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Back To Basics: Finding The Joy Of The Simple Life *

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Ways to take a moment for yourself without technology

We live in a world that never stops. There's no moment when things aren't happening in all of our lives. From the moment you wake up, there are things happening, screens flashing, speakers blaring, people rushing around, it's enough to make your head spin.

It's close to impossible to go even a few minutes without some sort of gadget going off and trying to get your attention. Now, don't think that this is some kind of anti-technology rant, technology is incredible. Smartphones and computers have changed millions of lives for the better. But it can be all too easy to find yourself getting sucked into the world inside your phone so that you miss what's going on around you.

People are more stressed than ever, and a big part of that is because life simply doesn't give them a chance to pause for a moment and just stay still.

But does it have to be that way? Just because the world is constantly moving, does that mean that you have to be pulled along by its tide? The short and simpler answer to that questions is no. You have control over the pace of your own life and if you want to make things a little slower and a little simpler than that's entirely within your power. You've just got to be willing to make some simple changes and to resist the temptation to rush around at all times trying to keep up. To help you achieve just that, here are some incredibly simple, yet potentially life-changing ways to slow the pace of your life down, simplify and get back to basics.

Wake up earlier

alarm clock, black coffee, book

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A lot of people hate waking up in the mornings. That's fairly understandable, not everyone is a morning person and, let's be totally honest, who doesn't love the idea of getting to stay in bed all day every once in awhile. But one of the most important things that everyone needs to learn is that the snooze button is not your friend. Hitting snooze to get that extra ten minutes of shut-eye is the worst thing that you can do, for a bunch of reasons.

For one thing, it's going to make you feel even more tired because your body's going to try and settle into a new sleep schedule that will be very rudely interrupted. Secondly, you're just going to end up with way less time to do the things that you need to do. Whether you need to get the kids ready for school, head off to work, or do any number of other things, the less time you leave yourself, the more stressed out you're going to be.

The key is to set yourself an alarm that gives you as much time as possible to deal with everything. You might not enjoy getting up earlier at first, but you'll get used to it surprisingly quickly. Not only that but you'll find that the pace of your mornings has suddenly become far more relaxing and less hectic. Setting the right tone in the morning makes a huge difference to how you feel for the rest of the day.

Bake your own bread

baker, bakery, baking

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This is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to simplifying and slowing down your life that there is. You might not think it will make that much of a difference, but it really can work wonders. Instead of just slumping onto the sofa in front of the TV after work, find a recipe that you like the look of and start baking. The most obvious benefit of baking your own bread is that it will cost you pennies. The ingredients that you need are far cheaper than buying pre-made loaves of bread. The second benefit is that you're able to dictate exactly what goes into it. The salt levels, the kinds of flour, etc. You can limit any preservatives and make sure that your bread is one-hundred-percent natural.

The third and arguably most important benefit of baking your own bread is that it forces you to slow down and focus on a single task for even a little while. The act of measuring out the ingredients, mixing them together, and kneading the dough, all give you something to occupy both your mind and your hands. You'll find it's a fantastic way to get rid of much of the stress and tension of the day as you focus on turning a bowlful of ingredients into a soft dough, then turning that dough into a delicious crusty loaf. Not only that but there really is nothing better than a house that's filled with the smell of baking bread.

Grow your own veg

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Few things are more stressful in most people's daily lives than taking trips to the supermarket. They're crowded, noisy, overlit and generally unpleasant places to be. Luckily there are things that you can do to avoid them. For one thing, you can try to buy as much as possible from local sellers instead. You'll get better deals and more high-quality products from your local sellers than from the supermarket any day. But the best thing to do is to start producing your own food.

Of course, there are plenty of things that you'll always need to buy, but if you have a garden or even a patio, then you can grow your own fruit and vegetables with ease. There is nothing quite so satisfying than planting your own veg and watching the first sprouts starting to appear. If you ever needed something to help you learn patience, then this is it. It can be a little scary to know where to start, but things like Grow Like Grandad by Matt Peskett will give you plenty of great advice whether you're a total newbie or a green-thumbed expert. Growing your own veg is an incredible way to help you slow down and enjoy watching something happen naturally, rather than the instant gratification that we're so often taught to crave in the modern world.

Read

 Person Holding and Reading Book during Daytime

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For good or ill, we spend our lives looking at screens. Whether it's our phones, our computers, or our TVs, screens are everywhere. It really is a good idea to just take a break from all of the screens every once in awhile. This is especially true in the evening. The kind of light that is given off by many screens actually prevents your brain from being able to shut off and go to sleep so checking your phone right before bed is never a good idea.

Instead just find a good book and read for twenty minutes or so. The same goes for a slow weekend afternoon. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, why not sit in the sunshine and read something instead. You really will come away feeling as though you've done more with your time than you would if you'd spend the same amount of time flicking through your various social media pages. It doesn't matter what you read, as long as it's something you enjoy. Don't feel like you have to read the classics or the bestsellers, it's your life and your free time, spend it reading something that's going to make you happy.

Keep a diary

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With the world moving at such a breakneck pace all of the time, it can be hard to just take a moment to stop and appreciate it all. Being able to pause and take it all in is so important and yet it's something that many of us simply aren't able to do. That's why keeping a diary is such an amazing thing to do. It allows you to take some time at the end of each day and simply reflect on things. The good, the bad, the exciting, the boring.

You'll end each day with a better understanding of what you've done, how you spent your time, and even who you are as a person. If you want to learn to truly appreciate and understand your own life in a way that you never really thought was possible then keeping a diary is the perfect way to do just that. You don't have to write essays upon essays every day, and no one is expecting it to be some great work of literature. Just a few lines about what you did that day and how you feel about it is enough to give you a far greater understanding of your own life than you would ever think possible.

Unless you're planning on going completely off the grid and living in the wilderness, you're never going to completely abandon all technology, and nor should you! After all the world around us has improved to no end thanks to advances in technology. People are healthier, happier, more connected, and even living longer! But there's nothing wrong with needing to do something to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life every so often, even if it is just for a moment or two.

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