Back in January I set myself a buy nothing new challenge. I haven’t been 100% successful with that, but over the past 4 months my focus has changed and now I’m making simplicity a priority in my life as a whole, not just with regards to shopping. Here are the areas I am trying to simplify:
House: Although I failed at the buy nothing new challenge, I am still trying to stem the flow of new items into the house by shopping more mindfully. If I need or want something I try and find something we already own to fulfil that need, borrow it, or buy it second hand. However I have a very limited amount of free time and sometimes I feel it makes more sense to just go to the shops or order it online, and use my time for something else. On the other hand, I am trying to declutter our house like crazy. In particular I’m trying to clear out clothes, toys, books, excess arts and crafts materials, baby items (as we stop using them) as well as general household clutter.
Diet: Food is a big priority for me, as I find that what I eat makes a huge difference to how I feel, plus I also enjoy cooking and eating delicious food. My focus is on eating simple, real foods like vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, nuts and seeds most of the time, and less processed food. I am also mostly wheat, gluten and dairy free.
Mindfulness: Being at home with two small children is really hard work, but can be really enjoyable too. I want to make the most of this time as I know I will miss it when it is gone. I have found that practising mindfulness helps me stay present with my two girls and enjoy the little things more, as well as feeling calmer and less stressed in general, having more patience and losing my temper less.
Media: Does anyone else find media, especially social media, totally addictive? Let’s face it, taking care of little people can be quite boring sometimes, and it is tempting to reach for distractions, especially when you can access the whole of the internet from a device that fits in your back pocket. But I restrict how much screen time my 3 year old daughter has, and I feel I need to be a good role model to her and apply the same rule to myself. I also don’t want her to feel that my phone is more important to me than she is. It’s hard to find the right balance – I like to have something to read or look at while my eldest is at preschool and the baby is asleep in the sling so that I don’t go completely insane, but it’s addictive and I find myself looking at my phone all the time, just to check whether I’ve got any messages or notifications.
What am I hoping to achieve by simplifying my life? More time, more money, more space, more freedom, more happiness and more enjoyment.