When changing your life for less stress and more peace, rules can provide structure.
Rules can also feel restrictive and we love to rebel against a self-imposed restrictive rule (or at least I do). That’s way I like lifestyle rules that are gentle, flexible and supportive rather than punitive.
I like rules that help me simplify my life and rules that make me feel good.
My gentle rules have changed over the years, here are the five that are helping me reduce stress and enjoy more peace (a.k.a. feel good) lately.
5 Gentle Rules To Help You Feel Good
1. Move everyday.
This rule used to be more detailed including how many steps to walk etc. Now it’s a more gentle and inviting rule. Moving my body with a walk and stretching every day feels good in my body and my heart. It helps me release stress I’m holding on to and allows me to be more flexible when I am working through something stressful. We can’t always walk away from stress but we can walk and move through it.
Difficult conversations are often easier when done on the trail or out for a walk. There’s more room to pause and breathe when you are moving vs. sitting still.
2. Prioritize rest and sleep.
This is how I do it.
3. Be less connected to feel more connected.
Disconnecting from the internet and my devices is becoming more and more important to me. I’m better connected to my heart and the hearts around me when I disconnect for a full day a week and several times a day.
4. Be thoughtful about when and how to engage.
Most things don’t require a response and if I reflect on arguments or debates that I’ve had with people I know or strangers on the internet, hardly any of them were productive. I can be curious without being combative. I can love people I don’t agree with. I do not need to engage to prove that or anything at all.
5. Live without clutter, debt and alcohol.
These are three things many of us grow up with or around and never consider what life would look like without them. 15 years ago, I thought I’d always live with clutter and debt. A few years ago, I thought alcohol would always be a part of my life. Now, I’m clutter-free, debt-free and alcohol-free and that makes my life simpler, happier and healthier. Because I let them go, I live with less stress and more peace (even during stressful events).
It took years from the first time I got curious about letting those things go to being free of them completely.
This rule might feel less gentle but because I’m reminded daily about how much better my life is without these things, it’s the easiest to uphold.
How to keep the rules gentle
If you want to incorporate some of these rules or others, keep them gentle by adding them to your life one a time. Once you pick one, consider how to make it gentler and smaller. Perhaps you only honor this rule one day a week to start. Maybe you invite a friend to experiment with the rule for 30 days.
Mostly, the purpose behind these gentle rules is to build some flexible structure for yourself to clear stress, build resilience, enjoy more peace and simplify your life. Set rules and modify them to help you feel good. You deserve to feel good.
P.S. Learn more about The Simplicity Space here and join the waitlist if you’d like to work more closely with me on creating your own gentle rules. Doors open soon!