So we have all heard it before, less is more. Or simplify your life and you'll find contentment. All good, sage advice. But is it valid? I think so. So here's 3 rules for living simply (thus happily).
1) Eat simply- I know that you hear this all the time, and I don't mean to sound preachy because I too loooove food, but don't you have to admit that when you eat whole, clean foods, you feel better? And by whole and clean, I mean like mono ingredients-apple, fish, veggies-not some fancy, overly priced organic, flavored popcorn.
Eating simple foods and getting back to basics feels good and does the body so much good, that much has been proven time and time again. So why bother with and worry over creating extravagant meals for your family? You don't even need to make drastically different meals every week! WHOA! That's right. Simplify your meal planning too.
Make/plan meals that have simple, basic ingredients and that require little prep. I admit it, I totally avoid meals that take too much planning and prep (if that's your thing go for it, and just try using basic ingredients); they overwhelm me and feel like a chore, one more thing to fret about and add to my to-do list. And in terms of not making different meals every week..I don't mean literally making the same thing every week, but why not pick like three staple dishes and just play with them during the week (this also helps you get all of your nutrients for you routine eaters)? For example, a quinoa dish, a chicken dish, and a fun smoothie; on the other 2 week nights, treat yourself and go out or have something suuuuper basic, like eggs or a yogurt parfait. Just keep it easy.
2) Do what makes you happy- I don't know how many times this statement has to be said, but if you aren't doing what makes you happy, then what's the point? We are not put on this earth to be unhappy, I believe this full-heartedly. We are perfect, happy beings of light, but we let obligations and "I really shoulds," rule our lives.
I urge you, I beg you, to do something every day that makes YOU happy. This doesn't need to be something ornate and thought out- on the contrary, do something, yes, Simple. Make a cup of tea. Take a bubble bath. Heck, just buy some bubble bath. Stop at a specialty store and pick up something you would never buy for yourself. Listen to your favorite Pandora station in the shower and sing. Drink wine. Eat dark chocolate. Take a yoga class. Go for a swim. Sew. Read (and not a cook book or a parenting book-unless that really makes you happy). Write. Make time to do something for YOURSELF; just make sure you actually use the time ;)
3) Avoid clutter- Keep your life spaces clean and avoid clutter. Make an effort to sustain this. Keep your spaces in order by attending to them weekly. Often we put chores somewhere in the back of our busy minds, but just imagine how much brain space you would gain by not worrying about that damn laundry piling up? Talk about extra soul-crafting space!
I think that a cluttered house or a cluttered work space just makes for such an un-inviting, un-workable environment. It just gives me anxiety. The feeling of organizing your life spaces just feels so AWEsome. Some of you will wholly agree, while others will think that I'm blowing smoke, but do yourself a favor, and when you're feeling uber stressed, just clean something, organize.
Simple kitchens. Simple joys. Simple spaces. Simple.