When we are immersed in day-to-day life; busy with work, kids, obligations and routine, things quietly build up around us. The clutter creeps in, the days rush by, and we get used to working around, putting off, and getting by.
Then, when something out of the ordinary happens that requires more of our time, space or energy, we wonder what will have to give. Life often calls for a reset, and this guide can help.
Use this guide to lighten your life when …
- times are tough
- you feel overwhelmed
- the seasons are changing
- you are experiencing big change
- after you complete a big project
- when you need more time, space or energy
Our external surroundings have a big effect on our internal feelings and well-being. When you work from a messy office, it might be more challenging to put your thoughts together and stay focused. When your living space is cluttered, fining a moment of peace and quiet can be challenging.
While much of life is not completely within our control, we can take steps to create a lighter atmosphere so we can better handle the heavy stuff.
A Little Guide to Lighten Your Life
You don’t have to let go yet, but give yourself a chance to live in a clutter-free home, or at least in the rooms where you spend the most time. Walk through your home with a box (or 2 or 3) and fill it with everything that you aren’t using. Tape up the boxes and put them out of sight. Now that you are starting with a nearly blank slate, you can decide what to add, if anything to lighten the space.
Live in your new space for 30 days and then decide if you want to bring any of the stuff you deemed useless back in. If you don’t miss it, or don’t remember what’s in the boxes, let it go.
Create a space for your daily luggage.
If you come home and throw your purse or briefcase, keys and phones on the kitchen table or couch, create a dedicated space for each. A charging station in another room, hooks in a closet, or a drawer just for the stuff that has no space, will help with the transition from the chaotic outside world to the inside of your peaceful home.
Look around your home and identify opportunities to add light, or better light. Open the blinds, light candles, and replace dingy lights with soft white lights. Adding light to your home will add lightness to your mood and attitude.
Trade the evening news for soft music.
Play your own music, or create a playlist for free on Pandora or another music service. The news may be designed to keep you informed, but it’s also heavy with doom and gloom. Catch up on the news with a quick re-cap mid-day and avoid breaking news drama.
Declare phone-free zones or times.
Ban phones from the bedroom or computers after dinner, and especially during dinner. Talk to your family and find a time that works well for everyone. If a whole night or room seems impossible to agree on, start small with one hour, or one space where everyone agrees to show up without their devices.
Take a little walk.
In Italy, people in almost every town, village and city come out for the evening stroll called the passeggiata, which means little walk. They aren’t out to burn calories or build muscle tone or even to reduce stress. They take a little walk to see and be seen and to be a part of their community. The next time you finish dinner, instead of rushing to get the dishes done, or to get the kids ready for bed, or finish your work, take a little walk and really see each other.
These small steps are a reminder that things don’t have to be so heavy, and that you can choose how you view your life and the world. Make it light.