Living Simply

I’m going to sound like a complete hippie- but I’ve been focused on eliminating things from my life that don’t bring me happiness. By making that statement, I’m not saying that there won’t be negative patches or times where I completely relapse, drink a gallon of soda (that I’ve mostly cut out of my diet), binge on social media like a zombie, and default back to old ways. It’s more about a focus on the good things, as opposed to the bad. It’s also about making positive changes to your *sometimes deeply* engrained habits at a gradual pace.

Living Simply on Coffee and Cactus

Only bring things that bring you joy into your home.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a huge packrat. My desk at work may be organized, my car might be void of clutter, but my apartment is getting full of stuff. Not quite hoarders level, and I can justify the purpose for all the things… so yeah. It’s been a goal of mine for the past few years to get rid of things that are broken or don’t bring me joy. Dress that I wore in my sorority days that I’ll never wear again that doesn’t fit my current lifestyle? It goes up on Poshmark. A fringe benefit of this is that I can say that 99% of the things in my closet are things that fit and things that I feel good wearing; the mornings where I agonize about what to wear are few and far between. The extra cash isn’t too shabby either. Quality over quantity, I’m slowly getting my space where I’d like it to be.

Spend more time outside.
Get those gams moving and have some nature time. As an IT professional, I sit in front of *four* screens for eight to ten hours a day. EIGHT TO TEN HOURS A DAY. And that doesn’t even include time on my phone, or iPad. Despite the fact that I enjoy what I do for a living, I try to disconnect when I can and reconnect with the outside world, the non-digitized one. I’ve found that I’m happier and just plain feel better when I take breaks to reconnect to nature. Again with that hippie crap, I know.

Living Simply on Coffee and Cactus

Connect with your loved ones. Especially the furry ones.
I’m proud to say that my significant other doesn’t really do Facebook, or social media for that matter. I used to be skeptical about his choices, but I’m understanding the reasoning behind his ways more and more. FOMO is prevalent among my peer group, and I definitely feel it too often. With each and every passing day, my feed is becoming more and more about the kids I knew from high school having babies and getting married, and or folks portraying this luxe-positive façade that most of the time isn’t realistic. I feel comfortable where I’m at in life and where I’m headed, but if you’re staring at all of that static all the time you get a bit jaded. I also used to fear missing out on people’s personal news, but I’m finding the more I let the feed fly without looking at it, the more the people who matter will let me know about their news personally.

Living Simply on Coffee and Cactus

Shop less.
Each and every day we’re so heavily exposed to advertising and marketing ploys, thus we’re conditioned to buy buy buy more and more. The things that we buy often don’t serve us spiritually, but we pretend like they do. A la a few days ago, some shoes I bought at the mall because I was stressed. I do like those Steve Madden sandals I got, but not because I had a rough day at the salt mines. I’m looking at you, retail therapy-goers. The first step to my retail rehab has been to simply unsubscribe from store email newsletters, and unfollow stores on social media. If you don’t see it, usually you don’t get the urge to buy it unless you really need it.

I hope some of my tips above help you out on your journey. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. If you’re in a rut personally or professionally, a little change couldn’t hurt.

Rock on with your simpler- and happier self,

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