When I left the corporate world and came home to take care of our farm and family my life, at first, did not calm down, but went into a tailspin. I felt I needed to do everything and I wanted to be available to help whenever I could. After six months of feeling like I had more peace when I was working, I stopped and re-evaluated my life. I read an article once that outlined 10 things you could do to find the balance in your life. I took those principles, tweaked them some, and found they worked great for simplifying my life.
Here is a list of ten areas of your life you can evaluate and see if you can make some small changes to help you live a simpler life.
- Realize you are not superwoman. As a woman, I tend to try and wear too many hats. Wife, mother, farmer, cook, gardener, nurse, barber, etc. I always want to do it all and never want to give in and say I cannot do something. After my six months of trying to play a superwoman, I now let some things go just to keep my sanity. My garden has weeds, my breadbox is often empty and the barn is not always clean.
- Ask for help. My husband works long and hard each week to provide for us, so I hate to ask for his help. I am learning that this is his home and farm and as hard as it is…I do ask for his help on the weekends when I am feeling overwhelmed.
- Keep to a schedule. I am amazed at how much I need to stick to a plan. For months, I wandered around the farm aimlessly hopping from one chore to the next and really not getting anything done. Now every Monday, I make a list of tasks, inside and out, that I want to accomplish during the week. When I was working full-time I did this every Monday morning and I just carried that same plan to my home life. I feel so accomplished when I get to cross things off my list.
- Pamper yourself. When I started this new season of my life I found myself feeling guilty if I didn’t have something to do every minute of every day. I felt like I needed to be working on something all day long. Over time and with a lot of convincing from my husband, I now take time every day and do something for myself. I may take an hour to read a book, or go for a walk, or even enjoy leafing through a magazine sitting under a shade tree. I have learned that it is ok to take care of myself while I am taking care of my family.
- Be on the watch for time robbers. Time is one of those things you can never get back so I value every minute of every day. Social media is a big time stealer for me and I limit my use of it. I know when I have a busy day; I set my alarm and get up an hour early just to get a head start on things. You would be surprised at how just an extra hour in the morning allows you to get so much more accomplished.
- Learn how to say no. This was by far the hardest thing I have had to learn. I tend to be a people pleaser and hate to say no. I would rather sacrifice my own well-being then admit to someone I couldn’t or didn’t want to help them. Learning how to relax the expectations you have of yourself, and give yourself permission to spend your time on things that matter to you and your family is one of the best ways you can simplify your life.
- Forgive yourself. There are going to be days when you let the craziness of the world seep in. You are going to drop one or more of the balls you are trying to juggle. Take a deep breath, forgive yourself and move on, for tomorrow is a new day.
- The grass is not always greener. We have all done it. We’ve looked over the fence wishing our life was something it is not. Or we have wasted time on the should’ve (should have,) could’ve (could have,) would’ve (would have,) aspects of life. Embrace the life you have and be thankful you have shoes on your feet and a roof over your head. Some days we get so caught up in wishing things were different, we forget to look around us for all the things we have that are good.
- Find reasons to smile. Laughing is the best medicine. A smile, a chuckle or a full belly laugh is the best way to ward off stressful moments. Tell a funny joke, make a toddler giggle, play peak-a-book with a baby, watch a funny movie, recall moments in your life that made you smile. We take ourselves too seriously. Lighten up and breathe.
- Make time to meditate. In my life, I make this number one. The time I spend by myself each day is spent with the Lord. No matter how busy I get, if I make the Lord number one, everything else falls into place.
My hope is you can find a few of these tips to apply to your life, so you too can start adding simplicity to your life.
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