Sometimes things only become glaringly obvious to you days, weeks or years after they should.
Like the fact that leggings under shorts is not a good look. Or swimming in an outdoor pool without sunscreen is a bad idea.
Or how draining living in a big city can be on your soul.
At first, I didn’t notice the subtle ways the latter was true for me. The nights I couldn’t sleep. The tears I would sometimes shed in the car. The clawing feeling of wanting to escape that I kept ignoring.
I thought it was just the stress of trying to find a job right out of college. Or the helpless way I kept falling in love and getting my heart broken. Or my perpetual fear of an uncertain future.
Only now I am out of the city I can see the way it utterly depleted me.
I wasn’t happy. At least not the kind of happy that stretches deep beneath the surface, that bubbles away inside of you, giving you the energy you need to keep going.
The big city and all of its ways abraded me. It felt jarring, consuming and arduous to be a part of.
Being in the city felt like everyone and everything was taken in, chewed up and spat out into the same stressed out, discontented state.
There was something within me that knew I could never be happy there and when I finally listened to that voice, I got out.
I bravely packed up and moved home. To a city, several hundred thousand people fewer. To a place I feared would bore me. To a life that seemed slow and dull but in reality was the very thing I needed most.
We live in a society that deems slow to be boring. We want things NOW. We want the biggest and the best. We want what everyone else has and more.
We live to consume. To outdo each other. To obtain more and more.
But this way of living is exhausting. The effort is futile and totally unsustainable. The ‘hustle harder’ mentality is not something we can maintain long term, eventually we just burn out.
That’s what happened to me.
I was so weary I could hardly summon the strength to get myself out of bed and go back to work.
I couldn’t face another day of squishing in between people on the train ride, running late and rushing through the crowds down the street or having to take so many coffee orders that I hardly had the time to look up and greet a person as they entered the café.
Every part of me felt suffocated by the way rushing had become the new norm.
I wanted to have space again. I wanted to walk down the street without being swept up in the current of people moving forwards. I wanted to have room and time to actually breathe.
When you are constantly busy you don’t even notice the length of your days. Weeks fly by in a matter of minutes. I was terribly afraid that if I kept this up, my whole life could flash by and I wouldn’t even have lived it.
Simple living is about slowing down and realising what’s most important in our lives.
It’s about finding peace and contentment in the here and now. Being mindful of the way we consume and being aware of others around us.
I’ve seen a drastic change in myself over the past few months. Now I am out of the city and no longer a part of the hustle.
For the first time in a long time I am actually sleeping well. My mind switches off at night instead of worrying about all the things I have/haven’t done.
I finally feel positive and excited about life again. Once again I am actually looking for the beauty in every day. I’m no longer dreading and avoiding hard work. I’m even choosing to exercise because it makes me feel good!
But all around me I see people stuck in that same trap I was. Hustling endlessly each day, wishing for the weekend and burning themselves out.
I wish I could make them see that there is more to life than this constant competition for the flashiest Instagram photos. Or the addition of more belongings which clutter our homes. Or the mindless consumption of food wrapped in plastic, completely unrecognisable from its original form.
Simple living brings everything into perspective.
I thought slowing down would leave me feeling bored and irritable but instead, learning patience and practicing gratitude has made me so much happier.
I want that for other people, I want that for you.
So I decided to create a little challenge in order to do that.
And here it is…
Each day I’ve covered a different topic such as how to use social media cautiously or eat mindfully.
I’ve gone into detail to explain the importance of mindfulness in each area of our lives and then set a challenge for each day. This way you can easily incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.
Often I find that starting is the hardest part. It can be daunting and confusing to figure out where to begin. So this challenge will hopefully make it easy for you. 7 days and 7 ways to make your life a little more simple.
I’m super excited to share this challenge with you. If you are feeling overwhelmed and burntout and you’re keen to find more peace and contentment then join me by signing up below…
I hope you’ll slow down a little today and remember what is truly important in your life. It’s not all the THINGS you own or accomplish, it’s people. PEOPLE are what matter most.
One of the biggest struggles I have faced with living simply is making time for people. It’s so easy to get caught up in getting things done that I miss out on opportunities to build relationships.
So I’m interested to know your thoughts on this…
What is the biggest challenge you face when it comes to simple living?