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In today’s society it seems like everyone is busy running a race where no one wins. Here’s how to live a simple life (or a simpler one), whether you have kids or not.
How to Live a Simple Life (With or Without Kids)
The pandemic has forced some of us to slow down, but for others it caused more stress. Regardless, we’re in a time of change right now and you can use that as an opportunity to change things up. Whether it’s a case of relieving some stress in your life or keeping the simple life going, these are some steps you can take to make that change.
Living a Simpler Life With Kids
Kids make everything busier. It’s hard to live a simple life with kids around when you’re spending time running them to and from activities, managing their schedules, and just dealing with everything that parenthood throws at you. Add in working, maintaining the house, and time with your spouse and it becomes… A lot.
But life hasn’t always been this complex. It’s possible to live a simple life with kids, you just have to make a few changes and be a little bit counterculture in your approach to life.
Living a Simpler Life Without Kids
It seems like everyone assumes that if you don’t have kids you should be super career driven. They assume that “living” means taking childfree vacations, going out drinking, or doing what they think is fun. It’s especially true of people who are busy with families or other responsibilities that are jealous of your situation.
But just because you don’t have kids doesn’t mean you need to prove yourself in other areas. It’s possible to live a simple life without kids too.
How to Live a Simple Life (Tips for Anyone)
Learn to say no
No is a full sentence, you don’t need to explain yourself. But it’s often hard to say! Practice saying no to those little things that you don’t want to do and make your life more complex. It’s one thing to be a helpful person and aid others on occasion, but you also don’t need to sign up for everything that comes your way.
You can also say no to unwanted social engagements, too. Of course, there are social complexities and certain things are a must if you want to keep your friends – but not every invitation has to be a yes.
Make Like Minded Friends
Even if we don’t think it’s true our friends are a big influence in our lives. If all your group wants to do is go out and party there isn’t much leeway to do what you want to do. Likewise, if your friends are like-minded and pursing simple lives themselves, you’ll be encouraged to continue slowing down and letting things go.
It can be hard to make new friends as an adult. Online groups, group classes, kids’ activities, and frequenting areas that people you’d like to meet congregate (think: the library) are good ways to start.
Pare Down the Activities
Single, married, or with kids – we all commit to activities outside our obligations. Some of these might be super enriching and positive, others turn into more of a chore than anything. For example, I signed up for a dance class because I enjoy dancing, but it wasn’t worth the ordeal to go to and from the studio especially in the winter time. I prefer to take classes online instead.
When you have kids, activities can really overwhelm your schedule. While they’re great for kids, if they’re not adding to their lives (sometimes kids even fight going) then you might want to cut back. You can also limit how many activities kids do each season so it doesn’t get to be too much.
Learn How to Just Be
We’re in constant need to be productive and that can really mess with our mental health. It’s an important skill, especially for millennials, to learn how to just relax and exist in the world without always needing to be doing something.
A simple life means spending more time on things you enjoy, but to do that you have to break the mindset of always needing to be useful. Enjoying your time isn’t wasting it.
What Are You Really Working For?
Jobs or income are pretty essential if you want to live any kind of life, not just a simple one. How else will you pay for essentials after all? But once those are covered, it’s important to take a look at your career and see if it jives with the lifestyle you want. If it doesn’t, take the time to look at what you’re really working for.
A lot of people find themselves in situations where they’re working extra or taking a higher paying, less fulfilling job to pay for things that don’t even make them happier. That might be a big house, an extra vehicle, or just a whole lot of meaningless stuff. If that sounds like you, seriously consider a lifestyle change to simplify things.
Of course, this advice doesn’t apply if you’re barely making ends meet or are in a situation without a much flexibility.
Figure Out What Simplify Means to You
There isn’t a one size fits all for life. For some people, a simple life might mean cutting out evening activities. For others, it could be travelling full time. Families might simplify by moving to a farm and homesteading, or a couple might opt for a smaller home and both work part time.
Start with your goals and then work backwards to create steps to achieve them.
More Tips for How to Live a Simple Life
- What You Can do Now for a Simpler Christmas
- 10 Tips for Camping With Kids
- Breaking the More Mindset
- The secret to frugal living is doing less
Final Thoughts on How to Live a Simple Life
If you can, consider getting away from it all. Simple lives are best lived in the country or in places where you’re more secluded. It gives you time to slow down and really enjoy what life has to offer. In some cases, you could even homestead and live without having to work a 9-5.
Taking up simple hobbies are also a great way to live a simpler life. Homecooked meals, baking, gardening, and crafts are all rewarding and useful to do.