“I have a feeling that we are in such a hurry that we do not even have time to look at one another and smile.” — Mother Teresa
Some of the most popular articles on No Sidebar are the ones that have to do with decluttering areas of the home. But there are aspects beyond the physical things that can be decluttered throughout the day in order to foster simplicity.
Do you feel rushed, hurried, or stressed throughout the day? By making conscious decisions to slow down and declutter aspects of the day, your day today can become more simple. So begin the habit of creating more space throughout the day, and see how it can work wonders to simplify life.
Here are 5 areas where you can create more space in the next 24 hours to help yourself slow down and make the day less stressful:
1. Get more sleep.
Sleep is so wonderful and can alleviate so much unnecessary stress and tiredness. And you probably need more sleep than you think you do. The recommended hours of sleep for adults is between 7.5-9 hours, and the recommendation for children has recently increased.
The American Academy of Pediatrics explains that “adequate sleep duration for age on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.” Making sure we have time for a proper sleep each night will help us be more rested, patient, and clear-minded during the day.
2. Leave a time-buffer in the schedule.
Sometimes the day can become jam-packed full leaving no breathing room. Even on a busy day we can be intentional about moving a bit more slowly. Find some ways to slow down the schedule. If you know that a hectic day is ahead, it can be nice to schedule in a time-buffer.
While moving from one thing to the next make sure there is time in between (10min, 30min, or whatever you need) in order to avoid scheduling things too tightly. Something might take longer than you think it will.
If it’s with kids, it will almost definitely take longer! Giving yourself a buffer of time between might help alleviate stress of the unexpected traffic jam, bad weather, or needing more time to get ready.
3. Have meaningful conversations.
Be aware of small talk and see if it might be keeping you from speaking openly with someone you love. We can spend a lot of time with someone and exchange many words, and yet never truly know their heart.
Ask the questions that allow you to learn about someone else. Tell the people around you that you love them. Talk about things that matter and share new ideas. You’ll feel more fulfilled, and might cut some time-wasting conversation out of your day.
Think about these guidelines when speaking about yourself or someone else:
1. Is it necessary?
2. Is it true?
3. Is it edifying?
If the answer is no to any of those, perhaps re-think what you were about to say and re-direct the conversation to be more constructive and uplifting.
4. Making time for generosity.
Generosity can make life more simple, and it will make you feel better too; we really do receive when we choose to give to others. Removing the excess in your life often results in having more to share: whether that is your money, talents, or time.
Did you run into someone who was having a bad day? If you’ve scheduled the buffer, maybe you have 5 minutes to talk to them and offer a smile. When you ask ‘how are you?’ are you ready to listen attentively to the answer even if it’s just for a few minutes?
Maybe slowing down today could lead to offering comfort, reassurance, or gentle advice to someone who needs it.
5. Taking care of yourself.
I think this one goes hand in hand with generosity: If we make sure to take care of ourselves it really can help us take care of others by making us able to give more fully and attentively.
We also need to understand our own hearts in order to better love other people. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that this is a key: the simple fact that our hearts need to change if we want our lives on the outside to change.
When we know our own hearts, we can give more generously to the people in our lives. Plus, in order to take care of yourself there might be need to re-examine the schedule, activities, or relationships and be more intentional about what you let in to the day.
If you want to slow down and pursue a simple life, No Sidebar has created a 30-day email course that will inspire + encourage you.