10 ways to simplify your life and feel happier
Updated: Feb 26
If you ever feel like your life is one big mess, or you see clutter all over your home and it makes you feel overwhelmed, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your lifestyle. No, I won't tell you to become a minimalist, because I honestly don't find myself gravitating towards such a lifestyle but there are easy ways to simplify your life, whatever your lifestyle. So much time is wasted by doing things we don't even enjoy but we do anyway because society tells us to. Learn to eliminate excess and make the most out of what you've got. What I do recommend though is getting rid of unnecessary things that don't bring joy at all. Get ready to declutter the people, things, and feelings that cause anxiety, stress, and unhappiness.
1. Don't overbuy groceries
How often do you find yourself buying way too much and spending over your budget?
How many times do you throw away food? I know I throw out rotten fruit way more often than I should. I just forget to eat all the fruit and it goes moldy...what a waste!
Start meal planning and think about what you're craving ahead of time. If you know you're not gonna have enough time to cook meals you really want, then just accept the fact that you'll order in or eat out and avoid buying anything for those days. I often fall into the trap of assuming I'll actually have 3 meals a day when I have just 2 sometimes. So, I decided to stop buying that extra dinner stuff.
Tip: Find some easy recipes on Pinterest or in cookbooks. Make a bigger batch and put it in the freezer for the next day.
2. Let go of toxic people and relationships
Is there someone who wastes your time and uses you but gives nothing in return? Dump them. If someone makes you feel emotionally drained, it's a bad sign. Try to remedy the relationship or let it go altogether. Don't make compromises that just aren't worth it.
~ Learn to say NO ~ and re-evaluate the amount of time you give to each person. If you don't feel like hanging out, then don't. If you don't want to reply to every text, it's okay.
Think of it like this: "I am decluttering my life and removing the people who, like material objects, cause an impediment to my happiness." Energetic vampires are unnecessary and unhealthy.
3. Remove one time-consuming activity from your life
Sometimes we force ourselves to do something we don't even enjoy that much. Maybe you're going to yoga once a week but aren't loving it. Or, you're reading a boring finance book just because everyone says it's worthwhile. STOP. Only do things that are beneficial to you and that you enjoy doing. Try substituting something unpleasant with a new activity.
Let's say you run every day because you feel like it's the healthy thing to do but it actually makes you feel bad and anxious...stop doing it and try a new activity ASAP!
4. Have a good room declutter and throw out junk
Start with your bedroom and then continue with each room without stressing about it. Only do as much as you feel like each day. Throw away old clothes you don't wear. Donate them if possible or re-sell on sites like Poshmark.
Also, look at your decor items and refresh the room or eliminate everything that seems out of place and add only things that go with your aesthetic and style. If you adore kitsch and vintage items, find a nice way of displaying those pieces.
5. Create a morning routine that feels good
This is quite simple. Plan your outfits the night before, get them laid out and steamed. Know your beauty routine and keep your vanity or bathroom clean to make sure you can do your makeup routine quickly. By not wasting extra time in the morning, you can either sleep in for an extra 5 minutes or stop worrying about running late.
6. Stop wasting time reading and looking at things that don't interest you
Streamline your social media. Examine who you're following and what kind of content you ACTUALLY ENJOY. Don't waste precious time scrolling through an Insta-feed full of random people you don't even like. Use that unfollow button on all your social media platforms. Don't read all the crappy quotes you find on Facebook and don't look through all 200 photos of someone's wedding album if you don't care.
Start curating your social media and make it aesthetically pleasing and intellectually engaging.
7. Make lists
You won't believe how satisfying making lists and crossing things off a list can be. My advice is to create a to-do list for each week. If you are an organized person, make a to-do list each morning and try to cross off as many things as you can to make the next day's list shorter, hence giving yourself more free time.
Think about making: grocery lists, what to watch lists, work-related lists, yearly goals, even lists of people you want to stay in touch with.
8. Don't over-schedule yourself
What I mean by this is that you should give yourself some extra time for all activities. Don't schedule too many things on one day or one weekend. You'll feel very stressed out and tired if you cram in too many activities or too much work. Stress will only make you feel worse and cause unnecessary anxiety. Time management is a great skill to work on - learn how to create a good schedule for your lifestyle.
9. Avoid negativity
Avoiding negativity - this is the hardest advice to follow for me personally. Why? Because negative people, negative energy and just bad situations are all over the place all the time. There are so many negative people who interact with us and sometimes we can't just run away. But, if possible, avoid all negative drama. If you have a fight, just meditate, do something you like and try to let it go. Forget about it and move on. Don't dwell on negative energy.
If you see nasty comments on social media, just skip it and don't even bother responding. Delete, block, unfollow...do whatever is necessary to keep your space healthy.
10. Find FREE Entertainment
Go to your local park. Walk through the downtown streets and people-watch. Go to a beach or pool with friends. Having a good time doesn't always require money. Spending less money on leisure activities will make you feel better because you won't risk going broke. Try biking around the neighborhood or just playing with your pet. You can make the most of where you live by looking out for those free museum tours, art expos or free organized events like fairs and markets.