Simplify Life


I am all about simplifying life’s daily routines and events, but it’s not always easy.  I recently completed a four-month business accelerator program at the Harbor, wrapped up three group-coaching classes and will start two new ones’ next week. And, like for most of us, spring has been a very busy time with family and friends. As a result, some of the more time-consuming things I normally do to rest, renew and relax — like traveling, going for a massage, having a facial or attending a yoga class three to four times a week have fallen by the wayside. When this happens, I feel out of sync and have trouble sleeping. 

So, here are a few things I try to do when life gets harried:

  1. Take a day off.  This is not impossible. Consider the quality of the life you are living. If you do not have the energy you need to succeed, give yourself a “wellness day” from time to time. For the past few weeks and months, my motor has been running hard in high gear. With unexpected events, finishing up programs and groups and stress levels that didn’t have time to descend, I found myself in need of a day to do nothing. So last Saturday, I did nothing. I simply stayed home all day and rebooted.

  2. Fresh bouquets that last for weeks. Having fresh flowers makes a house a home. A fresh bouquet of any bloom that catches my fancy does wonders for my stamina. And there are plenty of fresh flowers to be found in stores, or better, in your yard this time of year. The fresher the better, and they will last longer if you trim the stems and water every three or four days. Simply shorten the stems about a half-inch at a slight angle to help absorption. When buying fresh flowers, look for tight buds that haven’t fully blossomed. Within a day or so, they will be in full bloom — and your room as well as your mind will be too.

  3. Facial masque: Put on before stepping into the shower. I try to give my skin either a moisturizing masque treatment or a pore-cleansing treatment once or twice a week. After removing my makeup, if showering at night, I apply the masque, step into a hot shower and let the steam work its magic. Rinse it all off in the shower (less mess to clean up), and voilà, two for one!

  4. Express gratitude. When it appears that very little is functioning as it should, or my energy level is depleted, I try to recall all for which I’m thankful. And there is plenty to choose from. Appreciating all that I have so graciously been given in life is like getting a jolt of pure, heaven-sent energy, which in turn helps me build even stronger, positive bonds with those things in my life that make it well worth living. The purpose is not to gain adulation or something in return. It is the exchange of good energy, paying recognition to others and their lives, and how they are living and giving of themselves, that assuages the negativity that temporarily disrupts my life. When I focus on all that’s good, I have less time to worry about what I cannot control.

  5. Exhaust your physical being. Adhering to a regular physical routine is vital to ward off negativity. So, when feeling low, know it’s probably time to get you blood pumping at a steady pace for at least 30 minutes at a time. Even when I do not have time to exercise, I remind myself that moving is essential for me to feel better at the end of the day, and it will also help me sleep better at night. I take a walk instead of driving my car around the neighborhood. I also do a few planks or yoga moves to wind down after a long day. I also enjoying walking up and down some stairs at home, the office or when running errands. Every bit of physical exertion adds up. So, stay busy! Working out in such a way is effective when our lives seem overwhelmed. It forces our minds to be in the present moment. Doing so for only 30 minutes is a huge de-stressor. Try it and you’ll soon know what I mean.

  6. Read a book without a plot or how-to’s.  If I’m having a particularly stressful week, the last thing I want to do is get absorbed in even more drama. Reading is relaxing, of course, but it’s not always wise to get wrapped up in a novel. Same goes with self-help books. You want to wind down not up, right? No heavy concentration wanted. So, I choose some magazines about interior design, fashion, food and travel. It allows me to escape into a world of beauty and bliss, relax my mind and unwind.

  7. Take a high-tech break. I am as guilty as the next person for habitually looking at my screen (phone, TV and computer).  However, it has become clear to me that constantly having my eyes on a screen does not help lower my stress level. Put down the phone, plug it in to the charger and walk away — far away. Make time to do this every day and you will be amazed how much better you will feel. While staying abreast of what’s going on in the world is important, too much is harmful to your health.

  8. Talk to someone who is trusted and calm. When we talk to someone who knows us, understands our lives, and are not competitive or jealous of us, it’s a blessing. They can also recognize when we need to breathe, re-boot and not be so hard on ourselves. Their unwavering support reminds us why we need partners and good friends. Appreciate the positive power that comes to us from the people with whom we share our lives. Be thankful for them. Nurture these good relationships. Be open and giving to them. And be willing to receive what they have to offer us in return.

  9. Brew and sip some tea or sparkling water.  The act of getting up and going into the kitchen and making some hot tea or a cold glass of sparkling water give my mind a break, gets me away from sitting at my computer too long. The type of tea you choose is up to you, but for me, since I have a high tolerance for caffeine, I choose black tea. It is something hot, something delicious and something to sip slowly; it slows and calms me down. Sipping sparkling water is also a special treat, especially when I add a slice of lime or lemon.