10 Ways To Uncomplicated Your Life Right Now

We're all guilty – taking on too many extra-curriculars, forgiving too much, piling on stress after stress until we're at breaking point. Rosemary Mac Cabe has the winning formula for a simpler, more satisfying life.

three happy girls

1 Get an agenda you’ll enjoy writing in

We’re all for Google Calendar – and it can come in super handy if you’ve to organise things for a group, say, in a work environment – but sometimes it’s lovely to switch off your phone and laptop and sit down with your agenda to figure out what’s coming up and write down your to-do list. There is, after all, something meditative about note-taking, and having all of your plans and goals in the one place will prevent a panic when someone asks whether you’re free this weekend.

2 Kiss and make up

If there’s one thing we learned from The Revenant, it’s that there is no happy ending when it comes to grudge-holding. Sure, Leo gets his revenge – that’s hardly a plot spoiler if you’ve seen the trailer or read any of the reviews – but it doesn’t make him happy. As on the silver screen, so too in life; holding a grudge serves only to make you miserable, cause you stress and increase your anxiety. Let it go.

3 Just say “no”

One of the luxuries of ageing is a newfound ability to say: Y’know what? I don’t really want to go to that couples-only dinner / on that weekend away in deepest darkest Leitrim / to that dank, wet music festival. Unless it’s a friend’s wedding, 30th birthday or a post-breakup getaway, never feel obliged to do something you don’t want to do, especially if it’s going to cause you unnecessary angst.

4 Don’t always write back immediately

The number one complication in a lot of our lives happens to be miscommunication – which is at its climax when nuanced, emotional interactions happen via text. The next time you get a message from someone – be it via Whatsapp, Twitter or Facebook – that makes your blood boil, make yourself a cup of tea. Wait for your tea to cool down. Drink it. Then – and only then – may you consider responding. All you’ll do by unleashing your rage is enrage yourself further, sending yourself into a stress spiral – 99% of the time, it’s not worth it.

5 Get out of the car

Do you suffer from road rage? Do you complain endlessly about the traffic on your way to work / into the gym / home from the supermarket? If so, there’s a pretty strong chance that driving is not enhancing your calm. Getting out of your car a couple of blocks before work – even if it means parking in a more expensive car park or getting up 10 minutes earlier – can make a huge difference to the way you start your day.

6 Say goodbye to that one friend who always brings the drama

We’re not advocating ditching every single mate who doesn’t bring non-stop joy into your life, but we all have that one friend who is relentlessly negative and just never, ever gives you a break. Ask yourself what she’s bringing to the table, bar shared memories – and then remember, even if you end a friendship it doesn’t mean you’re losing those happy years you once had. It just means you’re making space for new memories, with a new friend who won’t be such an energy drain.

7 Budget

We know, we know – budgeting is a snoozefest, and honestly? We don’t believe in restricting ourselves when it comes to things we want / need / adore. But if there’s one thing worse than depriving oneself, it’s being forced to deprive oneself due to unforeseen poverty. We like to call that period, “the two weeks before payday”. Imagine how much better your life would be if you figured out exactly how much you had to spend, and spent it slowly, over the course of the month, rather than blowing it all in the first, giddy rush of richness? So. Much. Better.

8 Use that meditation app you downloaded

Every time you think to yourself, I really must try that mindfulness app, stop thinking – and start doing. It’s not even the act of meditation that will always help – it’s giving yourself the luxury of 10 minutes spent totally and utterly focused on yourself.

9 Use more, buy less

This is an idea from the Marie Kondo school of tidying – how about we stop accumulating piles of things that, really, we don’t need. It’s not just about the environment – although, really, we’ll have to think of the planet at some stage – but about what living in an incredibly busy, messy environment does to one’s mind. Hint: nothing good. We’re not advocating you bin every single item you own, but try to regularly take stock of what you’re using and what you’re not.

10 Stop trying to keep up with the Kardashians

Comparison is the thief of joy – that’s not just an Instagram cliché, but one of the great truths of 2016. Trying to be just like other people, whether that’s your best friend, your overachieving colleague or Kylie Jenner (how can she still be only 18, HOW), will only serve to make your life more complicated. Trying to be anything other than yourself is futile, not to mention exhausting. Try to be your best you – sure, but forget about everyone else in the process.

This article first appeared in STELLAR’s March issue. The August issue is on shelves now!

Stellar August Issue

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