The first week in August is National Simplify Your Life Week. Observed Monday, August 2 – Friday, August 6 this year, the week aims to encourage us to refocus our lives and declutter. However, the purpose of this week is more than just cleaning out our closets. Instead, it enables us to look at ways we can eliminate anything that causes stress or anxiety.
“We’re all familiar with the idea of spring cleaning, but some late-summer simplifying is a great way to keep the clutter to a minimum going into fall. But simplifying your life isn’t just about removing the physical clutter out of your life. It’s meant to make us look closely at our lifestyle, and eliminate the things that keep us from enjoying life.”Ideal living website
When I begin to think about simplifying my life, I like to start with my mind. I’m truly blessed to have a “cluttered” lifestyle. There are numerous hobbies I want to pursue, relationships I want to nurture, and a job that I want to pour my heart into. No doubt I’m thankful, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
However, when I have a stable morning routine, I can clear the mental chaos and get organized for the day. It’s also a time for me to reflect, be thankful, and devote time to my personal wellness.
While I would love to say I have a morning routine I stick to daily, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Vacation, visitors, or schedule conflicts occur. That’s life. But I allow myself to fall off the horse, and then when I can, I get back on and continue as before.
Here are six things I do to simplify my mind and set myself up for success:
- Create a consistent sleep schedule.
I TRY to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, especially during the week. I find that if I go to bed earlier, I can rise earlier, sometimes before the rest of my house is awake. Having a moment of quiet reflection without outside distractions can make for a peaceful start to the day. The earlier I get up, the more I can get done before I feel the pressure of deadlines, phone calls, or social media distractions. I’m genuinely thankful for having a job that allows me to make my own hours. Having this flexibility allows me to fit in a quick power nap if needed during the day. Or, if time is limited, I will adjust my evening schedule to lay down earlier that night.
I’ve always been someone who likes writing things down. Notes, lists, thoughts. So for me, journaling is an essential part of decluttering my mind and simplifying my life. It gives me a chance to recall life highlights or accomplishments. It also gives me an outlet to voice frustrations or disappointments. Sometimes I write a lot, sometimes it’s just a few sentences. There’s no pressure, just a way to document what I’m feeling that day. Ultimately it’s a way to look back on the highs and lows of my life. What did I learn? How have I changed as a result? It’s a gratifying way to keep yourself in check.
- Read or Listen.
I try to take a moment to expand my mind after I journal. I don’t read often, so I will take the time to read a chapter from a book and highlight sentences or quotes that resonate with me. Alternatively, I’ll listen to a 5-10 minute inspirational podcast. Optimal Living Daily narrates influential blogs on various topics, including living daily, relationships, finance, health, and more. All are quick and packed with inspiring information. If the podcast contains something noteworthy, I’ll continue my journal entry with the most important takeaways, or so I can reference it at another time.
- Make the bed/tidy up.
I like to start my day with a clean bedroom and kitchen. The rest of the house may be a mess, but for some reason, when my bedroom and kitchen are clean, it makes me feel at ease. So I make a point of making our bed, put away clothes or other accessories on my dresser, and make sure the bathroom counter is free of clutter. I’ll also quickly empty the dishwasher if it ran the night before or put away dishes on the drying rack. Finally, I’ll thaw out something to cook that evening for dinner, eliminating the guesswork later that day.
- Green Smoothie and Coffee with Collagen.
This is a new step in my morning routine that has quickly become a non-negotiable. I discovered a green detox smoothie by Dr. Mona Vand that I absolutely love. The combination of green leafy vegetables with fresh fruit and lemon juice is surprisingly delicious! I pair that with my morning coffee mixed with Vital Proteins* collagen and a little creamer. It’s a refreshing way for me to start the day.
Exercise is something that I KNOW declutters my mind, but I have such a hard time committing to it. I really don’t know why. So in honor of Simplify Your Life week, this is the part of my morning routine that I’m going to work on improving. Where will it fit into my schedule? What activity will get me motivated and out of bed? Do I need to adjust my workouts each week to avoid getting bored or stick to the same thing so I’m not overwhelmed? My goal is to stick to a plan not only for the week but the month of August. And at the end, I’ll reevaluate and assess where adjustments need to be made. Stay tuned!
I realize that my morning schedule might not be the norm. Some people aren’t early risers or have other commitments that won’t allow them to devote time to a similar schedule. Others might think that’s a mighty hefty routine to tackle first thing in the morning!
I’m not an expert at what you should or should be doing. However, I can testify that having a morning routine calms my scattered brain and relieves stress and anxiety that can come with daily life.
Start small. Select things that are important and are interesting to you. Then experiment with different times to find what works best with your day (early before your house wakes up, during your lunch break, or right before bed). My routine typically takes me less than an hour to complete (with no distractions). Finally, give yourself time to develop a practice that you feel comfortable with, knowing you won’t be able to stick to it 100% of the time. Fall off that horse, but push yourself to get back on it. Refocus on yourself.
Mental decluttering is only a tiny part of simplifying your life. What’s on your list? Do you stick to the same things weekly, or do you mix it up? Share your thoughts below, or connect with us on our social channels. We would love to hear your ideas and insights!
*This post does not contain affiliate links. I do not get paid to list them in my post… I just like those products and services 🙂