Enjoy The Little Things

National Simplicity Day is observed every year on July 12 to honour the life, work and philosophies of poet, author and leading transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. Born on July 12, 1817, Thoreau was an advocate of living a simple life and wrote a number of books around the subject.

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Until today I hadn’t realised that National Simplicity Day actually existed. I had to learn more, Thoreau’s work is something I am not really familiar with if I am honest but I have learnt that not only did he write but Thoreau remained a devoted abolitionist until the end. To support his cause, he wrote several works, including the 1854 essay “Slavery in Massachusetts.” He also took a brave stand for Captain John Brown, a radical abolitionist who led an uprising against slavery in Virginia.

An important day to celebrate both simplicities and celebrating his work in assisting with the abolition of slavery. A suggested way of celebrating simplicity would be to step away from your electronic devices, go outside and truly enjoy nature. An excellent suggestion in today’s current situation (appropriately distanced and wearing a mask if required of course) at the moment we seemed to be glued to our phones for any number of different reasons mainly social media but or reliance on them is unhealthy. There is nothing wrong with stepping away once in a while and detoxing the plethora of negativity that bands around the internet whether it be the news or fabricated nonsense.

I encourage you to try and find some actual peace and quiet to rest and recuperate, your brain will thank you for it. Do or stop doing things to simplify your day. Read about Henry David Thoreau or Walden. A few tips you might consider are:

  • Identify what’s important to you. Your list will include things, goals, and activities. We don’t all have a goal which involves conquering Everest but do not dismiss your small achievements. They don’t necessarily equate clutter. They’re stepping stones but if they aren’t part of the bigger picture it might be time to change them.
  • When it comes to things, you have to admit, we keep some things for sentimental reasons. We also buy too much junk for all the wrong reasons. Identify the ones that are the most important and get rid of the rest.
  • Ban impulse buying. Make a list before any shopping trip. If it’s not on the list, it can’t be bought (unless it’s loo roll). If you missed it, it will have to wait until next time.
  • When it comes to activities, consider the ones that are time wasters and have no value. Which are important to you? Do they bring you joy? Do they improve you or the world around you? If the answer is no to any of these questions, question why it needs to be.

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