Modern life is a society of excess. We have too much stuff. Too many things scheduled. Too much going on in our heads. Too much information. Too many stimulants. Too many options.
It is time to adopt a less is best mentality and the best place to start is in childhood. Contrary to popular belief children do not need more activities or classes, they do not need more toys or clothes, they do not need more technology. They need less. Anxiety rates in young children have more than doubled in the past 20 years and the rates for teens have tripled! These effects are likely a combination of increased screen-time, lack of access to nature, increased pressure to perform in school, increase of organized/parent-led activities, and a general overwhelm by the amount of consumerism that comes into their lives.
The model I personally follow, and guide my clients to follow, is one that gives space in your life through removing excess. It gives you permission to do less and enjoy more. Once you observe and define your family values it is time to start the elimination process. It’s time to get rid of the clutter in your home, your pantry, your schedule, and your mind.
What areas of your life have the most excess? These areas will feel heavy (literally in your body), you may walk into a specific room and feel the clutter as oppressive. Or looking at a specific closet makes your stomach drop. There is an actual studied link between hoarding and obesity. Having extra stuff affects your body!
Having too much clutter also affects your child. Children are easily overwhelmed by excess. Examples of having too much stuff might be a child who is unable to play independently because they are overwhelmed by the choices and number of toys they have. Or a child who cannot focus on a specific task or play because they are constantly having their attention pulled in every direction by the next shiny toy. Children will also start to lose appreciation for their toys when they have too many. They might be more inclined to let them break, leave them out, or ignore them. Children’s play should be dynamic and creative. When they are overwhelmed by too many options it is hard for them to do the developmental work of play.
Having an overwhelming schedule also hinders this important play time for children. Children do not need more structured activities; children do need more free-play time. Our modern schedules that have young children running from soccer practice to ballet to swim lessons to “mom & me” music class. This hectic pace is causing us to overlook the importance of unstructured and unguided free-play time, one of the most developmentally necessary things for children. Even older children and teenagers need unstructured time. Much like adults this free time allows your mind to process things. It is when you are alone to be with your thoughts that you have that big break through. Boredom is a gift. We need to embrace it instead of trying to fill every second of our lives with a flurry of activity. By eliminating the excess things from our children’s schedules, we are giving them a gift of creativity, freedom, and independence.
What can you get rid of today that will move you towards a more fulfilling life?
Are you overwhelmed? You don’t have to be. I understand the process of getting started can feel the most daunting and that is why I do the work I do. I am here to support and guide you in the process of simplifying your life to find the joy buried beneath the clutter. I am also here to give free consultation calls to see if you really need my help or just a few words of encouragement and inspiration. Please reach out by email, call or text me to schedule a time!