I don’t know about you, but I’m all over the place these days. Routine seems to have gone out of the window, and I’m on tenterhooks about what the news will hold tomorrow. I veer between berating myself for not feeling more motivated, and realising that actually I need to understand how to slow down and enjoy life more.
In many respects, over the last 6 crazy Covid months life has become more simple, a little less glitzy in some respects, but definitely more wholesome. I have unwittingly been slowing down, and I’ve learnt a lot from self isolation too.
Instead of focusing on what should be done, what social engagements I should be attending, and dashing here there and everywhere in a quest for WHO KNOWS WHAT, I’ve been looking inwards, contemplating calm and enjoying being at home a lot more.
Home is where the heart is, and where our new puppy is too. Home is more cooking and daily walks in our neighbourhood. Home is keeping up with family members and chatting. Home is trying not to worry too much.
I’m slowing life down – how about you?
As I look back with some sadness on how things were a year ago and the plans we had for this year, I’m not angry. I don’t feel bereft. I’m very lucky. I realise how many people are in terrible situations and feel so terribly for them.
I do feel the passing of the days more keenly and the fact that age is ticking on with every strike of the second hand, and I realise that living everyday to its best advantage has never been more necessary.
But then I think, it’s not all about the big things. Living your best everyday can be about small things, which in fact if you think about it are actually big things.
Learning how to slow down, expect less and be content in the now is what it’s all about.
We don’t have to be ruling the world. God didn’t die and leave us in charge. We don’t have to be cracking codes or reaching for impossible heights.
Goals, kick-ass projects, keeping up with the Jones’s, even having shaved legs (!) are not rushing around my brain as important in the same way as they used to.
I realise now that we have been sold the idea that we should be happy all the time, and if we’re not then we have a problem and definitely need to see a shrink or take a tablet.
Thank you marketing guys – not!
Happiness. What is that? In our modern world it’s become the star we reach for, and yet it’s also been a noose around our necks and I believe has caused more anxiety and mental health problems than we’ll ever know.
What is happiness if you live in a slum in India? Just having enough to eat and enough strength and health to make it through to the next day?
What is happiness in our Western World? Having big houses, big toys, luxury lifestyles and fancy meals out in restaurants.
Brooke McAlary from Slow Your Home says on her blog, ““We could realise that what we thought was success, was just excess.”
But I think all that is changing and there is a push for a simpler way of living. A more honest way of going about our days, something that is definitely more attainable.
A slowing down, a breathing out, a gentler way of life. Learning how to stress less. At least for our age group.
We still want to be healthy, and I think that is a preset to living slow. Focusing on whole foods and gentle exercise, as well as a little pampering thrown in.
To slow down we need to be gazing at stars more, picking flowers or veggies we’ve grown ourselves, or sitting down with a good book and a hot cup of tea. Let’s not forget afternoon naps.
Having said that though, I think we still need to dazzle, to be bright stars in a grey world because we all have talents that shouldn’t just lay down and die. We need to enjoy who we intrinsically are, and make the most of it.
Take up art, write that book, learn to quilt or crochet.
We also need to smile more, be more content with our lot, reach out to others, and live the good good life. But a slower life doesn’t mean a depressed life.
And I realised that some of the small things that help me keep strong and healthy and engaged in life (apart from writing and blogging of course!) are slow things – not a mighty to-do list, just things that make me feel good about myself and my place in the world.
Possibly you already do these things too?
Little tasks or happiness projects which are within reach, and can help slow us down and make us feel better about these strange days.
If you don’t do these things already, then why not try 7 actions over 7 days?
You’ll end up with a more content, slowed down, dazzling you in more ways than one.
Simple Ideas – Slow Down – Dazzle Still
- Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure or perhaps a massage? A little time to yourself and some pampering can help you feel a whole lot more positive and energised.
- We’ve just become puppy parents, and let me tell you it’s exhausting, but Minnie will get me walking everyday! If you’re not in the market for a dog, then make sure you get out in the fresh air for a daily walk and get your circulation going.
- Phone a friend, or a member of your family. Zoom or Facetime if you like, but try and speak to someone you care about every day. Don’t be alone during these times.
- Join a yoga or pilates group. Why? Because it’s slow exercise and it will stretch you, you’ll feel better and you might make some new friends too. (If you have to find one you can do online.)
- Add a new healthy recipe to your repertoire. These days there’s no excuse for sticking to the same old same old all the time. Find something yummy and healthy to cook, plan for it, buy the ingredients and why not invite a friend round to try it out?
- Buy a new BB Cream, CC Cream or Foundation to suit the season. Our skin changes colour ever so slightly in winter or summer, and a great match, not too obvious cover-up can make you feel all kinds of confident – add a brush of blusher and a slick of lippy and you’re good to go with a slowed down minimal make-up routine.
- Do a kind deed. Don’t ask, just do something nice for someone.
Please Pin this Post