Living with less (of everything) is exciting! It can help replenish your health, restore your faith in kindness and good deeds, strengthen relationships and even improve your cooking skills by using fewer ingredients. Whittle down to little, focus on what you actually have and begin to express gratitude from there.
less additives – start cutting out the complicated things from your diet: refined white sugar, stabilizers, artificial food colorings and questionable preservatives. Read the ingredients every time you go shopping. Make questioning a habit, be determined and know exactly what you are willing or not willing to eat. Stick to the pure and natural – eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and meat; choosing organic or local where appropriate. Eliminate products and packaging by cooking from scratch at home, knowing therefore just how much salt, sugar and spice you are consuming. Fewer ingredients will allow you to taste food and enjoy it.
less stress – Stop. Assess your stress. Slow down. Many times we are over-burdened by taking on too many responsibilities. The kids need to go here, we need to run to the shop for this, we must pick up that… Ask yourself honestly how true those needs really are. Are they musts or just desires to fit in? You have the right to choose your level of busyness. Be firm in choosing to not take on more than you can accomplish comfortably, leaving plenty of time to relax at the end of every day.
less clothes – when your wardrobe begins to take over your room, bursting from the closet or dresser, it is a good time to separate functional apparel from unused articles. Keep quality clothes that are both practical and fashionable, always keeping natural materials in mind (better for farmers, better for the Earth, better for you!). Pare down to the minimum that works for you, then start the process of handcrafting your own wardrobe. Become satisfied with everything you make/commission and those items will last for a long, long time.
less clutter – Put an end to collections! Once you realize the usable space you save by owning fewer things, not to mention the time you save on cleaning, you will be more apt to adopt a minimalist attitude. Owning less stuff can help set your heart at ease by replacing mine with ours and remembering that sharing is a perfectly acceptable plan. It also lets you focus on gathering experiences with family and friends, spending more time in nature instead of with things that own you.
less chemicals – the more plastic you can remove from your home, the fewer chemicals that will be left inside. Cleaning becomes much more basic where there is a simple wood floor to sweep (instead of vacuum), when you can wash by hand rather than machine, when tools can be shared and serviced rather than collecting dust and requiring oily home maintenance. There is a strong correlation between reduced chemicals and healthier lives, your intuition will know it best.
less work – with less time for maintenance of home and life, there are excess hours to do what you really enjoy. It is really that simple. Work less to have time to walk on the beach or in the forest, fly a kite, spin yarn, knit a sweater, sew earthing sandals, grow a garden, cook dinner together and spend meaningful time with family. Get unbusy if you want to enjoy the greatest moments that life has to offer.
less brands – ask yourself are you relying on brand names or are you practicing self-reliance? The more you can do for yourself, the better off you will be in the long run. Sure, famous brands may provide some level of trust, but in the realm of food production we need to relearn to trust our local, organic farmers and to eat seasonally at the same time. Mass production gives us an illusion that everything is available all the time. Everything is available just some of the time. Unbranding your life and removing labels is a way of providing priceless skills that can be traded one day when money isn’t enough.
less expectations – we get often times what we expect to receive, we see what we want to see. If you desire fewer expectations in personal and business life, then stop expecting more. Don’t expect others to do things for you, do them for yourself. If something doesn’t turn out right, do it again, and over again, learning as you go. That is one absolute truth to life – there is no destination, only the journey. Learning is never over. Take life slow and learn something new every day, expecting nothing and relishing the sunrise each morning.
These eight ways to live with less are just a start.
Live with less, and less and even more than less till you feel that you truly have enough.
Where does simplicity and gratitude find you today? Let us know in the comments below!