So, my life hasn't been the simplest these past few weeks. In fact, it has involved a lot of change; my roommates are currently moving out, and I'm now adjusting to a sudden solitude and having the freedom to decorate my space (around all of the moving boxes, of course). And, rather than looking at their move as a messy time in my life, I'm allowing it to be a new chapter, a clean sweep, and because of that, I've decided to let go of some things that are no longer serving me so that I can move on through this next, simpler page in life. With new décor, new people moving in, new classes approaching, I decided to incorporate new practices and mindsets into my daily life and let go of all that no longer serves ,e, and of course, I'm here to share all of it with you!
5 things to let go of for a simpler life
1. Friendships that don't serve me
I don't necessarily have any toxic or bad relationships, but throughout quarantine, I have had my fair share of being left out, brushed to the side, and left on the back burner. It happens to all of us, really. I used to be okay with these relationships, letting it slide when I wasn't invited, but over these past few weeks, many other friendships have grown, and I've realized that it's time to let go of certain people and put focus in areas that need it.
When I say let go of these friendships, I don't mean shutting them out and moving on to cooler people. We can still be friends with these people, show up when they need support, but I'm realizing now more than ever that we can choose our friends, and we can choose the people we surround ourselves with. So, I'm choosing people that think of me when planning events, and are there for me, as a friend should be.
Never settle on your friendships.
2. The pressure to have my life together
When I am not constantly working toward something, planning every hour of my day, or "having my life together", I feel like I'm not doing enough, and that I won't ever reach my goals. I call it productivity guilt. But there is simply no time for that. Life is going to be messy, and we're going to experience our off-days and not check everything off our list, and that's entirely okay.
You don't have to have your life together, regardless of your age or where you are in life. We can sit down and sketch out our life plan, or our weekly plan, but sometimes unexpected things arise and we have to start all over again. We can have an idea of where we're going, but planning out every moment just isn't practical. What is practical is moving through life at a steady pace and going with the flow when issues come your way.
I'll be honest--I completely slept in past my dermatologist appointment yesterday, which threw off my entire schedule. I now have a new appointment next week, which also threw off next week's plans.
Things happen. A little mess, a little uncertainty, is completely okay.
(Can I tell you a secret? I haven't touched my bullet journal all day! You're doing great, trust me.)
3. Comparing myself
I like to think that I no longer compare myself, but if I'm being completely honest, I do it all the time. I'll catch myself wanting to change my Instagram theme or wanting to alter my life path because I like where someone else is more than where I am. Rather than focusing on myself, I spend a lot of time watching other people on social media, accidentally comparing my content to their's and sometimes feeling defeated when their's is better.
On The Mindful Kind podcast, Rachael talked about the importance of being happy and wishing success for other people, which is something I've begun practicing and has already helped a ton. At the store, mentally wish people success and abundance. When you're online, truly feel happy for other's success. To feel genuinely happy for others is an amazing feeling, and you may just realize that, more often than not, you're judging or comparing, rather than feeling truly happy for someone. It happens! It's okay!
I'm so excited to practice removing myself from a comparison mindset and incorporating genuine happiness and excitement for others into my daily life. Like Gabrielle Bernstein says, there's enough to go around!
4. Harsh, or self-sabotaging thoughts
Last night, I met up with some dear friends of mine and we stayed up late into the night, talking about anything and everything. It was the most fun I've had in quite some time. However, I caught myself self-sabotaging a few times, thinking that what I had said was weird and fearing that they wouldn't want to continue being my friend. Of course, none of this is true and we're still just as close, but my subconscious was truly fearing these things because, in my past, I would have been picked on for saying something weird or possibly left out of the next group hangout.
Each time I thought these things, I reminded myself that times have changed, and these friends love me, and I am safe now. I was gentle with myself, told myself that I was an amazing friend who people enjoy being around, and returned to the conversation with a smile.
There's no reason to be mean to ourselves or put ourselves down. If we do catch ourselves thinking harsh thoughts, we can redirect them and replace them with kind, soft words.
You're doing just fine. In fact, you're doing wonderful. There's no room for mean thoughts!
5. People-pleasing and over-planning
At the beginning of this summer, I began teaching swim lessons. I love teaching children my passion while making a decent side income along the way, but they take up a lot of time and energy, and I have to drive to my parent's and stay the night in order to teach them.
Originally, I said yes to everyone. If they wanted an extra lesson on the weekend, I'd say yes. If they wanted a Friday lesson or an early morning lesson, I'd say yes, and would even push down my other plans with family and friends to assure that my clients were happy.
This past weekend, I decided not to say yes so often. I had a birthday party on Saturday that extended into Sunday, and I was asked to teach on both of those days. While it was difficult to do, I said no, as simple as that. And nothing happened! We all moved on like normal.
It's okay to say no when we really need to. It's okay to create boundaries and make time for ourselves every now and again. From now on, I'm going to be straightforward with what I want and truly make time for myself and my needs. I suggest you try the same!
Life isn't perfect, and people certainly aren't either. Sometimes we may be mean to ourselves, mentally put others down, or put other's needs before ours, never tuning into what we want and how we feel, pushing ourselves beyond our limits. Feel comforted in the fact that these things are normal, and rarely will anyone truly have their life together.
But, we can be mindful of our thoughts and actions, of our needs and wants, pay attention to the good in ourselves, and let the toxicity go. Each day, we can work in small ways to be kind to ourselves and create a simpler life for ourselves.
Wherever you are right now, take this post as a sign to begin your new chapter, and allow your simple life to unfold.