Category Archives: Simple Life

5 Tips to Help Avoid Personal Burnout

For a long time, I was overweight, had high blood pressure and my doctor was concerned about my triglyceride levels.

The solution to this was simple: eat less and exercise more. However, that’s easier said than done. I’m not a Type-A personality and that’s probably the only thing that keeps my stress levels under control.

COVID-19 came along and some of life’s bus(y)ness was put on hold. My weight was at an all-time high, and it was time to do something about it. I started exercising regularly and eating less. Over the space of about six months, I was able to take off twenty-five pounds.

I still have some room to shrink and continue to maintain good habits. In addition to the weight-loss, there are other benefits. My blood pressure is under control. I’m still taking medication, but I’m not experiencing times where the numbers are high. I’m sleeping better and have more energy. And I am not stressed about things.

I’ve learn some lessons. These five behaviours are important for keeping stress under control.

1. Get enough sleep and rest.

Sleep is as important to a healthy lifestyle as eating properly and exercising. Studies have suggested that too little sleep may increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the simplest things you can do to stay healthy.

2. Exercise.

Regular physical activity provides many health benefits: reducing heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and many other diseases and metabolic conditions. Regular exercise is also beneficial for weight reduction and maintenance and may improve brain chemistry to reduce depression.

3. Get rid of the excess pounds.

There are many benefits to losing weight. Keeping at the ideal weight for your height will help maintain lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. You will also lower your risk of health problems such as type II diabetes and heart disease, as well as increase your life expectancy.

4. Eat a balanced diet.

A well-balanced diet is a necessary part of preserving health and reducing stress. A balanced diet includes fruit and vegetables. milk and dairy products, quantities of carbohydrates, vitamins, salts, and minerals. A resource, such as Canada’s Food Guide has all the information you need to help you eat healthy.

5. Take care when you’re ill.

Regardless of age, people are wise to undergo annual physical examinations. While annual physicals cannot ensure that a person will not become ill, the examinations often enable doctors to spot diseases in the early stages. In many cases the early detection of disease can make possible the cure or diminishing of disease.

Often, illness is the body’s way of telling you to slow down. It’s important to pay attention to the message. If you have a cold or flu, take the time to recuperate.

As I write, this is a wake-up call to me. I need to work harder to get my health and fitness under control. If you find yourself dealing with stress and burnout, look to see which of the above behaviours need adjusting.

Toss These 28 Items to Kick-Start Your Decluttering Process

Out of Clutter, Find Simplicity.
From Discord, Find Harmony.
In the Middle of Difficulty Lies Opportunity.
—Albert Einstein (Three Rules of Work)

Everybody deals with clutter at some time or another. You don’t have to hold on to it forever. Free up space and simplify your life by decluttering your home.

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your home? Start small with one room at a time and it will be a whole lot easier.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Is it essential?
  • Does it enhance my life?

Sort your things into 3 piles

  1. Keep
  2. Give
  3. Toss

Start with the easy stuff, things that are clearly garbage:

  1. Empty grocery bags
  2. Plastic, glass, or cardboard storage containers you might use someday
  3. Medication past its expiry date
  4. Coupons that have expired
  5. Clothing you haven’t worn in a year
  6. Toys your children have outgrown or no longer play with
  7. Cosmetics that have dried up and you no longer use
  8. Food that has spoiled
  9. Food past its expiry date
  10. Broken items that aren’t worth repairing
  11. Old take-out menus
  12. Old maps and travel guides
  13. Broken or rusty tools
  14. Bills that have been paid
  15. Old greeting cards
  16. Toiletries and soaps that have dried up
  17. Tax records that are past their retention date
  18. Old magazines
  19. Books you no longer read
  20. Shoes that are worn out
  21. Sports equipment you are no longer using
  22. Dried up paint and painting supplies
  23. Outdated household chemicals
  24. CD’s and DVD’s you no longer listen to, watch or are broken
  25. Worn kitchen, bath, and bed linens
  26. Plants that are dead or near dead
  27. Hobby supplies that you haven’t used in more than a year
  28. Partly used candles

When Being Right Is Wrong

There was a time in my life when I just had to be right. I would go to great lengths to prove to the other party(s) how right I was. Funny thing, no one ever thanked me for setting them straight. For all the knowledge I had :P, people rarely asked me to enlighten them.

It can take a long time to figure out you’re just being a jerk! Now I try hard to keep my trap shut. I’m not perfect and sometimes slip back into know-it-all-ness, but the predictable response back reminds me that it’s not always right to be right.

Gail Blanke suggests four questions to ask yourself next time you’re feeling “right”:

1. Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?

Which is more important? Which is healthier? Which brings you closer to those you love and care about? Which moves you toward the person you are meant to be—your true self? Looking at the two options through this lens can make the choice very simple.

2. What’s more important to me: making someone wrong for the moment or having a great long-term relationship?

If you look at what drives the deterioration of many relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness. As the normal stresses of life pile up, and other distractions crowd-in, you might put less effort into a relationship and let disagreements and unkindness destroy a great relationship.

3. What would happen if I let go of the urge to correct and concentrate instead on the rewards of connecting?

The ‘need to be right’ keeps us holding on to old hurts rather than moving forward and making the best of things. It prevents self-growth and learning. For your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your relationships with family, colleagues, and others, letting go of the ‘need to be right’ can free up much space, time and energy for the deeper joys and riches of connections

4. Can I let someone else be right for just a minute before I say what I think?

Now, I’m not suggesting that you always keep your opinions to yourself. People close to you need to know what you’re thinking. But if you spend more time listening than you do speaking, so that the people you’re speaking to feel understood and bonded with you, when you do speak your mind, they’ll be listening much more closely. 

Constantly finding fault with what others are thinking can be exhausting — and destructive. So, stop fuming over how right you are and instead, focus on building a relationship.

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Self-Improvement

Often our new year’s resolutions focus on specific behaviours we wish to change: weight loss, exercise more, etc. It’s good to have specific goals with outcomes in mind when trying to make changes to a specific habit.

What if you’re looking to improve the way you live your whole life? What sort of resolutions can direct you to an improved quality of life? Here are ten resolutions that can affect change in all areas of your life. Print them and stick them someplace where you will see them daily.

This year I resolve:

  1. To live life to the fullest of my ability, in everything I do.
  2. To never waste the time available to me, but to make each minute count.
  3. To never do anything which I would not want to do if I knew it was the last hour of my life.
  4. To never do anything motivated by revenge or a desire to get even with anyone else.
  5. To always look for the best in others and never idly speak in a negative way about others.
  6. To always ask myself, how I can improve what I am doing.
  7. When I experience difficulties, I look for lessons I can learn from the circumstances and for things that make me stronger.
  8. To learn from the successful behaviours and actions of people around me.
  9. To look for ways to improve the lives of those less fortunate than I.
  10. To always think and speak positively.

End Christmas Slowly

You spend weeks planning, shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, caroling and much more. Suddenly, on December 25th, it seems to end in a flash. Sometimes we’re so worn out from the preparation, we’re glad to see the end of all the activity.

However, just as you can use Advent celebrations to focus your preparations for Christmas, you can use the 12 Days of Christmas as a time to emphasize values beyond ripping open the gifts and gobbling down the turkey.

Instead, try these:

  • Traditionally, Boxing Day is a day to share Christmas bounty with the less fortunate. Instead of boxing up your leftovers, prepare meals to be delivered to people who are unable to get out.
  • Schedule seasonal socializing for the period immediately after Christmas, rather than trying to jam in one more party before Christmas Day.
  • Plan a New Year’s Eve party. Invite people over to see in the New Year.
  • Use New Year’s Day as a family time to review the past 12 months and set goals for the year to come.
  • Leave your decorations up until Old Christmas Day and then have an un-decorating party. Create a family tradition out of that activity.
  • Get out one evening and see the lights and decorations that will be up for a few more days.
  • Research the customs of those who celebrate Old Christmas Day and try some of them with family and friends.

Take time both before and after Christmas day to enjoy the celebration.

5 Ways to Keep Positive During the Holidays

It’s easy to place too much pressure on ourselves at this festive time of the year. We get caught up in the demands of spending, entertaining, making things bigger and better than last year.


Mostly because we lose sight of the celebration and worry about impressing friends and family. Here are five ways to help keep things in perspective.

1. Focus on the reason you’re celebrating

It doesn’t make any difference what your tradition, there is significance attached to every holiday. When things feel like they’re getting out of hand, take a moment to remember why you’re observing the holiday.

2. Have a plan

Have you been a bit stressed during past Christmas seasons? Does it seem like the holidays bring too much to do? By organizing Christmas, you can make this a low-stress holiday.

3. Budget wisely

If you’re going to spend the next year paying off the debts you’ve accumulated by over-giving, it’s going to add to your stress. Create a sensible budget up front and stick to it. Don’t spend what you don’t have.

4. Help others

During the season of giving, the most precious gift we can give is the gift of our time. Find a way to help the less fortunate. Volunteering is a wonderful way to take our minds off ourselves.

5. Don’t over-indulge

Too much food, beverages, spending, celebrating, etc. may feel good at the time, but it can produce severe consequences. Celebrate the season in moderation. Make sure, when the holiday ends, you’ll be able to enjoy the coming months.