5 Ways To Embrace Slow Living
Slow living literally means slowing down. To live, observe and interact in a more mindful way. To better connect with those around us, our surroundings and inner selves. It allows us to acknowledge how we feel and deal with emotions and stresses so that they don't build up. A way to take us off the path to burnout that seems almost inevitable in today's society. Running that hamster wheel. Not stopping to focus on what we want or what is important to us.
It's not about forcing a positive mindset but rather embracing what there is and dealing with it. Practising self-care and acknowledging emotions will, in turn, help our mental and physical state. Here are five simple things I've tried to help me embrace slower living. I welcome you to give them a go.
#1 Start by having breakfast in a calmer landscape.
That may mean at home with someone, looking out the window, whilst reading a book or enjoying the meal for what it is. Instead of gulping things down on the go or balancing a Starbucks coffee with your bags on the train. If you're not a breakfast person, try not having your lunch at your desk. Go for a walk and find somewhere with different scenery that's perhaps quieter.
#2 Savouring happy moments.
Focus on enjoying them and that feeling of happiness or excitement. Allow the warmth of gratefulness for what you've been able to experience stay with you. The more aware I've been during happier moments, the easier they are to recall during low moods where I need reminders.
Accepting what your situation is, problems, happy moments and gratefulness can open wonderful doors. Acceptance lifts a weight off your shoulders. It opens your mind and your heart to possibilities. You're no longer looking down a tunnel hoping for the light but rather a big open space. You can start to piece together solutions, understand what you need and want and move forward. We don't always need to be pushing ourselves. Sometimes it's okay to float where you're at and embrace the moment for what it is.
#4 Reconnect through a new hobby.
Something that's just for yourself. Lately, I've been playing with watercolours. Swirling shapes and mixing colours. I'm no artist but it's therapeutic and gives my mind a chance to slow down and reboot. Photographing nature again has also been a calming pastime.
#5 Remember that time is not your enemy.
The dimensions of time and how it works doesn't change. There will always be 24 hours in a day so, instead of wishing for more time we need to change our mindset. It may sound strange but in slowing down, I've discovered I'm using the hours of my day more effectively. Without rushing, you are being calmer. You can focus more and instil better decisions to impact your immediate and far futures. Being better connected with how you feel allows you to realise when you're not at your best and when you need a break.
Small, simple acts of self-care add up over time. Stretches and deep breaths, a short stroll, a bath or face mask, meditation, an early night, a cup of tea or hugging your pets. That's not to say that larger acts of self-care aren't a good thing. They can be. But be sure you're not putting pressure on yourself to only rarely commit to those and power on the rest of time.
If there's one thing to take away from this post, please let it be to just slow down daily. You don't have to subscribe to a lifestyle, do meditation or yoga. Just, in whatever way suits you, slow down for a moment in a healthy and positively impactful way for you.
We are only human after all.
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