2020 has hit us all hard. With uncertainties at every corner it is easy to become stressed. Stress is hard to avoid at the best of times but with increased technological and economic pressure faced by many twenty-somethings, along with the global pandemic to contend with,, we must take the time to ensure these stresses don’t get the better of us!
Celebrating National Simplicity Day is important now more than ever.
“Simplicity is the essence of happiness.” – Cedric Bledsoe
To give a little context… National Simplicity Day (Sunday 12th July) was founded in the US to honour Henry Thoreau, an environmentalist, philosopher and an advocate for simple living. He believed that in the complicated world we live in today modern gadgets hinder us from experiencing true peace and quiet to gather our thoughts. This day gives us all a chance to experience a simplified life, with Henry’s theory suggesting that the laws of the universe will become simpler if this lifestyle is maintained long term.
In keeping with this philosophy, the various ideas and YouTube videos mentioned in this blog are there solely as a source of inspiration and are intentionally vague to allow for interpretation.
This is your day to celebrate however you choose, it is as simple as that!
Although personal development should be continuous and cannot be simply mastered in a day, the idea of utilising National Simplicity Day in order to try new things and hopefully continue these experiences long after the day itself. In whatever form that presents itself in your life, now is your chance to seize the opportunity and go for it!
Taking a day to yourself to help reset the clock and get your head back in the game is essential.
The idea that learning a new skill can take years to master is true, however research has found that being exposed to different experiences and trying new things can help you grow in confidence, which in turn promotes positivity towards learning and problem solving in general. Although the definition of simplicity is to strip things back it is important to remember that the core theme is also to improve your happiness and reduce daily stresses in whatever form they present themselves in. Therefore, if this method sounds attractive and is a good way for you to reset, although not the ‘simplest’ it still allows for reflection and positive growth, so go for it!
Books for the mind
You may wish to continue down the personal development route by focusing on motivational and career related books, however it does not mean you have to stick to one genre. Whatever style of book helps you relax would be a great choice for you to read this Simplicity Day.
The idea of being left alone with our thoughts can be daunting, however it is a great opportunity for self-reflection and time to gather our thoughts. Incorporating books into this process can bring many benefits including positive mental stimulation and an increased self-awareness. You should choose an environment, when reading, which is peaceful for you. Being in a calm environment can ensure that you to feel more at ease, which in turn can aid and increase the benefits associated with reading as previously mentioned.
As twenty-somethings most of us are very much technologically focused, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, the simplicity of picking up a book and ignoring distractions can sometimes become lost amongst all of the ‘noise’. Today is the perfect day to change that!
Writer Recommends: Doctor Mike: 5 Books That'll Change Your Life | Book Recommendations.
Overbuying can be a bit of an issue for us twenty-somethings. The temptation put on us by big named brands to buy something now, or the endless emails about sales or FREE Delivery if you spend over 'X' amount, they certainly don’t think about our wardrobes, our bank balances or our time, that’s for sure!
Madeline Shaw’s video linked below, therefore, felt like the perfect match if you are interested in reducing your spending and make a lifestyle change for simplicity day.
The idea of minimalism varies depending on who you ask, which is why YouTube is such a good research tool as it provides us with multi-channelled opinions allowing us to view alternative ideas and aspects of becoming more minimalistic. The key here is to be prepared with the knowledge of what works for you. Madeline speaks about the stress that we can put ourselves under when creating these long to-do lists, and especially in times like these it is best to keep it simple. She recommends writing down no more than 5 tasks for the day. Sticking to that simple example on National Simplicity Day can be a great way to strip your day back and gain some insightful knowledge about yourself along the way.
Writer Recommends: Madeline Shaw: My minimalism Journey | Quarantine Edition
Exercise can be a great way to focus. It is one of the simplest things a human is able to do, and sometimes, we take that for granted. It is easy to become distracted by technology or other aspects of life, and forget the significant impact getting fresh air can have on our wellbeing.
The recommended video below features Wendy Suzuki as she discusses the many benefits in which exercise has on the human brain. During her research she noticed that regular exercise was enabling her to focus and maintain her attention for longer, as well as improving her long-term memory. This study along with countless others show the unmistakable benefits exercise can have on your mental ability as well as your mood. So, whether you like to go for a stroll around your local park or go for a 5k run, any form of exercise is guaranteed to boost your mood and is the perfect way to practice simplicity.
We may not have the whole day to dedicate to simplicity, as other commitments tend to have a habit of creeping into every 20 somethings day, so why not be creative with the time you have available. If you love to read but also want to get out in the fresh air and exercise, then why not combine the two! Walking while listening to an audiobook/podcast is not only helping you to improve your physical wellbeing but it can also positively impact on your mental wellbeing.
Writer Recommends: TED: The brain-changing benefits of exercise | Wendy Suzuki
This final point leans more towards those of you who have the whole day to dedicate, as the definition of Meditation is the act of giving your attention to only one thing, either as a religious activity or as a way of becoming calm and relaxed: which is why combining activities cannot be explicitly applied to Meditation.
The below video gives those of us, who may be newbies to meditation, an idea of how it can be practiced and some of the benefits associated. The video consists of basic information regarding how meditation can be practiced, and as this is very subjective, the goal should ultimately be to reach a level of calm which feels right for you.
Meditation has many benefits, but when combined with simplicity, it can serve as a powerful tool to help us understand our consciousness a little better. Much like the other ideas suggested, meditation is best practiced in a quiet room or space, somewhere with minimal distractions is ideal.
“The laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude” (Henry Thoreau)
The above quote perfectly summarises the possibilities of meditation, as it encourages our brains to delve deeper, sometimes deeper than we usually dare to go, resulting in a greater ability to find answers within ourselves. We may just require a helping hand to unlock them!
Writer Recommends: Mitch Manly: How To Meditate For Beginners
Blog post author: Jasmine Wilson
Jasmine is a recent graduate of the University of Chester and a YouTube enthusiast. She believes technology is great tool for learning and what they didn’t teach us in school we can find out for ourselves!
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