To you today may just be July 12th, but according to NationalToday.Com, it’s much more than just another Tuesday, it’s National Simplicity Day! The website shares, “It’s time to get back to basics and celebrate National Simplicity Day on July 12! The holiday falls on this date every year to honor the birthday of Henry David Thoreau, who was born on this day in 1817. As Thoreau himself said, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” In addition to Thoreau, many other successful people and mental health and wellness experts would agree, that there is something unique about simplicity and the effects it can have on your life and overall happiness.
While you might mostly remember Thoreau from English class or famous quotes of his posted on social media, he was a man of many talents who encouraged people to live simply to be more in touch with their emotions. This doesn’t mean you have to become a recluse or get rid of all your belongings, but there is something to be said about enjoying the simple pleasures of life, nature and being. Here are our tips to welcome simplicity this summer.
Simplify your space. Start with one space: the kitchen, your office, bedroom, or bathroom. Take the time to get rid of all clutter and things with no use or purpose. In some cases, this may mean moving your clutter to another room, but, if you achieve one clutter-free space, it’s worth it. Once you have simplified your space, notice how you feel when you walk into that room. Do you feel calmer in that space? More productive or creative? Perhaps simplifying one space will inspire you to simplify others.
Simplify your mind. Take time each day, even if you start with just a couple of minutes to just “be.” No screens, no music, no talking, just being. Lie down or sit in the sun, close your eyes, and breathe, if a passing thought or worry comes to mind, swap that out and silently say to yourself, “simplify, simplify, simplify.” If you can make this commitment for a week and even better 21 days, we really think you will feel such a difference! Simplifying your minds helps to ease anxiety, take a break from the drama and politics you may experience around you and a chance to just “be.” You may just find that you are increasing your time too! Making more time to simplify your mind is always a good thing.
Simplify your food. Start with one meal a week or even one meal a day to just eat something simple. A nice soup or easy salad, nothing fancy, nothing labor-intensive. Maybe it’s not even a meal but a snack of fresh fruit or a hot tea, to just savor. Having simple and easy meals and snacks can help to keep your shopping list easy, kitchen prep and clean up quick and the chance to enjoy the basics more often. Not every meal has to be elaborate. When’s the last time you had some plain oatmeal or yogurt with maple syrup? When is the last time you made a tomato sandwich?
Simplify your workouts. You don’t have to have just the right shoes, space, music, and time. Go walk, take a class, move how you love to move. Workouts shouldn’t be stressful! They should be simple ways to bring the joy of movement into your life. Take away all the fanfare and just move in a way that feels good. If you love swimming, swim! If you want to dance more, start today. Moving your body in simple ways increases so many feel-good chemicals that should have you feeling great much longer after your workouts.
Henry David Thoreau said, “simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.” Here’s to simpler times in an all too complicated world! Small steps towards simplicity can have lasting benefits that make life easier and better! What can you do less of, say “no” to, buy less of, eat less of, move more easily through? Start with one step towards simplicity at a time, it’s just that simple.
Director of The Wellness Center