National Simplicity Day
National Simplicity Day is celebrated on 12th July every year to honor Henry David Thoreau who promoted the term simplicity and connects it with daily life.
Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. In his book “Walden” (1854) and other writings, Thoreau described ways people could tap into themselves and be happier through a lifestyle that was less hectic. Thoreau says, “Simplify, simplify.” I think we often go through life exhausted because we take on too many things, bring too much complexity to our days, and don’t have time to enjoy life. We are in need of simplifying our lives. Thoreau’s injunction ‘simplify, simplify’ became so popular it was practically the ‘live, laugh, love’ of its day.
“IN PROPORTION AS HE SIMPLIFIES HIS LIFE, THE LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE WILL APPEAR LESS COMPLEX, AND SOLITUDE WILL NOT BE SOLITUDE, NOR POVERTY POVERTY, NOR WEAKNESS WEAKNESS.” –HENRY DAVID THOREAU
On this day, people are reminded to take a step back from their hectic daily schedule and start to simplify their lives. If our lives are full of activities—work or volunteering or other activities important to us—then time goes by very quickly, and we are going to miss out on a lot. We can start today to move our lives into something simpler while still doing what we must.
Here are some steps to take to get us there,
10 Tips to Lead a Simple Life
1. Becoming aware of how we spend our time.
Think of this as a to-do list in reverse and write down everything you’ve accomplished today. Include small details like “made the bed.” Feel good about your accomplishments instead of looking at what’s left on your never-ending to-do list.
2. Identify what is important in life.
What often holds us back from eliminating some of our business is that we start making a certain amount of money, increase our spending to that level, and then feel we have to continue working at a certain pace to pay our bills and maintain our lifestyles. We are not having time to enjoy the life we have to decide what is important and worth spending our time. Identify which things need more time and what is important, is it going for a walk by the park, spending time with your family and friends or just working and working.
3. Say no to some requests.
There is a saying, We can have anything we want in life, but we can’t have everything. To simplify our lives, and adjust what works best for you. We have to say no to some requests for our time, we don’t have to take on so many activities. Make life simpler by saying no to some activities and enjoy life more.
4. Reduce some expenses and Re-evaluate them.
Ever have days where you stop and think “That’s too much money I am spending”? Just sit down and track where you are spending and how and cut some unnecessary expenses you are incurring. By monitoring your expenses you will be able to see exactly where you are spending and where you can cut the unnecessary expenses.
5. Put down the phone
Never take your days for granted, cherish the moment you have with your loved ones and the moments you are able to focus on yourself. As the saying goes, “stop and smell the roses.” you will find a lot of reasons to put down your phone and do something else instead.
6. Declutter your home
Declutter a home and make it organized and clean you can start with a room at a time, categorize each item and discard, donate or sell things not needed.
7. Don’t let the little things eat you up inside
Learn to make things right and move on, remove the word “what ifs” from your dictionary. It is also important to remember that forgiveness can also help set you free of inner turmoil, find out seven steps to help you forgive someone.
8. Exercise daily
Exercising daily not only can help you lead a simpler life, but it also can have great health benefits. Go out and enjoy nature with any outdoor activities and have fun, spending time in the fresh air always centers which will make you feel better.
By volunteering you are putting others first, which will help you gain an inner perspective of your role in this world.
10. Spend time on yourself
In daily busy life we hardly get time for ourselves, in order to help others and to live a simple life, it is important to take time to recharge and relax. People need to make sure they are able to take a step back from a grueling schedule to focus on themselves. There is nothing even wrong with taking 20 minutes a day to just sit and do nothing. Remember your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Make a vow to simplify life
We are probably not going to do what Henry David Thoreau did and live at a lake to make our lives simple. But we could move in that direction. We could get a smaller home. We could keep our cars a little bit longer. We might not go for that job promotion this year. We could take a vacation. We could say no to some of the volunteer requests we get. Maybe we won’t sign our kids up for so many classes and simplify their life as well as ours. We can be very busy, but we also need time just to relax – to do nothing, take naps, meditate, walk around the block, and so on. Spending time in nature is great for our souls. That’s one of the important messages in Walden – how beneficial the power of nature can be.
We do well when we simplify our lives and have time to be happy. Happiness is within our reach. So let’s work towards making our lives simpler and making time to fill our cups with what gives us happiness.
Once you move in the direction of simplifying your life, you’ll find you spend time on the core things that put a smile on your face, and your life will start to become amazing with less, not more. And you’ll find less is actually more because your priorities are the things that are best for you.