Simple – A word for life.

I know people who pick a word for the year as part of their resolution ritual. It’s not something I’ve done, however, I’ve been using the word “simple” a lot (A. LOT.) and realized it’s not a word for the year, but a word I want to use to guide my life.

If you’ve seen my last few posts, you know that I’ve had burnout due to insane amounts of stress which also lead to a deep depression. Due to confidentiality reasons, I can’t get into details, however, as of just prior to Christmas, our time as treatment foster parents came to a gentle end. This is good news, for all involved, as we were dealing with an extreme stress situation. After twelve and half years we deserve an extended break.

Through therapy, I have also realized that I have lived in survival mode since I was quite young. Stress has been synonymous with my life for as long as I can remember. It’s also had a detrimental impact on my health through weight issues, mental health issues, development of Type 2 diabetes, and burnout.

In December, I made a decision to make self-care a priority. And then when things changed just before Christmas, I chose to take January off. This is when the word “simple” kept popping up. The first couple of weeks was actually really hard. As I spoke about in my prior post, I dealt with “the shoulds” almost constantly. I can now say how far I’ve come in such a short period of time!

My focus has been to live in the moment. What do I want to do with my time right now? What kind of person do I want to be? What would make me feel good? And then do that — guilt free. It’s been working. One day I crocheted for 8 hours! I totally recommend spending a whole day doing on your favourite hobby.

My journals sit by my bedside with my favourite writing instrument – gel pens!

I’ve also adopted many different self-care tactics into re-developing my daily routines. Things like:

  • Dry skin brushing
  • Cold showers
  • Applying lotion
  • Flossing
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Written affirmations
  • Gratitude acknowledgement
  • Creating my own bathing spa
  • Sleep meditation

I’ll be writing future posts that delve into some of these a little deeper. (Umm, cold showers? You know it’s winter here in Canada right?! There’s a technique to it – stay tuned for more details, but know it’s the thing I look forward to the most!)

Each of these items feeds my body and mind with positivity. They help me focus and help me remember to keep things simple. To help keep myself accountable, I stuck Post-It Notes in the places where each item happens. You can see from the list above that I haven’t impemented exercise into my routine yet, but having the reminder there is helpful for my mindset. Small steps, simple steps, all will come in time.

There have been some huge decisions come out of this thought process already. Like cancelling plans for a complete kitchen renovation by simply realizing that adding in a rollaway island cart and building a pantry in an already empty corner. Or rather than removing our fireplace and replacing it with a wall of windows (which sounds amazing, I know!) we realized we are constantly adjusting the blinds for the bright sun. So rethinking plans to give the fireplace a makeover instead will save us I don’t know how many thousands and also resolve the issue that the fireplace has given us.

I’ve decided to work part-time starting in February at a job that I will enjoy (still waiting for this to finalize), and focus on finishing my natural nutrition course. I may do the odd online cooking class. But until my course is finished, most of my business plans will remain on hold. I’ve always been one to overload my plate. No more. Reduce stress and enjoy a simple life. (My Instagram, Facebook and my blog will remain active as well.)

My husband and I have also been minimizing like crazy. Now with fewer people in the house, we’ve rejigged bedrooms and been able to reassess important possessions. Our house stays clean (and quiet!) We realized that during COVID shut-downs we’ve really let the deep cleaning slide in favour of surface cleans. We’ve started the deep cleaning and all I can say is WOW! We love our home again. But with everything minimized down to what’s important, it’s so much simpler to keep everything clean.

We’ve had to rebudget. That was an exercise in simplicity as well. We’re in somewhat of a shopping ban, not hard and fast, but we really assess what is important for us to buy right now. Food. Yeah… food is important. LOL

The pay off is huge for the effort put in to getting things to the point of simple. We ask ourselves “does this simplify or complicate our life/situation?” And then proceed as needed, but the outcomes of simplifying are just so much more peaceful.

What is one thing you can do to simplify your life? Please share your ideas in the comments.

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