Ways to Enjoy a Simpler Lifestyle
Late last year I wrote an article about the 14 Steps Towards a Simpler Lifestyle. It’s been more popular than I imagined it would be, but I find it so encouraging that so many of you are trying to get into that simpler style of living and you are working on the ways to get there!
If you haven’t yet taken the time to begin living a simpler lifestyle and you need a little more instruction or step by step details on how to do it, I would highly recommend my workbook, 31 Days to Simpler Living.
But once one finds themselves right in the middle of that lifestyle that they dreamed about, a dissatisfaction can happen. The lifestyle isn’t what they expected, they are bored, they are unhappy with where they have to live this lifestyle and they see themselves moving or buying something that they think would help “make it better”. And if you haven’t been to that point in your journey yet, trust me, it will happen sooner or later. Isn’t it funny how when we think we have everything that we want we still aren’t always happy? That’s when I have to remind myself that no matter what I do in this life, my lifestyle isn’t where my happiness comes from. Happiness is a choice and ultimately we aren’t made for this earth, so it will never make us truly happy.
But I’m not here to preach a sermon today, I’m here to share with you what I’ve learned about what you can do when you get to that point in your journey. When you are bored, when things happen that you don’t expect, and when you feel like you need something else to add to or enhance your simple lifestyle.
First, take a deep breath. If you are feeling frustrated for any reason, take a walk, sit outside or somewhere calm for a while and clear your mind. Think about what caused you to get frustrated in the first place. Did a neighbor have something that you wished you had in your house? Did a friend question your lifestyle? Consider why what happened made you upset.
Remind yourself about how lucky and blessed you are. If you are living a simple lifestyle already, there are so many out there that want to be in your shoes. You are so lucky! Not a day goes by that I don’t remind myself how blessed I am to be able to live the way that we do. Starting the day feeling grateful for your place in this life will have a tremendously positive impact on your day.
Take a break. Do something out of the ordinary. Take a day trip to a place you may not normally visit during your weekly routine. Take the kids to the store and let them pick out a special treat. Since living the simple life often also means the frugal life, we’ve found that rewarding yourself here and there can be a big help and not make you feel so stressed about the budget.
Invite your friends over for a “day in your life”. One of the biggest stresses of the simple lifestyle can be friends and family that don’t agree or are “concerned” about the way you’ve chosen to live life outside of the fast lane and maybe with unconventional methods. I generally ignore these kinds of comments, because what someone else thinks about my lifestyle doesn’t concern me. If my family is happy and healthy, then I know we are doing the right thing for us! However, if ignoring the issue doesn’t work, inviting them to be a part of your life for a day or two usually will help. Then they can slow down and see why you’ve chosen to live a simple life and that you really love it.
The simple life is a funny thing…it might be called simple, but those living it know that it definitely has it’s days where it’s not! It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it.
What are some things that you do when you are struggling with enjoying the simple life?