It might seem odd for me to be telling you to care less. I’m usually promoting being passionate about what you do and living a life you love. There are some areas, however, I think we would all be happier if we cared less.
I think most would say they could do with less stress in their lives. Or maybe they could use a little more time. How about more disposable income? You are in luck! Today, I have some suggestions on how you can de-clutter your life a bit, let go of a little stress and maybe even have a bit more money in your pocket. This is not a get rich quick scheme – just some suggestions on simple life modifications.
1. Clean out your email box! How many emails do you get daily from retailers?How much time do you think you waste looking at emails, deleting emails and maybe even shopping for things you don’t really need? Unsubscribe from the retailers you infrequently shop. Remove the temptation. Remove the time waste. Remove the chance for unnecessary shopping. It is very freeing to wake up and not have 20 emails waiting for you every morning! (Of course you’ll want to keep this one ;-))
2. Remove yourself from catalog mailing lists. You’ll have to call for this one and it may take a month or two to work but it can be done! Think of the trees you save too. There is less time spent sifting through mail, browsing catalogs, taking them to the recycling bin or even being tempted to buy items you just don’t need.
3. Find new ways to reward yourself that don’t involve shopping.How about a relaxing soak in the tub, with some good smelling body wash and your favorite music or taking a walk and picking some fresh wildflowers for your table. Call a friend, grab a coffee, go for a bike ride, try a new recipe, etc. The options are endless and all of these create a healthier, lower stress you with a little more $$ in your wallet.
4. Care less about stuff! This can be a hard one but with some practice you can break the habit and de-clutter your home/office/car. Donate old clothes to Goodwill. Get rid of household items you don’t use or things that are broken, worn and no longer needed. I had a friend share with me that as a teenager she lost everything to a tornado. That experience has made her less attached to stuff. Think about what you really need. Think about what you actually use and what is just taking up space in a closet. What would you really miss if you lost it all to a tornado and what is just stuff you own?
5. Ignore advertising! Tis the season where we are hit from every angle with new stuff and this year’s trends. Will your life be that much better if you have trendier dishes, more stylish sheets or this season’s boots? There is a difference between what I like to call passion items and just new items. For me a passion item is a new purse that I just love and will use for years because I love it regardless of whether it’s trendy. That’s a worthy expense in my book. Just new items usually fall into the category of being more about impressing others and keeping up with the Jones’ – not so worthy. Sometimes I think we get in the mode of constantly redecorating and updating. Take a breather and enjoy what you have for a while. Focus on passion items – one new accessory each season and leave the rest for someone else!
6. Don’t make gift giving a competition! Sometimes gifts among friends or family seems to turn into making sure you spend as much as the other spent! I know many of my friends would be happier to receive a night of free babysitting so they could go on a date or a surprise home cooked meal during a busy time versus a sweater or candle. Be creative with gifts and give items that will be appreciated and remembered. Every year I collect family photos and make a calendar for my elderly relatives. They love seeing happy, family memories all year long and this is gift that is unique to our family every year. Be creative with your gift giving and worry less about dollars spent versus the size of the smile of the receiver!
7. Find time for you! Even if it’s just a 10 minute walk, studies show spending as little as ten minutes clearing your mind and moving your body makes a person happier and reduces stress. Take 10 minutes from your lunch break to stretch your legs. Get up a few minutes earlier and perform a simple fitness and stretching routine. Walk the mall before beginning your shopping excursion. Finding time to let go of stress and move a bit does not have to mean changing clothes, driving to the park, driving back, shower, etc. While a full workout is good – squeezing in 10 minutes of uncluttered time will do wonders as well.
These are just a few simple solutions on how you can de-clutter your life a bit and find more time, less stress and maybe spend less, too. Like anything else, it can be hard at first to create a new habit or break an old habit – but with persistence it can be done. Just remember it generally takes three weeks to change or adopt a habit. Good luck to you!