Are you exhausted?
Life can be exhausting. And as you probably well know, by midlife the ol’ energy level isn’t what it used to be. Add into that a day job, family, social commitments (personally, I am working on my hermit badge this winter) and what-have-you and it all adds to a life that is hectic, exhausting, and stressful.
The word Simplify has been over used lately. Especially in that one word, wall art, kind of way. Simplify. Relax. Breathe. And anyone who knows me knows I hate it when a word is over used. Hello, Hygge! (Ugh!)
But simplifying leads to less running in circles, which leads to more energy for things you really enjoy. And that leads to happiness.
More or less.
Think about what YOU actually enjoy in life, and work towards getting rid of the things you dislike and those that are not important to you.
12 Ways to Simplify Midlife
1. Watch less TV
TV is such a time waster! the average person watches TV for over 35 hours per week! Dude, that’s a second job. And that, my sisters, is way too much. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good TV show, but I can honestly say that I watch possibly an hour a day when the weather is bad, maybe two hours.
Can you imagine what you could do by just taking half of those hours back each week?
- Grow and harvest herbs for your medicine chest
- Take up a craft like knitting or crochet – sell the items you make or gift them for holidays or birthdays. After you keep a few for yourself, of course.
- Take a little class – exercise, applique, yoga, permaculture are some of the classes I’m signed up for this winter.
- Check out the local farmer’s market to buy locally grown food. It’s good for you!
2. Pay off your debt
Whether you have student loan debt, credit card debt, car debt, or whatever else, paying it off will make managing your finances easier as you will have less debt to stress about.
When thinking about all the mental clutter we have, debt can be a huge contributor to that clutter. Debt can cause a crazy amount of stress, and eliminating your debt is one of the most important ways to simplify your life.
Paying off your debt can help simplify your budget, allow you think more clearly about your long term financial goals, and more.
3. Don’t waste time on being negative.
From long term to short term. We all have things that happen to us that make life difficult. From dysfunctional childhoods to a dead car battery.
Having a negative reaction to stressful situations is only natural, but it’s what you do in these situations that can really impact your life.
I have a family member who hangs on to her hurts like they are precious gems. She brings them out whenever anyone new is around so that she can show them off or try to use them to wound others. Bringing up the broken doll from the early 1970’s hurts no one but you. And people don’t want to hand around with someone who is constantly bringing up the long dead past.
Like I said, that immediate reaction is a natural part of coping with the crap life throws at you. Instead of dwelling on the negatives that may be occurring in your life, you can be more productive by using this time for things that actually matter. Moving past difficult things isn’t always easy but finding ways to refocus your energy will help you get through your day and life in general with more energy.
Seek counseling if you need to but please, for your sake and the sake of those around you, let is go, Elsa!
Being unorganized can cause you to waste a significant amount of time and can lead to late fees, stress, lost items, and more stress than you need.
To become more organized, you may want to find a planner that works for you, set reminders on your phone, use post-its to remind yourself of upcoming tasks, and so on. Here are some things you might want reminders for.
- Business tasks and to-do lists
- Time to pay estimated quarterly taxes
- Renewing license plate tags for our cars
- Paying semiannual bills, such as car insurance
- Library book due dates
- Regular chores like plant watering, cat box cleaning, car washing etc
- When payments are due for just about anything
- Time to take medications – whether it’s for you or the cat
- Birthdays and anniverseraries
Putting these types of things in a phone and setting it to alert you to impending due dates or times frees up your mind for what is right in front of you.
5. Say “no”
I am finding it somewhat of a universal truth that women in their 50’s have run out of fucks to give. We don’t really care if we call out of the board meeting of our volunteer organization because we just need some time alone. Is the rest of the board going to feel let down? Probably not. Especially if they are also women over 50. You don’t even have to make an excuse. I’ve literally texted someone and said the week had been too people-y and she understood my need to bail. Not one single ounce of guilt – on my end or hers.
While I am a big fan of stepping outside of your box and saying yes, there are situations in which you may need to actually say “no” instead. If you say yes to everything, but you are ready to pull your hair out, then you may want to start saying no.
I had coffee with a dear friend yesterday and she said she was seriously cutting back on her volunteer commitments to focus more on her art. I asked her how she felt about it and her reply was, “Fantastic!”
Saying no may allow you to have more time to focus on what you truly want.
6. Spend less time on social media
The average person spends far too much time on social media. Between Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others it can be quite easy to waste your entire day.
And that isn’t even looking at about how much time it takes to promote a single blog post!
Social media can be a great way to stay in touch with people but it can be wasting valuable time each day.
One of the easiest ways to cut back on time spent on social media? Remove the apps from your phone. It’s super hard the first few days but it does get easier.
Decluttering your life to simplify it can lead to many benefits.
- Save money. Have you ever purchased a tool or craft supply only to find that you already had one?
- Have less clutter. Keeping track of hundreds of items, cleaning them, maintaining them and making space for them can be stressful. Get rid of the things you don’t truly love and see how FREE you feel.
- Spend less time cleaning. It’s much easier to clean a countertop that isn’t crowded with appliances and it’s so much easier to clean a room that’s not cluttered with unused furniture or knick-knacks.
- Make some extra cash. Sell the items you no longer need and use the money for a day-trip or weekend away.
- Make room for something you love. If you’ve wanted to take piano lessons or set up a big weaving loom but lack the space for a piano or loom then maybe selling off the giant entertainment piece will free up space for something you love.
8. Think about what is truly important to you
By making a list of your priorities and the things in life that are important to you, you’ll be able to simplify your life by eliminating any extra clutter that may be holding you back.
This is because you’ll know and see exactly what is important to you, and you’ll be able to differentiate between things that are important and those that are not.
This is a great way to learn how to simplify your life in 2018 and can help you to clear your mind.
9. Gain confidence
This can be one of the most difficult areas to work on, but I really do believe that gaining confidence can help you to live simply and enjoy life more.
Gaining confidence isn’t an overnight thing – it starts by finding small ways to believe in yourself. And, once the ball gets rolling, your confidence will allow you to improve your life rather than dwelling on things that scare you.
Confidence can lead to you:
- Attaining the things you deserve in life
- Getting the job you want
- Making more money
- Reaching your dreams
- Meeting new people
- Networking like a boss
- Managing a business or employees
- Traveling the world, and more
10. Slow down
There are some days when it feels like all I do is rush from one thing to the next. The next thing I know, I’m climbing into bed feeling exhausted but wondering how much I actually accomplished during the mad rush.
Maybe you’re rushing through life on an even larger scale- spending college only thinking about graduation, after graduation only thinking about a job, working and only thinking about starting a family, until everything has passed by and you are wondering what you did with your life.
It is exciting to think about the future, but if you stop to look around at where you are right now, you might be surprised by how good it is.
However, by slowing down, we can enjoy more of what makes our life worth living.
11. Think before you multitask.
Think about your strengths and weaknesses to understand whether or not multitasking actually helps you save time. It’s possible that you can multitask some things, but others need your full one-on-one attention.
And, for the most part, by doing one thing at a time, and fully completing each task in front of you will help you simplify your life. No more crawling in bed exhausted wondering if you got anything accomplished.
12. Sit in peace to simplify your day.
When was the last time you just sat down in complete silence with no distractions? I have to meditate or simply stare out the window for a while each morning before I get going. It’s a must for me.
Sitting silently can help you reflect on your life and what’s going on in the world around you. It can also help you relax, destress, and clear your mind.
By clearing out the distractions, you will probably find that your mind lets you focus on that list of really important to you things.