“We need more authenticity. We need more peace.”
Most of what I find on the slow living movement has a lot to do about living in the country, having a self subsistent lifestyle, a garden, chickens and an instagram-able cabin. I incorporate elements of slow living into my city life however and it works really well. If anything I feel a city environment NEEDS slow living to balance out the energy of living amongst millions of people.
Today I’m going to share how I live slowly as it does wonders for my mental health and makes me truly appreciate my home, family and the things I have. I’d like to challenge you to also practice some of the things I’m going to mention or things you feel would enrich you life with a sense of peace.
Join me on a 10 day slow living challenge
1.YOGA & MEDITATION : taking time every day to move your body (in any way you choose) is important in releasing tension and creating flexibility. I read somewhere that our posture has a lot to do with our mental state. A rigid, fearful mental state will create a hunched over, protective posture and when our bodies are in a state of rigidity, we actually have more likelihood of injuring ourselves than if our bodies are loose and relaxed. I don’t know the science behind this but I do know that Yoga and Meditation (even sometimes just 10 minutes is needed), help me greatly in elevating my mood, energy levels and making me feel strong in my body which in turn gives me confidence. Breathe deeply and stretch.
2. PHOTOGRAPHY – I’ve recently pulled out my camera again and want to get back into photography as a hobby. Photography keeps me grounded in the moment while I immerse myself in my surroundings and notice things to capture; the way the light trickles through the forest canopy, the boats bobbing in the water, the changing leaves of the coming season. I can get lost for hours taking photos and moving slowly is part of that process so although I may be out for a walk, I don’t feel like I need to break any time records or get a huge workout in. I can just be. Editing the photos later and sharing them is part of the slow moving process.
3. NO T.V. OR SOCIAL MEDIA – I do a couple of full social media detoxes a year and spend time on hobbies, reading books and enjoying quality time at home with my family. Any time I feel myself spending too much time online (because I’m bored or unmotivated) I take 30 days to re-set and reconnect with myself. My every day is my reality; I like to keep that in mind and make sure I live in the here and now as much as possible.
“You will not remember the mess; you will remember the smiles and giggles of time spent together.”
4. HYGGE DAY – One full day of coziness, whatever that means. Sleeping in, wearing pjs all day, playing games, walking in nature, ordering food, movie night or enjoying old family photos. I’ve done hygge days alone and I’ve had friends over too. Phones are shut off, a cozy meal is prepared and we just talk and laugh. It’s so simple yet surprisingly therapeutic.
5. A NIGHT TIME ROUTINE – I’m very strict about my night time routine because I sometimes struggle with insomnia and find when I do, it’s because I have too much on my plate or went straight to bed after watching a show and didn’t take time to wind down. Whatever works for you, do it. For me this means a warm bath with essential oils and a good skin care pamper session. I put on a rain storm soundtrack in the background and climb into bed to read. I also take supplements that help me sleep: 5htp, Gabba and Magnesium. A short meditation right before lights out brings me back to the now and quiets my mind.
6. READING POSITIVE AND WHOLESOME MEDIA – There are certain blogs and vlogs I follow for the sole intention of feeling inspired and relaxed. One of these is Eugenia Diaz. Eugenia lives in the mountains in Portugal where she owns a plot of land. She’s built an off grid tiny home and a permaculture garden. These kinds of channels are not only positive but I find myself learning something which I love.
7. JOURNALING– I am an over thinker and can already tell when I’m going to have trouble sleeping because my mind is going too fast. I keep a pen and journal on the nightstand and pour out anything I’m thinking about, worrying about or even need to do the next day and it helps so much to quiet the mind and settle me down to rest. Sometimes just making a list of what you’re grateful for or something that happened today that made you happy can make a difference in how you feel.
8. FORGET THE TIME – I used to do this one full day of my weekend when I lived alone. I’d shut off (or cover) any clock in the house and wake up when I wanted, eat when I got hungry, went for walks in nature, relaxed and went to bed when I was sleepy, all with no idea of what time it was – Something about just being on my own time made my weekend feel like an extended vacation and I’d go back to work totally refreshed. Don’t rush, don’t make anything happen, just be.
9. MOVE SLOWLY – If you can, cut your to do list at least in 1/2 so you have lots of time to move at a leisurely pace. I even make it a point to walk slowly from one room to another in the house, being mindful of my breathing, cooking slowly, taking time to rest and being mindful of relaxing my body.
10. RELAXING MUSIC .. Sounds old school but I pay for Youtube premium so I don’t have to listen to ads. I create playlists for different occasions, from cooking to meditating to dinner parties. Create a playlist of music that both relaxes and uplifts you and listen to it while doing slow tasks around the home or just sit outside on a blanket and listen to music. Music is healing and has the power to change your mood very quickly. My PNW chill playlist is one of my faves and slow jazz piano is another I like listening to while cooking.
Whether it’s working in the garden, decluttering your home for peace of mind or taking time in the day to step back and breathe and stretch, slow living is easy to incorporate into your life. I believe our natural state is that of contentment and relaxation and I know it does wonders for my body and mind because I can feel it. Which of these will you try or what can you do to slow down?