Bye, Thanksgiving. Move over Christmas. National Simplicity Day is the holiday you didn’t know existed. And it’s here to show you it’s the chilliest of all holidays.
Actually, Simplicity Day (celebrated July 12) was founded to commemorate the birthday of famed author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, a proponent of nature and simple living.
In 1845, Thoreau built a small cabin in the woods near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. The idyllic setting captivated Thoreau during his two-year stay and inspired his book “Walden”:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” —Henry David Thoreau
There’s a lot to learn from Thoreau, but not everyone can pick up and move to a tiny cabin in the woods. You know, there’s the job, the kids, the fear of making the FBI’s watch list …
Nonetheless, a chill, simplistic life can be achieved. Here’s how:1. Do the Electronic Cleanse
Forty-three percent of Americans constantly check their emails, texts, or social media. And technology is a significant source of stress for one-fifth of Americans. Information overload doesn’t have to be your norm. Check your email once a day and social media once a week. Leave your phone in your desk at work and don’t take electronics to bed with you.2. Find Nature
Even in Manhattan, nature can be found. Seek it out on a daily basis, and take it all in (without electronics). Nature can improve mental fatigue and self-esteem, and reduce stress. It can also inspire awe in our everyday lives, which is lacking. Psychology Today describes awe as “one of the few emotions that can reconfigure our sense of time and immerse us in the present moment.”3. Learn to Say “No”
Learning to firmly and politely say “no” to unwanted things or events is a testament to real adulting. One study found saying “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” is more effective, since it portrays conviction not an excuse. Set a limit on your social commitments each month, and say “no” to people or things that don’t bring you joy.4. Embrace Minimalism
Money and material things don’t equal happiness. Lose the fancy car and expensive payments. Trade your four-pump latte for home-brewed coffee. Rid your home of belongings that create clutter. “Minimalism is about maximizing your happiness by narrowing down what happiness means to you.”
National Simplicity Day is a holiday to embrace. Get out there and enjoy a simplistic version of your life—you won’t be disappointed.
“Simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.” —Henry David Thoreau