3 Questions That Will Simplify Your Life

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I was reading an article entitled “How to Take Care of Yourself.” The author included some simple steps to implement self care improvements into our daily routines. Drink more water, get more exercise, eat nutritiously - you know, all the things we wished we were doing. So what’s stopping us?

While I don’t disagree with this disposition, there are some complex layers behind the self care phenomena that go much deeper than just implementing simple tips. I’ve found that self care starts with a greater emphasis placed on understanding your own core values, even if they might not align with our productivity-driven American value system.

For me, making the shift to live more minimally started with examining my own values. Simply put, I was harvesting this cognitive dissonance where I lived with two drastically different versions of myself. One version was the reality of how I was living on a daily basis - and the other, the idealized version of my “best self.”

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My ideal life: Wake up every morning at 6AM, go to a morning yoga class, make a nutritious breakfast, work from 9-5PM, meet my friends for happy hour, try a new face mask, take a bath, and go to bed by 10PM. Then have a weekend scheduled with adventurous activities, family events, time spent outdoors - oh and maybe a juice cleanse.

My actual life: Wake up at 8:00AM, 1.5 hours of traffic, work from 10AM-8PM, forget to eat lunch, come home and continue working until 10PM, eat popcorn for dinner, go on Pinterest, Instagram, and watch TV simultaneously. Take a quick shower, and go to bed by 1AM.

When my personal values were not being implemented into my lifestyle, I didn’t have enough energy to do any of the things that I envisioned.

On a surface level, self care can be deconstructed into making time for the basic necessities that fundamentally benefit our bodies - nutrition, sleep, water, and exercise. But for me, my priority was a life centered around work and excessive productivity. Though I valued my own health, I didn’t know how to look within to start making my wellbeing a focused priority.

I’ve found that real self-care improvements start by placing higher priority on our own personal values. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself on a daily basis to simplify your life:

1. What are my personal values?

2. What do I really care about?

3. What kind of person do I want to be?

By asking yourself these simple questions, you can start to find your strengths and start pursuing projects that use your abilities. Instead of only focusing on improving your weaknesses, consider putting your energy towards more things that you truly enjoy. For me, simple living through a compassionate lens comes with more understanding for different perspectives and a greater value placed on my own life experiences.

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“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” — Audre Lorde

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