Embracing The Art Of Slow Living
I’m a bit of a country music-lover. Yep, I’m actually a little bit addicted to the stuff. I realise this may be a strange opening to a health and skincare article, but bare with me… There’s a line in a song that I absolutely love: “I’ve been going too fast, I got off of the gas, I’ve been learning the charm of the brake.” (Brownie points for you if you can name that song).
This one line, I feel, encompasses much of modern life – we’re so busy being so… well, busy. We’ve actually come to GLORIFY “busy”. What’s that about?? And while I know we all have lots of aspects of our lives to keep up with – work, family, friends, social media, etc, etc – there is always time to slow down, take your foot off the accelerator, and embrace the charm of the brake.
Before we go any further, I’ve got a confession to make… I don’t meditate… Shock horror! Doesn’t everyone who’s anyone meditate these days?! Honestly, I’ve tried… but never lasted longer than a few minutes for maybe three days in a row. But that’s ok, because I slow my body and my mind down in other ways.
So here I’m sharing some simple ways that we can live slow, live mindfully, and enjoy the moment:
Go to bed half an hour earlier – put down your phone, turn off the tv, and go to bed earlier than you normally would. What will you do with that extra time? Sleep, is always a good option! Or you can read, write (see point #4), or…
Cleanse, tone & moisturise every evening – this is my version of meditation… with added massage! Spending five to ten minutes doing this facial routine each evening cares for my whole being in one simple ritual. This is a time-out for my mind as I mindfully concentrate on my actions, and it’s an act of self-care and self-love to my skin and my face.
Go tech-free for a day – if ever there was a way to sow down and enjoy the moment, it’s by removing technology and social media from your life. How is it that we’re seemingly controlled by our phones? If you can’t manage a whole day cold-turkey, start with just an hour and then you can build-up to a whole day.
Spend time with pen, paper, and your thoughts – get to know your true, deep-down self. Who knows what you might discover!
Sit and watch rain against the window – that wonderful rhythmic tap-tap-tapping on the window while to raindrops form rivers flowing down the glass… what’s not to love about ten minutes of watching the beauty of nature.
Get to know your neighbours – in fact, let’s go one step further and make friends with our neighbours! I find this fairly easy living in a village in the countryside where everyone tends to know everyone. But when I lived in London it was a different story – an apartment block with many people living in it, and yet I didn’t know any of their names. Let’s make a change and start with a simple “hello”.
Do something UNproductive – give your mind some time off. Maybe you’ll try painting, or crazy dancing to your favourite song, or reading a trashy novel. Not sure what to do? Thinking of what you loved to do as a child is always a good place to start.
Go for a walk – if it’s in nature then all the better. Give yourself an hour, leave your phone at home, and get to know your neighbourhood. Notice the sights, sounds and smells. On foot, we often observe things that we might have missed when whizzing by in a car.
Take something off your to-do list – better still, learn to say “no” to commitments that don’t support you – mind, body and soul. In building my business I have often had times of high-stress when it feels like everything needed to be done yesterday and there isn’t enough time in the day. But that attitude doesn’t help anyone. Instead, these days, I trust that what needs to be done will get done – this makes for a much more peaceful and stress-free working environment.
Cook something new – find a recipe you haven’t tried before, go buy the ingredients at your local market, indulge in new flavours and fragrances of the food. Better still, share this whole experience with a friend or partner.