How to Live With Voluntary Simplicity
Nowadays, more and more people realize the benefits and the urgent need to live with voluntary simplicity. Furthermore, this is a great way to show people that you are serious about protecting the environment. However, not everyone knows where to begin when they embark on the path towards that goal. They want to understand which steps to privilege over others.
Although there is a variety of ways to start, here are ten tips and tricks to get you started that are basic. Moreover, when the path is started, each can then take their own turns and bends in order to feel comfortable and to prioritize according to their values. Furthermore, there is only so much one can do depending on family, one’s environment, passions and history.
But, before you can get started towards the environmental and social benefits of voluntary simplicity, you need to wean yourself of any addiction you may have. If you cannot break a pattern of addiction such as drinking, smoking or drugs, then any other attempt may render futile. Therefore, take care of that part of your life first, then start the process of voluntary simplicity.
1- Take control of your shopping habits. Try to stop any form of compulsive shopping you may have. Ignoring ads, whether they are on TV, on a billboard, on the internet or in the store, is a good way to start. Another way to reduce your consumption is to think about it for a while. Do not buy right away – take ten minutes of reflection by walking around the store some more, or put it down and leave the store altogether. You will see that around half of impulse purchases can be broken that way.
2- Ban all publicities. This is obviously a continuum of the first step. Flip the channels when the ads come on. Put a note on your mailbox telling the mailman to give you only personally addressed mail. Take your name off of the well-known phone lists for telemarketers. Unsubscribe to all of the publicity offers you receive.
3- Boycott commercial holidays and the obligation of giving gifts. Gifts are not a proof of love. You cannot put a price on emotions. When you invite people to your birthday, make a point of telling them not to bring a present, or bring one that they made themselves. Make it clear that spending time with people is what is important to you.
4- Learn how to make or repair things yourself, as well as recycling, reusing, and buying used objects. We live in a society obsessed with consuming. We are programmed that way. Things are meant to last as little time as possible, and become obsolete quickly. Don’t let yourself get caught in that trap. Learn how to fix, build, buy second-hand and reuse. You can even easily learn how to make your own cleaning and beauty products.
5- Free up your living space. Do a great clean-up of your clothes, useless objects, broken dishes, dented pots and pans, and worthless souvenirs. Make a trip to the local recycling depot and search for the closest second-hand charity. Keep only what makes your home comfortable and lovely. Keep only what you truly value. The rest will be easily forgotten. This can also help reduce your cleaning time.
6- Shop well and shop locally. Look for farms close to you that sell their products. Skip the mega-size supermarkets. And don’t worry – it does not cost more to buy from small-scale farms since you are less tempted to purchase things that are not on your list or that you don’t need. Plus, local farmers use less packaging and several of these products are organic.
7- Re-learn or learn how to cook. This is much easier on the wallet on top of making you practice your art. You will master more and more recipes this way, and therefore you will consume less preservatives and other additives. You will also be healthier!
8- Take your health into your own hands You are your best doctor. Start by eating better, which is already an important step towards staying healthy. Maintaining good hygiene, walking, exercising, and sleeping the necessary amount of hours is also important. And, when you have pain or some sort of small health issue, learn to deal with it yourself. Use naturopathic care, such as plants, essential oils, and grandma’s favorite homemade medicines. Learn to listen to your body and also work on preventing illnesses.
9- Discover the virtues of sharing and exchanging. Open yourself to others. Share, exchange, support one another, and appreciate friendships. Create authentic bonds based on trust and selflessness. Give without expecting anything in return.
10- Find time for yourself. Stop spending so much time in front of the TV and other passive hobbies. Spend more time on hobbies that you are passionate about. Several of us complain too much about not having enough time to do them. Whether your dream is to build something yourself, play with the kids, learn arts and crafts, do volunteer work, learn a new language, and so on, everyone has a hobby, but stop saying that you cannot find the time to do it.
By opting for voluntary simplicity, you learn a whole new way of life. Your daily life will quickly take on a bold new flavor and you will feel alive again. Take the path you always wanted to take!
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