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The Washington Independent
Realistic ways to live more simply

Realistic ways to live more simply

06/07/2021 01:13
Frazer Pugh

Table of Contents

Embrace HyggeBuy what you needDownsize and declutterLearn to say no

No matter how you spin it, life is tough now and again. In some cultures, being busy is a status symbol that leads us to feel like we're actually wasting our lives if we're not constantly running from one thing to another. But constantly being busy actually leaves you less time to truly get anything done. Even if you're checking off your daily to-do list, how much are you actually enjoying the moment?

While a little business is to be expected, it shouldn't overwhelm your daily life. If you look to certain European countries, you'll find that life is actually much simpler. Simple doesn't mean boring, either. Instead, adopting a simple lifestyle means less anxiety and stress and more time to truly live. Here are a few ways for you to start living a simple life.

Embrace Hygge

Hygge (hue-guh) is a word in Danish that refers to admiring a cozy moment spent in the presence of loved ones. On a larger level, it's a way of life that embraces simple joys and comforts. This can be a steaming mug of tea outside listening to the birdsong or a fuzzy throw blanket with a good book. By infusing more hygge into your life, you can live more modestly without feeling like you've had to compromise comfort. In fact, hygge is all about making the most of everything. With this mindset, you'll learn to live idle in the present and see the value in not being busy.

Buy what you need

Obviously, there’s a difference between living a simple life and living frugally. A frugal life is also acceptable, but it can be really limiting at times. Buying something that’s out of your normal price range once in a while is also a way to live simply. For instance, instead of a normal bike, you can opt to purchase an e-bike, or electric bike, instead. Ebikes come with small engines that make propulsion and contraction easier to maintain. If you’re someone who likes to be outdoors, long-range electric bikes are ideal because they allow you to ride around for longer periods of time. You can take up weekend cycling and lower your carbon footprint by taking an e-bike instead of a car to work.

Downsize and declutter

A cluttered house is also a sign of a chaotic mind. Do you ever find yourself enviously scrolling through minimalist accounts on Instagram and wishing that could be you? It doesn't have to be a fantasy. If you're struggling to hold onto things, it's time to really evaluate the underlying ‘why’. Replace things with memories, start connecting with others more, and learn to stop associating feelings with physical possessions. You don't need to throw out absolutely everything. Instead, learn to work with the space you have. The point of downsizing is to create harmony and find peace, not feel stressed and upset by parting with beloved belongings.

Learn to say no

No is the most powerful word you can say, but many of us have been conditioned to believe that it's wrong or impolite to say no to anyone. People who live simply know that their time is valuable, and they don't overextend themselves just to please everyone else. By learning how to say no, you'll be able to prioritize your personal peace and live free from the pressure of expectations. Sometimes, you might even find that saying no to yourself is a good thing.

Frazer Pugh | I work in the investment management sector as a professional. Previously, I advised top financial services companies on balance sheet management, portfolio planning, and valuations as a consultant. I am currently pursuing a part-time MBA at Melbourne University, where I am a lecturer in accounting and hedge fund strategies, as well as a mentor/coach in a part-time equity analysis initiative. I have a bachelor's degree in economics, a master's degree in finance, and am a Chartered Accountant. I enjoy instructing and assisting others in achieving their objectives.


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