I’m not sure how life gets so busy but no matter what I do, I feel like we are working more, playing less — and feeling the results of such an overscheduled existence with constant feelings of stress and chaos.
While I love having a family to tote to various sports and social engagements and am grateful to have a job I love to go to, I tend to look at bedtime and weekends as a much-needed recharge.
On the Friday of the first week of school, I was passed out on our couch by 7 p.m.!
Each week has gotten a bit easier, thanks to some adjustment and some simplification on my part.
While we cannot create more hours in the day, there are, of course, lots of ways to maximize our waking hours so that we have more time (and energy) when we do have down time from the busyness of our lives.
Try a few of these stress-busters and time-savers today to see if it helps you live a sweeter, simpler life!
• Clear the Clutter: I’m amazed at how quickly things pile up in my house.
By midweek, there are piles of books, mail, clothes — you name it — on counters and in piles throughout the house.
Have you ever noticed how much happier you feel when you walk into a room that isn’t full of clutter?
A simple strategy to de-clutter for good is to simply take five minutes a night to declutter a room.
Tackle one pile at a time, de-cluttering your house space by space.
I keep a bin at the foot of the stairs to collect any piles that linger downstairs and another bin at the top of the steps.
Even if I do not have time during the work week to put everything away properly, having a place to put those piles helps eliminate a lot of mess that would otherwise make my house look a lot messier.
Give it a try and see what it does for your stress levels!
Keep it simple — just get a bin or basket from your existing belongings and see how it goes!
Keeping your home organized and clutter-free can make it a much more relaxing place to unwind!
• Automate your Life: Automate What You Can: Our lives are so busy and it is very easy for the small details to fall through the cracks!
Automating some of the daily, weekly and monthly work of your life can truly add up to some serious simplification and stress reduction.
Set up all of your bills to be automatically paid each month — most credit cards and other companies will accept automatic payments and many banks offer bill paying services as part of their fees. Have paychecks direct-deposited to save you that extra trip to the bank and consider using a grocery pick-up or delivery service for your weekly or bi-weekly food needs.
This helps simplify life and save money because I am not buying things that weren’t on my list nor am I using excess gas and mileage shopping at multiple stores.
That extra couple hours I get on the weekends can be spent doing something that makes my heart happy, like reading a book, spending time with my kids or just watching an old movie on cable.
Making little changes that take steps out of your daily routine like setting up automatic timers to water your plants or turn off your lights, signing up for automatic bill pay options or getting off junk mail lists can be an easy way to simplify life and give you more time to enjoy those waking hours!
• Happy Hobbies: It goes without saying that having a hobby or two that we enjoy is a great way to relieve stress and live a happier life.
Looking for a new hobby? Try adding an exercise routine and you will enjoy a new outlet for stress release as well as a newfound energy.
Exercise releases endorphins into your bloodstream which help increase peace of mind, feelings of well-being, all while actually giving you energy.
If working out in a public gym isn’t your thing, consider an online workout channel to get that heart rate up and that stress level down!
(Editor’s Note: Kristine George is a freelance journalist who resides in Easton.)