Four Challenges to Live a Simpler Life
Sometimes life just seems to pile up all at once. The assignments roll in, and so do all the commitments we make and the tasks that just can’t wait until tomorrow. Because we live in a culture that glorifies being busy, we’re often times bogged down and need a refresher.
As we approach the second half of the semester, maybe you’ve considered doing a bit of spring cleaning. Simplifying can decrease stress, help you focus on what really matters to you, and help you to get your best work done. You can even save money!
1. Phones — Our phones are incredible resources that allow us to access the world instantly. But sometimes they can take away from having meaningful conversations with those around us and keep us away from the present moment. Challenge yourself to being more intentional when you pull your phone out and take time to converse with people face to face.
Not convinced? Sherry Turkle wrote a compelling article about the effects of technology on our ability to converse with others.
2. Tidying up our things — Have you ever taken a good hard look at the things that you own? The quantity of “things” you’ve collected might surprise you. Challenge yourself to get rid of things that don’t make you happy or aren’t useful. Take it a step further and find a home for your stuff. By having an intentional home for all of your things, you’re more likely to know what you have so you buy only what you need and use what you already have.
Interested in a hard-core tidying of your things? Check out this awesome book by Marie Kondo: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
3. Tidying up commitments — There’s so much we can do in college and so little time! Let’s spend it doing the things we love most. Consider cutting down on doing things you don’t love anymore. Tried Ski Club and didn’t love it? That’s okay. Maybe Ukulele Club or volunteering is a better fit for you.
Remember what gives you life. I’m not asking you to question your existence or anything. But consider what values you hold closest to your heart, the relationships that make you feel like your best self and help you grow, your big and little goals, and the things that excite you the most. What kinds of things make you forget that time is passing?
Still feeling overwhelmed? Author Hannah Brencher wrote a great blog post that might inspire you.
4. Schedule “you” time — It may seem counterintuitive to schedule time that’s supposed to be “free time”, but when we don’t make an intentional effort to schedule time for ourselves. Challenge yourself to put “you” time into your calendar each week. That time looks different for everyone; it could be hanging out with friends or reading a book for fun with a cup of tea. Having time to recharge can help you appreciate the little things — from a laugh with friends to dancing away in your room by yourself.
Need ideas? Here are some fun ones that you don’t need money for!