Even though the holiday season is upon us, the need for simple living is timeless. It’s just especially pertinent during a time when we’re asked to write down giant lists of things we “want,” and then frantically rack up our credit cards for gifts that people don’t really need. (Another bath robe — really, dad?)
So, in the midst of all the push and pull, I’m challenging you to actually take pause and get rid of stuff. Who knows, you might even end up finding things you own to gift to others. You know what they say, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.
If you want to feel a little bit lighter this month, check out these tips for simple living.
1. Work with what you have
We’ve all heard Tim Gun’s popular phrase, “make it work.” Now it’s your turn … Successfully utilizing what’s in your existing toolbox is an act of simplification. Instead of buying new things, fix toys that are broken and mend clothing that is torn. These items still have life in them—use them to their fullest potential! If something isn’t worth salvaging, be diligent about getting rid of it by either donating or throwing it away. Self-prescribed hoarder? Ask yourself these five questions to help you get rid of stuff.
2. Start a gratitude journal
Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.¹
Don’t believe me? Just take it from our own brightpeak blogger, Diana Kerr, who wrote about her experience writing in a gratitude journal for a year.