Simple living and minimalistic lifestyles were trending topics before the novel coronavirus pandemic. But once it hit, COVID-19 forced our hand. With many stores, restaurants and entertainment venues closed, we entered a simpler life by default. Did you find more peace, joy and space amidst the chaos and uncertainty? Many people did — and here are some considerations for holding onto the benefits of living simply, even as life creeps back toward something resembling “normal.”
1. Simple fitness routines keep you going strong
With gyms closed and options limited, many of us got more exercise in the great outdoors. The pandemic spurred a bike shortage and a run on trucks and SUVs.
Keep your health goals — and your simple lifestyle — going strong in colder weather without having to go to a gym. You can crush your goals with just your body weight and a sliver of space at home. Add a mat for comfort and compact, inexpensive resistance bands for more workout variety. If you’re a lucky bike owner, consider an indoor cycling trainer to spin your way to spring. They don’t take up much space and you can often pick up a used one at a fraction of the cost of a new one.
2. Simple, seasonal foods boost your immune system
Did you find your inner chef while staying home? Eating simple, natural foods is easy during the spring and summer months. Neighbors share their gardening bounty. Farmers markets pop up in surprising places.
Colder months often leave us reaching for starchy comfort foods, but the autumn harvest offers a cornucopia of vitamins and nutrients that keep your immune system in fighting shape. Find which foods are in season in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, then look for recipes that let those ingredients shine. This is also a great time to clean out the freezer so you can buy extra seasonal fruits and vegetables and freeze them for later.
3. Simple digital habits help you stay connected
If your family is still working or schooling from home, you might feel more connected to them than ever. Even so, fall and winter offer the opportunity to truly focus on those who mean the most to you, to recharge your personal relationships. You’ll all get an emotional boost from unplugging during off hours and weekends. Here are some ideas:
- Limit time on TV, phones and social media.
- Turn off phone notifications so you’re not distracted by alerts.
- Call family and friends to check in instead of texting them.
- Use alarm clocks instead of phone alarms.
- Hold a family dance party.
- Head to the nearest pumpkin patch.
- Roast marshmallows over a bonfire.
- Make homemade ornaments.
- Read a novel aloud together as a family.
- Break out the puzzles and board games.
- Create masterpieces for a family art show.
- Learn a new craft together (macrame is back!).
- Host a family indoor scavenger hunt.
- Encourage kids to put on a play, complete with sets and costumes.
- See who can clean their rooms and closets to donate the most!
4. Simple habits free up space and finances
Did you live on less — or live with less — during quarantine? Many people found more satisfaction in decluttering, donating or selling items than they got from acquiring them in the first place. Here are some simple habits that can benefit your home — and your wallet — for years to come:
- Donate old clothes and aim for a capsule wardrobe built around classics.
- Shop for like-new clothes, coats, furniture, decor, equipment and appliances.
- Sell or donate those same items if they’re collecting dust around your home.
- Set up bills on autopay to free up time and avoid late fees.
- Unsubscribe from apps, subscriptions and memberships you don’t use.
- Designate a few days each month as “no spending days.”
See why Cinfed is the simple choice
Boost your financial savvy with quick, free financial education courses at the Cinfed Financial Education Center. Or learn more about checking and saving accounts, loans, or other services. You can schedule a branch appointment online here; our drive-thrus are open and we’re ready to help however we can. Here’s what to expect if you do schedule an appointment.