It's officially National Simplify Your Life Week, and I'm sure we can all use some tips to make our lives simpler all year round!
When I reflect on how to simply my life, I think about the things that make me happy and how I can carve out the time to incorporate them in my day to day activities.
I am a huge food lover and am always very excited to find new places to eat and explore different recipes. Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen blog has always been one of my favorite websites to visit for food inspiration. Her book, Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites, features just what it promises: relatively easy dishes with simple ingredients. You don’t need to be a top chef spending endless hours in the kitchen to have a satisfying (or Instagram-worthy) meal. Do you find Smitten Kitchen too advanced? Take it down a notch and grab The Skinny Slow Cooker Summer Recipe Book, which features recipes that are all 500 calories or less. Because honestly, what's simpler than the "set it and forget it" method that slow cookers can offer?
Something else that I have found gives me peace is a clean house. Did you know that clutter-free space can actually reduce stress and anxiety? Think about it—is there anything better than coming home from vacation or an arduous day at work to find almost no mess to pick up after? Ridding your home of unwanted objects doesn’t just have to be something that you frantically do when company is on their way. It can be a lifestyle. For guidance, you can consult Mari Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Some people find her methods intense, but if you can follow the core message of "keep what gives you joy, toss the things that don’t," you should end up with good results!
Clearing out your house is great, but it also helps to clear your mind. Try reading Meditation (The Only Book You’ll Ever Need) by David B. Dillard-Wright and Ravinder Jerath. Isn’t it funny how we sometimes need to turn to others to re-teach us how to breathe? Sometimes we forget to relax and take in the moment. This book gives basic instructions on how to get closer to nirvana … or, at the very least, a couple minutes of peace. I would also suggest Wellmania: Misadventures in the Search for Wellness by Brigid Delaney. This is an excellent choice if you want to read about someone else’s journey to inner peace and quiet through a comedic lens.
And finally, if all else fails, just curl up with a book that makes you feel good! One of my favorite memoirs of all-time is the international best-seller, A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. I was never happier than when I found myself laying on the beach with my eyes glued to the pages of this book. His detailed account of moving to the country will help you live vicariously through the characters he introduces to you. No one punches a clock, meals are homemade and rustic, the homes are old but stable, and nature is all around you. Simple and beautiful!
Find other helpful tips on cutting clutter, getting organized, and simplifying your day-to-day life with the help of the Free Library using the resources in our Explore topic!