How I Simplify | Do’s and Don’ts

Today I wanted to write about the complicated balance of simplifying a busy, modern lifestyle.

I think we can all raise our hand and admit that we are far busier than we would like to be and if you don’t feel that way then perhaps you could write this post better than I could.

My life is busy and rushed and hectic and as long as I can remember it’s always been that way.

It has been about two years since I really began to embrace a more simplified lifestyle or have at least tried to and I have accumulated a few do’s and don’ts around what works and what doesn’t.

Do | Always plan out your weeks and days as best as you can, if you can plan out your month do that too.

Never ever rush into a new week or start your day with little to no idea of what needs to get done otherwise time and energy will be wasted.

It doesn’t matter how busy you are, everything that needs to be done can be done if it is properly planned out.

Do | Create off days and time for hobbies or other pleasurable activities.

All work and no play is not only a miserable way to live but also sets you up for a long awaited burn out.

It is so important for more simplified living to create an off day every week were work, household chores, and whatever usually takes your time is set aside for a day of pure rest and enjoyment.

It is also just as important to create a slot of time each day for something creative and enjoyable. By that I don’t mean for you to take an hour to stare blurry eyed at a tv but to take time to do something that makes your soul happy.

Whether that be taking an hour to write before bed or taking a break mid afternoon to bake a cake is yours to choose as long as it is something that you love and will look forward to doing.

Don’t | Never start your day off in a rush, even if you have work early in the morning, always try to beat the clock and find a few moments of slow movement and quite before you start your day.

If you begin your day feeling stressed and frazzled there’s a good chance that is how the entire day will continue to be.

Do | Set realistic goals for yourself. There is nothing more taxing than setting a mountain worth of goals on your chest and never being able to come even close to achieving them.

Take a day and decide what is really important to you and what you really feel you need and set those things as realistic goals to work towards.

Once those items have been marked off of your list you can always begin to work on those higher goals that you have always wanted to achieve.

Don’t | Don’t try to compete with others, just don’t.

Nobody’s lifestyle is perfect and no fad or expectations of others are worth throwing your peace of mind away for.

Some people will not understand your desire for a simpler life and that is okay, you have your path and they have theirs and there is no point in trying to compete with someone who has different goals in life than you do.

 

A simplified lifestyle isn’t always easy to achieve but it is well worth the effort.

 

 

 

Why Buy Handmade Products ( When You Could Make It Yourself )

As many of you probably know by now, I own my own business where I make and sell soap.

There is an incredibly large selection of people who own their own businesses and sale their handmade goods and it is a number that is continually growing as people pursue their self employed dreams.

Now as someone who enjoys making things of all varieties I can understand people’s hesitancy to buy handmade products because I also am prone to asking myself, why buy something that I can make myself.

That being said the holidays are coming up fast and if your like me, you have already begun to start searching for those perfect Christmas presents before everything begins to sell out and the post offices begin to jam up.

Since starting my own business I have found a new appreciation for other handmade businesses and have already begun to search for presents from them rather than other commercial brand names.

And I hope that after reading this blog post on why you should too, that you will have changed your mind.

Eco Friendly | It shouldn’t come as a massive shock that buying from smaller, handmade businesses is a more eco friendly choice.

Even those shops that might not necessarily choose recyclable packaging or green materials still make a larger difference with the environment than bigger brands do.

Their items are not made with production machines or in large warehouses and more often than not, there is a much smaller amount of resources wasted.

And you will often be receiving better quality as well which means that you will get more use out of the items that you buy.

Treating Yourself | There are a lot of things that we buy as a treat for ourselves even though we could technically make those things ourselves.

The same rule goes for when you are purchasing handmade items. Sure you could probably make 90% of the things that, that person sells but you will have to buy the supplies and put aside the time and by the time your done, you will most likely be more relieved than excited that its done.

There is just something much more exciting about placing the order for something that you want and having it arrive in the mail rather than slaving over it yourself.

After all, you aren’t really treating yourself if what you are making becomes a chore rather than a pleasure.

Supporting Someone’s Dream | This is by far what I would consider to be the most important reason for buying from a small, handmade business and that is because you are supporting someone’s dream.

Lets face it, starting your own business is scary and hard and back breaking. The work never really ends and you never know quite what that pay check at the end of the month will look like.

People don’t start selling their handmade products because it’s an easy job or even very rewarding most of the time. They start their own business because they love what they do and they have a dream of having a job that is also their passion.

When you choose to buy from a small business you aren’t just giving yourself or someone you know a gift, you are giving that business owner a gift as well.

The gift of your support.

 

 

 

It’s the Little Things: Lessons in Slow Living

Today is about the little things. I tell myself this as I push through with the few hours of sleep I had the night before, that precious time having been assaulted by one of my worst migraines yet.

This blog post isn’t about chronic illnesses but I can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that it was very much my illness that helped me to see how important those little things are.

When you live in a constant cycle of sickness you really start to noticing and greatly appreciate the importance of little accomplishments and moments of pleasure in life.

Life is made up of little moments, moments that can so easily go unnoticed or unappreciated.

We look to the lives of others and often envy the excitement and the adventures that they have in their life, thinking that our dull and routine based existence is incomparable.

We are seduced by the idea of living outrageously and freely and since few of us actually have the ability to live our life like that we tend to try to live through the lives of others.

If we spend so much time wishing away the quiet days and the weeks that often run into the other, we risk missing those moments in life that can bring just as much joy.

A large part of slow living is the act of seeing those things around you and not being so caught up in the whirlwind of thoughts and dreams that we miss the beauty that has already blossomed in your life.

Like I mentioned in my post on lessons in solitude: finding joy through silence  here, there is a certain kind of beauty when it comes to silence and solitude and enjoying your own company.

It is the little and seemingly unimportant things in life that make it worth living. Too much excitement and adventure will eventually catch up to you but living your life aware of those precious moments found in stillness will help to nourish you daily.

So pause. Pause your body, pause your mind, pause the need to keep moving, and look around you. Stop looking for perfect or amazing and see the ordinary things that you’ve been over looking all along.

Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. we risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary ~ Brene Brown

Four Ways to turn a Bad Day into a Wellness Day

Today didn’t start off very well, I never really sleep peacefully which means my mornings always feel a bit forced and sluggish and I just kind of woke up to a bad day which happens to all of us sometimes.

You can either choose to continue in a bad mood for the rest of the day or you can do your best to turn it around into something that you can be proud and thoroughly enjoy.

I wanted to share four things that I often do when I’m having a bad day to try to cheer myself up and incorporate a little wellness into an otherwise unenjoyable day.

Take A Bath:

I love a good bath any day of the week but when it comes to days that just seem to be going down hill, taking the time to enjoy a long bath is a wonderful way to bring stillness to a frazzled mind.

Add some of your favorite salts and oils, grab your bath entertainment, and sit back and let the bad vibes soak off.

Talk To A Friend:

One of the best ways to shake off a bad mood is to call up or text a close friend, friends are there to support you and bring joy to your life so don’t try to block them out just because of a bad mood.

Have them tell you a story or perhaps just a summary of how their day is going whether it be good or bad, misery loves company after all.

Make Something:

This can mean whatever you want it to mean, whether you enjoy cooking or crafting. The point is to just make something that brings you joy during the process as well as when its finished.

I personally love to bake on days that aren’t going so well, not only do you have something to be proud of once your finished but you also have something delicious to enjoy.

Take A Nap:

I saved the best for last because this tip is by far my most successful way of beating the blues on a bad day.

There are some days that I just don’t have the time or the privacy to really go into a full wellness day so setting aside twenty to thirty minutes for a quick cat nap almost always does the trick.

It’s important to remember that there really aren’t any good and bad days, everything that happens in our life can either have a negative or positive impact depending on our reaction and mindset.

Your life is only as good as you make it so decide to have a good day and good things will follow.

So those are my four tips for turning around a bad day, I hope you found them helpful and if any of you have any specific things you like to do to cheer yourself up on a bad day leave a comment bellow, I would love to hear them.

If you are interested in reading my last blog post on minimalism click here http://www.tangerineandme.com/quantity-quality-living-excess/