutter. 

3. Three box (or pile) decluttering

Boxes keep things more organized, but I can’t currently get to any of my boxes. So, I’m using piles! When going through things, set a box (or pile) for things to get rid of, things to keep, and one for maybes to go through again at the end. I’ll be doing this today, if I can get my ass going. My best friend’s daughter is raising donations to earn a party for her class, the kid with the most donations gets a gift card. So, there’s my motivation to get rid of as much as I possibly can. I’ll probably go through my closet a third time, just to be sure. 

4. Ask yourself this question when going through things

“Do I truly love this thing?” I truly love my sign that says “Good Vibes Only.” Okay, I spent $70 on that damn sign, it ain’t going anywhere. But something I do truly love would be, well, I can’t think of anything. Damn. Guess I’ve got a lot I can get rid of. The only things I can think of that I truly love are my photographs on the walls. 

Anyway, ask yourself that question with EVERYTHING. Get rid of the things that don’t bring you joy. My rock collection brings me joy, but only certain pieces so, some of that can go. Things I’ve painted bring me joy, but not all of them. Then, there are books I’ll never read, they can go. If something doesn’t make you happy, set it free. Donate it. It could make someone else very happy. 

5. Keep on cleaning

While you’re at it, clean out your closet. Go. Through. Everything. Even the pile of junk on the top you try to ignore. That crap you’ve stuffed in a box (or in my case, a suitcase), go through it. You never see it, obviously you never use it, get rid of that shit! For some reason, I decided to keep a box of cheap ass Valentine’s decorations. Those can go. 

6. While you’re at it, might as well do this

I mean, by this time you’re on a fucking roll. Might as well clean the kitchen! And I’m talking CLEAN it! Go through the pantry, go through the fridge. Get rid of old food, donate the things you can. We’re all guilty of having that one thing in the fridge that expired ages ago but we ignore. Go through the damn food. 


7. Okay, so now you’ve got some free space

Or, maybe you don’t and you need to clear out some more space. Sorry, guys! But, there’s a reason “Man Caves” are so popular. Everyone needs a place to escape to. So, create your own little space within your home. Even if you live alone, create a space that’s relaxing. Right now, I’ve kind of made the patio my own space. It’s where I spend most of my time. It’s where I do 100% of my blogging. It can get messy, but I’m working on it. 

However, when we move into our new townhouse we will have a spare bedroom. I’m freaking out about this. I’m so excited. I tried to convince my boyfriend to let me turn it into a giant closet or fully my office, but we shall compromise (I’ll still have the patio to myself mostly). We’re going to share the space, but have our own spaces within the room. This works for us because we get along so well and I honestly like hearing him talk to the TV when he plays video games. As of right now, the plan is to turn the closet into a game room. That way, I can hide it when I don’t want to see it. I’ll do a whole blog post on this when the time comes, but for now, we plan on putting a tv in the little closet and we will have a sofa and coffee table outside of the closet. I might put something decorative on the doors so it looks nice when they’re closed. On the other side of the room will be my desk and my vanity. Win-win. 

8. Okay, we’re done with the cleaning. So, write a list in your new space. 

Write down a small list of things you love to do. Mine would be:

  • Writing
  • Spending time with Steven
  • Browsing DIY projects
  • Doing DIY projects
  • Shopping at Goodwill

Keep it somewhere you will see it. Return to it when you say you’re bored or you need inspiration. It can be as long or short as you want it to be, but remember, we’re trying to keep shit simple here. 

9. When you’re feeling overwhelmed 

No matter what is causing you to feel overwhelmed, family stress, work stress, anxiety, depression, whatever it may be, start saying “no.” Take a week, yes, an entire week and say no to everything. Any requests anyone wants from you, any plans wanting to be made, say “no.” It’s okay to plan them for the following week if you want, but think of this week of “no” as your own little mental vacation. You’re not fucking available. Sure, stick to the things you already agreed to if you want, don’t be a flake, but for anything new, the answer is no. Simple. 

10. Take some time to relax

Start each day by relaxing. This may even give you something to look forward to if it’s hard for you to wake up. I’ve been doing this for months now. No pressures, just relaxing and giving myself time to wake up. Even if you have to get up 30 minutes earlier, do it. Even if you live in a house with a ton of other people, wake up before them. Or, let them know you need to be alone during this time.

Here’s what I do to relax on a normal weekday:

  • Up at 5am
  • Coffee in hand
  • Ass on patio chair
  • Boyfriend sitting next to me
  • We look at Facebook and StumbleUpon and share cool shit we see
  • I get more coffee
  • We continue to chill
  • I take him to work
  • I come home and keep on chilling
  • Then, I start my day. 

My boyfriend does this, too. He gets up about half an hour before I do and walks the dogs, makes coffee, and watches the news. He likes his news. I love that. 

11. Take a break

This is something I don’t hardly do, but really should. Take a break from technology. Turn it off, put it in another room, whatever. I don’t know what there is to do while doing this, maybe read a book, take a nap, go for a walk, sit there silently staring at your turned off phone until the hour is up. 

For me, there isn’t much else that interests me to keep my mind busy enough while my phone is off. Plus, I never know when my boyfriend gets off of work and I have to pick him up. Sometimes it’s 5pm, sometimes it’s 9am. It’s always a surprise. Which is actually really frustrating when I’m trying to work. But, for me, I take a break from stupid Facebook. Facebook just stresses me the fuck out sometimes. There’s so much stupid shit on there. Sorry, passionate about this one. I’m actually tempted to create a new Facebook just to clean it up a bit. But, I like all the photos I have on it. So, just take break from it, and don’t be an ass and announce it all over Facebook. Nobody cares. Take an hour break, take a week break, whatever. I usually just try not to go on in general unless I have a notification or something really important to share. Or, if I’m just super fucking bored. 

12. The three things

Make a to do list, only list three things. This one is super popular, and I love it. I’ll be honest, sometimes it takes me three days to do those three things, but it helps. Like today, my three things are:

  1. Make a grooming appointment for my fur baby
  2. Do laundry
  3. Deposit a check 

Keeping with honesty, it took me until 1pm to call the groomer’s. I was over thinking and made it seem like this giant task that I just couldn’t do. I went to fill out my mental health bullet journal and decided I wanted to add that to my daily done list. So, I called and made that appointment and added it to my done list. I have yet to do the laundry or deposit that check (which I can simply do on my phone). 


13. Focus on one thing 

When life gets complicated, or you’re making it complicated, focus on one task. Just one. Pick something off your to do list, or something else, and focus solely on that thing. For me, there are two things I can focus on one at a time. Writing and painting furniture. Find something you can focus on and do it. Ignore the bullshit. 

14. Zone the fuck out

When life is overwhelming, zone out from it. Escape reality, in a healthy way. I’m not talking go get drunk or high but, something mindless. Video games, a book, a nap, writing, painting, walking, running, watching tv, whatever the hell you want to do. My favorite way is to write posts like this one. Just zone out from life, ignore every little thing, and just enjoy your time. Reality will always be waiting for you when you return. 

What are some ways you like to make life more simple? Let me know in the comments!

-Liz

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