When Facebook set ‘It’s complicated’ as a valid status, no one really batted an eyelash. Whether it’s about relationships or something else bigger, we all get it. We’ve all been there — that point where we wonder when life started to be one big mess, when we all just wish that we could conjure a big wind that would whoosh us away to the simplicity of childhood.
While there is no magic formula that will instantly wipe out all inevitable complexities of life, there are some tips and tricks that you will stumble on along the way to help you regain your peace of mind. Here are some of the ‘hacks’ that have worked like a charm for me; hopefully, you guys will find them useful too.
1. Actively de-clutter.
Start with your mail, then raid your closets, your drawers, and the junk underneath your bed. This is effective for two reasons: (1) de-cluttering with active use of your hands does wonders for the mind, and (2) seeing something that used to be in shambles now as clear as a canvas, gives you some space to relax and to be creative. One adage has stuck and has incessantly fed my motivation to de-clutter through the years — if I can fix my room, I can fix my life.
I put my news feeds on a diet as well. As much as I would want to be in the know, I find that too much information can put me in the dark as well. I mean, what good is it to learn about the latest gadgets or the hottest viral videos, if you don’t have time to know that your own mom is undergoing a catharsis to realize her childhood dreams, or that your friend is stuck in an abusive relationship? I’m not suggesting that you cut yourself off from civilization — just make sure that you get the news on things that you actually care about, on things that are close to your heart.
It helps to write down the things that stress you, haunt you, taunt you. When these woes are swimming like rave-party smoke in my head, they can be heavy and overwhelming. However, when I take the time to put then down on paper, I spot some things that I can immediately take action on, or weren’t as troublesome as they initially seemed. You don’t need to be a Grisham or Shakespeare to do this — you’re not writing for the sake of impressing people. Just write for that therapeutic purge.
3. Put things into perspective.
Yes, I do get those pesky existential emo-attacks. When they come, I like to put myself into the one-year retrospective zen mood. I think about:
– What things can I do now that I can’t do one year ago?
– What things do I have now that I was able to live without one year ago?
– Do I like myself better now, or was I a better person one year ago?
Then adjust accordingly.
4. Trim off the fat.
Exercise is one of those things that no one else can do for you, and that will have direct impact on your well-being. I try to make time to run right at the start of my day, at the break of dawn — when I’m huffing and puffing from the physical exhaustion, I find that anything else I have to do afterwards is hardly that daunting anymore. Plus, don’t underestimate the power of endorphins either.
5. Cut off the drama and choose your battles.
I dislike drama for the same reason that I don’t like horror movies. It’s recurring anguish and worry that’s absolutely unnecessary. Lessen your fretting over the petty “He-said-this!” and the “They-might-say-that-I’m-this-and-that”s. Sometimes, it’s fine that you let yourself lose at trivial situations, so that you can save up energy and mentally prepare for the battles that are actually imperative for you to win.
Do you have your own formulas to ‘re’-simplify your life? I’d love if you can share your tips with me as well!