Living Simply
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Living Simply

Globalization of our society has really kicked up the pace in the workforce. I remember 40 hour work weeks, with 8 hour shifts. Now, if you get those hours, you are lucky, but no overtime pay if you go over. Retirement is sketchy. Children are being pushed hard in school and the notion of removing recess looms over their developing heads. Many are suicidal due to pressures and bullying. No wonder some take their own lives. Stress is the norm. Free time is very limited; people hide in their personal tech devices.Others regress to childhood through cosplay. We were never designed to live like in such as complicated world.What would it be like if the pace slowed down to manageable?

Back in 2002, my life drastically changed. I was hit with fibromyalgia, triggered by an overloaded immune system. Even though I have a good health management system, I can no longer live they way I did before. In my "Before" life, I burned the candle at both ends and occasionally lit a wick in the middle. In my "After" life, even when I feel great, I have to keep life scaled back. This was no speed bump like a sprained foot, or mildly torn ACL. This has been a permanent life change. I still do extremely well with my tangled health web than a lot of people do with similar issues. But God has called me to live life more simply. And that can be rather complicated sometimes because not everyone around me lets me do that. I find it very important for maintaining my health and my sanity.

Because the work and school worlds moves at a very crazy pace, it's important to simplify your life.Complications derail even the most healthy families. Crisis management does not have to be your specialty. What I encountered several years ago actually gave me freedom to do what was most important while letting the small stuff slide. I no longer needed to be the chief crisis manager of the family. What if the proverbial rug was jerked out from under you? It would force serious consideration to what is most important in your life. Reduced stress helps improve family relationships, makes it possible to eat healthier at home together, keeps a regular routine, while maintaining your sanity. It's important for everyone in your household to simplify. 

Here are some things I learned in my health crisis to lead a simpler life:

  1. Make daily lists and prioritize tasks.  Organize them from most important to least important. Consider time elements rather than just another thing to do. Don't let anything magically appear on your To Do list without your approval.
  2. Incorporate the One Major, Two Minors rule. Kids' activities can make you the transportation slave. Cut down the extracurricular activities and lessons by time demands. Have everyone look at what they do and choose what is most important for them to do. Where are their strengths? Watch out for time and day conflicts.Get rid of the other things littering  your evenings. Do the same for yourself.
  3. Get rid of clutter and unnecessary junk. Have everyone take 15 minutes a day to get rid of unnecessary paper, decorations, and any stuff you keep shuffling around. Have a place for everything and everything in it's place. You will feel less stressed when you come home to a neat, orderly home where you can find what you need.
  4. Allow for a bit of downtime in the evening before bed. Uncluttering your brain before bed will allow you to have more restful sleep. You won't be trying to solve the next crisis in your dreams or watching the clock in the middle of the night.
  5. Learn to say, "No".  People are notorious for dumping their unfulfilled tasked onto others.Only say yes at church to those ministries you have a passion for. Does it fit your spiritual gifts and talents? Anything that doesn't fit your family, turn down. Know what you and your family value the most.
  6. Buy basic healthy foods. Use these as ingredients for healthy meals and lunches you pack. You can use them to make a number of different meal combinations.
  7. Set regular times and stick to them. Get up the same time every morning. Have set meal times. Go to bed on time. Have regular workout times. Have a regular date night. You will be amazed at how this will reduce your stress and improve family life.
  8. Re-think your wardrobe. Keep basic classic pieces and add a few trendy pieces to mix it up, yet go well in different combinations. A less crowded closet makes for a nicer morning.
  9. Set family active fun times during the week. Pick one night as home night. No tech gadgets unless it is involved in your family activity.  It is best to have an unplugged night to play games, do things outside on a nice evening. You will all feel refreshed when you hit the road the next day.
  10. Make God a priority as a family. Keep the Sabbath. I'm not talking legalism here. I'm simply saying to set a priority for your family to go to church together worshiping the One True God. Have family devotions before bed.Watch everyone in your family grow in their walk with the Lord.

Regain your sanity and your health by living simply. May God bless you!

Top image from Pixabay by cleotonvalentim.

Family image by Juan Galafa on Unsplash.

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