Burnout has become a way of life in our society. We are constantly feeling stressed, bogged down, and overwhelmed. We are forgetful, plagued with anxiety over all the things, and struggling to be happy. What if you could live a simpler life in Pennsylvania?
Changing your life to be more simple can have several health benefits — reduced anxiety, slower aging, and stronger immunity (the less stressed we are the better our immune systems are). But, it can be difficult to get off the “hamster wheel,” as some would say, and get on with an easier existence.
Here are some tips to get you started to a simpler life in Pennsylvania:
Just Say “No”
No one wants to be busy all the time yet many of us have a difficult time saying “no” to things and setting boundaries with others. It is ok to say “no” to an invitation if you are not in the mood. Whether your personal or your professional life, breaking free of all the busyness will do wonders to simplify your life. If your kids are involved in so many activities that you are having trouble juggling it all, then make them reduce their load too. Cutting down on the number of activities that are crammed into your daily life can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and improve overall mental health.
Allow Yourself to do Nothing (and enjoy it)
Living a simpler life in Pennsylvania means giving yourself the freedom to stay home on the weekends with no plans. Allow yourself the freedom to do nothing. Sitting around, feeling bored, meditating, laying in the sun, cuddling with a pet, are all welcome. It may be difficult to allow yourself to be still, not productive, and to let your mind wander at first but the more often you do it, the easier it will become. This idea comes from the Dutch concept of “niksen,” the conscious act of no action.
Unplug from Social Media
Life may have been hectic before but even more so with the advent of social media. We are always connected to others and we are always distracted. Consider deleting social media from your devices to reclaim your time. All that time each day that you waste scrolling through social platforms can be used to look out the window, do some deep breathing, gather your thoughts, or just allow you to sit in peace. Even if it’s only a temporary break it can be great for your mental health.
Stop Aiming for Perfection
You will drive yourself mad trying to be perfect at everything you do. Instead, make the goal to be “good enough.” No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. Aiming for perfection leads to higher stress and anxiety levels. Perfectionists are more mentally and physically exhausted. Instead, set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and others. That might mean buying, instead of making, cupcakes for a child’s birthday party. Your mental health will thank you.
Put an End to Multitasking
Multitasking, except for maybe walking and talking, is not possible. Our brains cannot fully concentrate on more than one task at a time. Research shows trying to do more than one task at a time can lead to a 40 percent loss in productivity over time. Instead of trying to do more than one task at one time, which only increases stress, schedule things out so that you can give your full attention to a particular task. Multitasking also tends to lead to more mistakes, ultimately taking up more of your time.
Having fewer options in your closet, less clutter in your space, less stuff to organize, can make things so much simpler. If you don’t have to start your day deciding on what to wear, what coffee cup to use, or what new pant trend to follow things become easier. If certain things bring you joy — like your shoe collection—then keep that but let go of the things that don’t. There is no reason to hold on to all this “stuff” just to step over it.
Learn to Forgive and Let Go
We spend a lot of time dwelling on past events. We think about how people have wronged us, hold grudges, carry regret for things we have done, and hold on to past mistakes. Learning to forgive ourselves and others and to let go of past events so that we can move forward without all the weight of the past can be huge in helping our mental health.
If you need help simplifying your life, consider seeking the help of a licensed mental health professional. In counseling you will determine what is most important to you in life and learn how to set boundaries so you can find personal freedom.
Ready to begin counseling in Pennsylvania?
Our professionally-trained and licensed counselors have openings. Just call our office at 717-462-7003×1 and speak to our administrative assistant to get started to feeling better. You can get the tailored help you need right now. We are here for you.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.