We live in an incredibly stressful world and environment and sometimes we need some ways to escape and allow ourselves to be calmed once again. It’s important to cultivate mindfulness in your life, and here are some ways to help while living in the concrete jungle of Toronto:
Unsubscribe from services
Do you really need to see thirty new emails in your inbox, where most of them are just ads from subscription services and marketing? Do you need those news trackers that continually give you updates every five minutes? Anything that pops up and demands immediate attention is really terrible for your sanity and well-being in the long run, so just opt out and learn to relax more. This is sometimes referred to as a form of “digital decluttering” and any minimalist will boast about it as a way to de-stress. Getting rid of anything unnecessary in your life helps you (and your thoughts) stay organized. The reality is, we aren’t as good as we think at doing more than one thing at a time, let alone thinking about several things at once and several studies have been done to prove it (not buying it? check out this article). So, lighten the old and start with your digital life and the best place to start is your inbox.
Learn to say ‘no’ more
Don’t reply to texts immediately. Don’t go to Facebook events if you don’t want to, or even give a ‘maybe.’ An article in Medium said it best when one of their writers said, “distractions come in deceptive shapes and sizes. If you’re a people pleaser, distractions can be debilitating.” This issue is something the majority of people struggle with but we have to shift our perpsectives.Just because someone wants your attention, doesn’t mean you should necessarily give it to them – only do what you want to do, because time is your most valuable resource! Spend it wisely on yourself and others and don’t get dragged into doing things you don’t want to do.
That article also included this great chart for those times when you still can’t quite decide if you should say yes or no:
Turn off notifications
Your phone can be your worst enemy, with your tablet and laptop coming in a close second and third. Turn off all kinds of notifications so you can get your mental sanity back, as well as your productivity. Not having your phone light up every time someone likes your last Instagram will make a huge difference on how much you get done every day. Florida State University completed a study where they compared 2 groups’ productivity and accuracy on the same computer task. They found that on average, the individuals receiving notification were 3x more likely to make a mistake than the participants who didn’t get any notifications. I don’t know about you, but that is more than enough to make me want to put my phone away when I want to be productive.
All those markers demanding your attention do nothing but chip away at your willpower every day, and you should just check them all off so you can maintain some sanity in this fast-paced world.
Get rid of more things
Visual clutter leads to mental clutter. It’s important to get rid of everything you aren’t using and keep a clean and healthy space as opposed to just letting everything pile up and harming your well-being. Learn to do with less, and start giving things away to friends and family, or donating them to a thrift store.
Just don’t buy the thing in the first place
You probably don’t need that vintage plate or coffee table you found on the side of the road. You certainly don’t need that coffee from the hip and trendy café near your house every morning of every day. You don’t need that takeout dinner every night. Save your money and spend occasionally, not often, and you’ll end up much happier in the long run. You probably won’t even miss the expenses.
Minimizing the clutter from our lives, whether physical or mental, helps our minds stay clear (for the most part). If you want to know more, take a look at this article from The Guardian about how beneficial de-cluttering your life can be.