It’s been a hot minute since I shared anything on the blog. The erratic internet connectivity wasn’t letting me and more than that I was savouring life’s different flavours, slowly and mindfully. This pandemic is a blessing in disguise which is allowing me to embrace the old school existence. The household chores do get a little (read extremely) heavy at times but that’s what life is; we can either make a fuss about it or do things happily. So, I’ve been learning about slow living and minimalist lifestyle for about three years now and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to make some conscious life changes which are helping me live mindfully and less on autopilot mode. I remember living a life at a million miles per hour, chasing deadlines, school, squadron, back to back work, without having any time to catch my breath! While that must be likeable to some as being busy is synonymous with being successful and doing good in life. Because that’s how we all have been raised and conditioned.
But I somehow have always loathed the idea of being perpetually ‘busy’, always on the run, trying to accomplish every damn thing. I definitely don’t want a fast and frantic life where I’m just bouncing around from place to place and event to event. I think it’s about time that we stop glorifying busyness.
What Is Slow Living
So, what is slow living? Well, it is about finding the right balance and knowing what calms your soul, what makes you truly happy. It’s about being aligned with your body, mind, spirit and nature. It is about getting rid of all the noise from your life which doesn’t let you be in the moment, which doesn’t allow you to listen to what your soul is craving for!
Now, think about all the people in your life, do they make you gain or drain? Similarly, with habits, are they pushing you towards a better YOU? Or are you doing just because everyone else is doing? The social media scrolling, the people you follow online, are they fueling you to live the life of your dreams?
Just like self-care isn’t only about face masks and manicures, minimalism isn’t a white walled house with barely anything, or a farmhouse table with a vase of eucalyptus leaves (well, I’d love that). Hygge isn’t about hot chocolates with marshmallows with throws on the sofa. Similarly, slow living isn’t about working at a snail’s pace, doing things in slow motion or sitting on a chair the whole day. It is about quality over quantity in everything from work to play, food to life.
There are no rules how a slow living lifestyle should be, things that work for me might not work for you. So, sit down, take a deep breath and ask yourself what are you looking for in life, what are your priorities, goals, what gives you happiness and then go all out to make it happen; slowly and mindfully!
Six Ways To Slow Down
This is how slow living looks to me and hopefully it inspires you to adapt to this intentional and mindful lifestyle.
For me to get up fresh and happy means that I need to have a good night routine too, because that’s what sets the tone of the happy morning, isn’t it? I’ve a habit of not going for my phone until I’m done with my morning routine. So, the moment I get up, I open the windows, let the light and fresh air in, while doing that I thank god for the wonderful day and everything that he has blessed me with. It’s good to cultivate a gratitude-based attitude in life.
I have a glass of lemon water followed by normal water, go for morning walk if the weather permits, work out, shower, pick out my outfit for the day, pray, take a stroll in my garden watching the leaves rustling and birds chirping. I’ve my breakfast, write my to-do list for the day while watching Jason roll on the grass.
I take out my diary, laptop to plan some content. Grab my phone to work on my Instagram and other social media handles. By now, it’s already three hours and I’m all set to take on the day! This is how my morning routine looks like which by the way differs all the time depending on various factors.
Make a list of things that you need to focus on, it could be your wardrobe, kitchen or friend circle. It’s so important to evaluate what is worth keeping for and what needs to go out of your life. It won’t happen overnight and would take days, months to implement. It takes a lot of time and research to figure out what you need and what doesn’t serve any purpose anymore. You may start with your wardrobe and slowly move towards other things. I’d suggest you to start with your closet (personal experience).
MINIMISE YOUR DIGITAL LIFE
Reevaluate your relationship with your phone. Being a blogger, a content creator and an influencer, I’ve to use social media for my business. However, I’ve time limits and don’t use after a certain time. Well, at times I too get caught in the rabbit-hole! All you need to do is set aside a time limit for social media, how much time you want to spend daily. Delete the apps on your phone which you don’t use. Put those 1000 screenshots in the bin, delete those contacts whom you haven’t contacted in donkey’s years!
Nature has the power to calm our soul and uplift our mood. I feel super charged and rejuvenated post my walks. I love spending time in my garden looking at my plant babies. Don’t underestimate the power of spending some time in the nature. Try being outdoors for least 15-20 minutes. It’d help you connect with the earth and feel the rhythms of nature. How much I love that! If you follow me on Instagram, you’d know by now how big nature lover I’m!
Dedicate a day weekly for your physical and mental well-being. Indulge in face masks, hair spa, bubble bath and read your favourite book. Reflect, plan and focus on what you want to accomplish in life. I’ve started a self-care Sunday series where I make Instagram videos. Have you seen the videos yet?
BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU EAT, PURCHASE
Many of us have the habit of eating while watching Netflix, or grabbing a packet of chips when feeling bored. When you’re glued to the screen, you’re less likely to pay attention to what and how much is going into your mouth. Let’s not make our bodies as bin boxes! Come on, we just have one life and one body, let’s take utmost care of it.
Another very important thing we need to take care of is over spending. Being everything just a click away, online shopping has become a favourite pastime of many. Browse only if you’re looking for something specific otherwise do not, I repeat DO NOT open the shopping apps.
Let’s make it very clear that there’s a difference between things I want vs things I need. Ask yourself multiple times before you end up grabbing junk food or are tempted to buy anything online or offline! Slow living is all about cutting out the unnecessary things and focusing on the necessities.
There are no rules of living slowly as long as you’re enjoying and are aware of the things that you’re doing. While I understand that in a fast world like ours you don’t have time to think about slow living; and intentional morning routine or mindful living would be the last thing you’d be thinking of! Because you’re too busy living this whirlwind called life!
But, my dear friend, where are you planning to go in that huffing puffing state, running around like a headless chicken round the clock? Go easy, approach life with a more intentional manner. Slow living isn’t an art form or something complicated, but quite the opposite. It is meant to take us back to the time when things were simpler. It simply means you’re taking time to enjoy every moment and trying to bring simplicity, minimalism and nature into your life through your attitude and actions.
Hope this helps you to live a more mindful and intentional life. Be it eating, travelling, purchasing or anything. Have you heard about slow living? What does it mean to you? Will you start a slow living journey too? Let me know in the comments below.
Live slowly and mindfully