Chaos, clutter, constant dread of the washing machine; these were all things I thought were a constant part of being an adult. My life consisted of running around all day to sit down and realize I’d accomplished nothing, and truly that took a pretty decent toll on my mental health. It wasn’t until about March of this year that I really took a hard look at my life and realized something had to change. After having Ezra, I truly struggled with postpartum depression, which eventually spilled over into this weird funk that I simply couldn’t shake. I started simplifying my life, decided it was time for happiness to be my intrinsic motivation rather than societal acceptance, and just tried to focus on the things I could control. By simplifying I’ve set myself up for success so that even when the bad days come, I can simply ride the wave and keep going. I’ve tried my best to encompass the tips and tricks I use to keep it simple, but feel free to add along in the comments and let me know what works best for you.
1. Learning to Say No.
Up until very recently I was the ultimate yes girl, I was stretched thin between a good half dozen commitments, half of which I felt obligated to maintain simply because of the good ol’ Irish Catholic guilt that is so heavily burnt into my brain. Learning to say no was such a hard but beneficial task, just because you have free time doesn’t necessarily mean you should fill it with commitments and obligations that you aren’t super into. Overstretching yourself just leads to burn out and eventual resentment, both are things I learned are so easy to live without.
2. Take it Easy, You Have a Whole Week.
It’s so easy to look at the list you created for the week and become overwhelmed, how many of us get so wrapped up in the physical list itself that we take time away from actually doing the tasks? Instead of making one long laundry list, try and break it up into manageable chunks by day. I write my list out on my cute little motherboard every Monday and genuinely find joy in crossing that stuff off; I lump together my Saturday and Sunday and create six mini-lists that are actually doable.
3. Minimize the Clutter.
I’m not saying you need to go crazy here people, literally this can be as simple as cleaning out the receipts from your purse, or taking the three size too small onesie out of the diaper bag, start slow and move up as you gain confidence. I recently started reading up on minimalism, the principle being to limit needless things, and that idea really stuck with me as I began to take on the piles of stuff that seemed to accumulate within my home. By getting rid of extra stuff, life seemed more manageable, I felt less trapped in the endless cycle of keeping up, and find a weird happiness in downsizing the ever dwindling junk drawers and catch all baskets. Feel free to check out my down and dirty five minute declutter list here.
4. Get Into A Morning Routine.
How many of us hate rushing, yet sleep until we literally have six minutes to get out the door? You feel anxious, rushed, annoyed at the fact that you’re tired, but immediately are forced to go from zero to one hundred in a matter of seconds? This was until recently the story of my life, but one day I thought it’d be fun to wake up an hour early and see what happened, it was a game changer! I was able to get into a morning routine that although I wake up earlier, have time to enjoy my coffee, do some meditation, and get more things done before the little one even opens his eyes than I typically do in a day. My morning routine has become my solace, and sets the tone for my day to really be on the up and up. Get yourself into a morning routine that sets a positive tone for your day and see what happens.
5. Find What Sets Your Soul On Fire.
Quite literally figure out what makes you happy and chase it with all you have. Life is far too short to waste it on preconceived notions and doing things simply because society is telling you to do them. Do what you love and the rest will follow, when I’m not enjoying the company of my rambunctious one year old or my dear husband, I love writing new content and watching PBS, and make a point to do at least one hour of each every week. Make time for you, you can’t pour from an empty glass.
This was a lengthy post, but a year into this journey and I felt like these are things that needed to be shared for all my fellow moms (and non-moms alike) who sometime need a little help to get out of whatever funk comes your way. What are ways you circumvent the mundane daily tasks and live your best life?