I’ve been living in Denmark for three years and if I have learned one thing about the Danish lifestyle it’s that simplicity is key and happiness can be found from simplifying your life.
Simpleness is found everywhere in Denmark. Through their architecture, their design and decor, their fashion and many more things, living is more simplified over here.
As a person who used to battle intense anxiety, I’m very grateful for the opportunity we have had to experience the Danish way of life because it’s opened my eyes and helped me to experience simplicity.
If you want to simplify your life, I have lots of different ideas to get you started. You don’t need to implement every one of these ideas as they certainly aren’t for everyone, but they are great ways to help get you thinking on how you can simplify your life!
Don’t Be Available 24/7
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with technology. How many messaging apps do you have on your phone? Instagram? Facebook? Messenger? Whatsapp? Email?
Honestly, it’s just too much.
There is no need for someone to give themselves complete availability 24/7 to the world.
First, turn off your “read” receipts. Read receipts pressure you to reply back to messages even if you aren’t ready, however, you have no obligation to reply to people right away and can take as much time as you need. Having read receipts on will make you feel stressed out and as if you need to reply instantly.
Second, turn off notifications for your social media apps. Social media can be nonstop, and constantly getting notifications is stressful. If someone really needs to get ahold of you they can text or call.
Next, set boundaries. Don’t check your phone past a certain time and don’t reply to emails at all hours of the day.
As most of my clients are in North America and I am in Europe. I used to work at all hours to ensure they could get ahold of me when it was convenient for them.
But I realized that this is unfair to myself and sets unreal I started putting office hours into place and do not send emails outside of those office hours. I deserve to enjoy my evenings and time with my loved-ones and so do you!
Understand That Less is More for a Simplified Life
My husband and I make two overseas moves each year. We can fit the majority of our belongings into four suitcases, but it wasn’t always like that. I used to hoard belongings (shoes that I never wore, clothes that I had for 10+ years but had no use for them anymore…) but since we move around so much, we’ve had to get content with less.
Now, I tend not to want something unless I know I’m really going to use it. Personally, clutter makes me feel stressed out. I love minimal decor, plus it’s less to clean!
Perhaps you feel the same! Sell any items you don’t use or donate them to a local charity.
You might be thinking, “but I love having lots of things!” and if that’s you, then that’s ok too. What’s important is figuring out the right balance of “things”, and if you aren’t sure whether or not you can get rid of some stuff, I recommend packing it away in storage bins and putting it somewhere out of sight. If you find that in a few months you haven’t thought about the items you’ve packed away, there’s a good chance you don’t need them.
Practice Living in the Moment to Simplify Your Life
Like I mentioned, I’ve dealt with lots of anxiety and most of it was due to worrying about stuff that I had made up in my head.
My therapist introduced me to “mindfulness” which is a way to practice being present. Practicing mindfulness can help you simplify your life.
Insight Timer is a free meditation app that guides you through various mindfulness routines.
I also routinely find guided meditations on YouTube. And meditation doesn’t need to take up tons of your time. I try to fit in 15 minutes a day of total meditation, and sometimes I split that up into 3-minute increments throughout my day.
You can also practice meditation as you do routine tasks such as:
- taking the dog for a walk
- doing laundry
- putting on your makeup
Stop Reading the News
Scary headlines get more clicks and views. More clicks and views equal more money for the news outlet. I don’t think it’s good to be out-of-touch with current events, but be careful as to where you get your news from. It’s important to understand that the world seems like a scary place because terrible news stories drive more income for news outlets, so they try to post more of the bad stuff.
Before we moved to Denmark, I read the news multiple times a day and my anxiety was quite high.
After we moved to Denmark, I couldn’t read the local news because:
- I didn’t know what website to find the news on
- I couldn’t read Danish
I stopped reading the news as frequently simply because I couldn’t. And I became incredibly happier not reading about all the terrible things that happen.
I do believe there is a balance, though and it is something I am still working to find.
Spend Less Time on Social Media
We spend way too much time consumed with social media. The average person spends two hours per day on social media. I’m sure you can find a much better use of your time!
Here are some other ideas:
- go for a run
- volunteer once a week
- find a new hobby
- learn to cook a new cuisine
- learn a new language
Different social media platforms will alert you when you’ve hit a daily limit (set by yourself) so you don’t spend hours on the apps. You can learn how to set time limits here.
Do Things You Love
The other day I realized that I hadn’t danced in nearly 10 years. I grew up dancing and did I ever miss it. So I found a tap dance class and signed up for it because why not?!
Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to do the things that really make us happy. One easy way you can simplify your life is by doing things you love.
Simplify Your Life By Paying Off Debt
Does your debt make you anxious and nervous? It’s time to take it into your own hands and begin to pay it off little by little.
These side jobs will help you earn extra money from home so that you can begin to chip away at your debt. You should also check out some of my money saving hacks. Every little bit counts!
Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill helps your mind grow strong and improves brain function! Choose something you’ve always wanted to learn and go for it!
You can learn different online skills at your local library or other various centers, but you can also learn online if you don’t find what you are looking for in your city:
Start Reading More
Reading is great for your health. Aside from promoting brain health, it can also improve mental well-being and give you more confidence.
Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures
What makes you feel cozy and gives you a sense of happiness? Perhaps it’s being curled up with a good book or maybe it’s inviting your loved-ones over for coffee. Whatever simple pleasures you find joy in, make an effort to include them in your life more often.
The Danes practice a concept known as “hygge” which basically just means enjoying the simple things in life by getting cozy and enjoying whatever it is that makes you happy.
Go For a Walk
Nature can be incredibly calming and going outside is a great way to ground yourself, get some fresh air and clear your mind.
I get out for 30 minutes every day, rain or shine, to go for a walk with our dog and I look forward each day to being able to do that.
Giving back to your community can help you fight off loneliness and feelings of depression. What better way to simplify your life than to give back to others?
You’ll learn how to be thankful for the things you have so you can let go of the notion that you need more in order to be happier. Volunteering will help you see life from a different perspective.
Learn to Say “No”
Learning to say “no” can help you simplify your life. How many times have you gone to an event that you didn’t want to simply because you didn’t know how to say no?
Your time is precious and learning how to allocate your time to things that make you feel fulfilled is not selfish – it’s ok to say “no”!
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