The Beautiful Art of Doing Less

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I was manically flitting around my apartment the other day, doing what I like to call a “whirlwind clean” — where I stress myself (and anyone else unlucky enough to be around me) out by frantically picking up clutter while muttering under my breath at the injustice of my life — when my boyfriend, who usually has the good sense to seek refuge when I go nuclear, grabbed my arms, sat me down on the couch and convinced me to take a breath.

C’mon, do one with me right now: a good, deep belly breath. It feels so good.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for breathing! I’m in a hurry, I have so much I need to do today.” What if you didn’t? What if you looked at that long list and just erased a few of those things. Gasp.

Do Less.

It’s a simple concept and a horribly hard reality to wrap your head around.

We’re rapidly approaching the most wonderful (and stressful) time of the year when what you want to do and what you can physically do gets all jumbled up with what you should do and what you’re expected to do. So you have to choose. Choose to do everything and be everything or choose yourself.

Doing less is an art. It’s a delicate dance between your commitments and your sanity. And consider this: most of the time the feeling of “should” is coming from your own brain. More is just more so why do we automatically think more is better?

In my case, the more I practice doing less, the easier it is to look at socks on the floor and think, “I’ll get to it when I get to it.” It’s not my go-to response and probably never will be but I can recognize that letting some things go helps me feel relaxed and happier and I call that a win.

(Image credits: Cathy Pyle)

Updated: 24.10.2014 — 22:17