Browsing Tag:

mindfulness

How to slow down and enjoy life without feeling guilty

slow-down-enjoy-life

 

The lazy sunlight yawns through the partly opened curtains. 

I pour the coffee grounds into the pot followed by the boiling water.  

 

Three stirs to the left, then three to the right.  

The motions of my mornings, slow and serene.  

 

I hop from foot to foot as I wait for the coffee to brew.  

I take delight in the effort of plunging, the delicious anticipation. 

 

Gently I tip the coffee into my cup, inhaling to alertness.   

It’s deep and bold and makes me feel ever-so-slightly dizzy.  

 

I sit and sip and peruse the newspaper.  

Finding rest in the gentle morning’s embrace.  

 

 

My father is one of those people who just cannot sit still. No matter what, it always seems as though he is on a mission. He has an admirable dose of determination and a laser focus like no other.

 

I know for sure that it is him I inherited this particular trait from. It is him that I blame for my obsession with to-do lists and my antsy-pantsy need to get every, single task done.

 

We are like bees, buzzing so quickly from one job to another that if you blink you might just miss us.

 

But for every doer there is a thinker. A brake that causes us to decelerate. An anchor that keeps us moored to the shore.

 

They are the ones who urge us to stop for a lunch break. Who remind us that night time is for sleeping. Who will gently bring us back to rest when we are whirling around like spinning tops.

 

My boyfriend is one of those people.

 

He knows how to slow down and enjoy life. It comes naturally to him in a way it never has to me, so we often are at odds with one another.

 

We are forces pulling in opposite directions. We are a paradox. An unstoppable force meeting an immovable object…that’s us.

how to slow down and enjoy life, slow down, simple living, slow living, mindfulness, practicing mindfulness in everyday life, how to relax, work life balance, stop hustling, finding rest, self care tips, how to practice self care

 

But I am learning how to slow down and enjoy life right now, in this very moment. I am learning how to sit still without thinking of my to-do list.

 

I am learning to find peace in those quiet moments and to practice patience in those painfully slow moments.

 

“Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday.” – Papyrus  

 

I’m terrified that because of my nature, because it isn’t often that I’m not in a hurry, I could end up missing out on life.

 

I could get so caught up in getting tasks done that I actually wouldn’t take the time to enjoy the seconds and minutes that life is made up of.

 

The irony is that sometimes I try so hard to make a moment memorable that I actually miss out on the enjoyment of the moment which is the very thing that makes it memorable.

 

But how do we become hummingbirds? Able to hover and rest in the moment.

 

How do we actually slow down and enjoy life?

 

Create a done list  

 

A list of the things you have achieved for each day or that week.

 

I often find that I can’t stop because I feel that slowing down means I am unproductive. And there is not much I dislike more than feeling lazy and unproductive.

 

So an easy way to get around that feeling is to prove to yourself that you have been productive. That’s where the ‘done’ list comes in. This means you can enjoy your time off because you know you have already worked hard and earned it.

 

Make time for it

 

Schedule that slow, restful time in your diary.

 

It might sound absurd to someone who is laid-back and doesn’t need to schedule time for rest. But for those of us who can’t sit still, having time set aside for relaxing can be the only way we will actually remember to do it.

 

Sit still or meditate

 

I’ve never been so great at meditation because my mind tends to wander and start working instead of resting.

 

I’m trying to get to the point where I absolutely clear my head and can rest there, but for now I find simply sitting still and absorbing the scene around me is all I need to escape for awhile. This brings my focus back to being present in that moment.

 

Again, this might sound excessive to some, but maybe try setting an alarm at random points throughout the day and for a minute just pause and take in what’s before you.

 

Notice the sights, smells and sounds. Be aware of how you are feeling at that moment and consider if there is anything you could do to make yourself feel better.

 

Do something just for fun

When you get stuck in cycle of constant productivity you don’t tend to leave a lot of time for goofing around. In fact, when other people try to get you to have fun it often ends in an irritated squabble.

 

One of the best skills to have is the ability to be adaptable. You can work on your flexibility by doing things just because they are fun.

 

Everything doesn’t need to have an ultimate purpose or a goal for you to achieve, some things (the best things) are simply just fun to do.

 

Be patient with yourself

Most of all you have to recognise that learning how to slow down and enjoy life isn’t always easy. As we move through life we will always be learning so we have to be kind to ourselves and extend grace where it is needed.

 

We might not always have as much patience as we wish we did. We might get frustrated by those who put on the brakes and slow us down. We might keep going and going until we burnout.

 

Eventually we will get to a place where slowing down comes naturally to us.

 

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” – Anne Lamott

Do you struggle with feeling guilty for slowing down?

Simple living: the secret to thriving in a society obsessed with the hustle

secret-to-simple-living

 

Sometimes things only become glaringly obvious to you days, weeks or years after they should.

 

Like the fact that leggings under shorts is not a good look. Or swimming in an outdoor pool without sunscreen is a bad idea.

 

Or how draining living in a big city can be on your soul.

 

At first, I didn’t notice the subtle ways the latter was true for me. The nights I couldn’t sleep. The tears I would sometimes shed in the car. The clawing feeling of wanting to escape that I kept ignoring.

 

I thought it was just the stress of trying to find a job right out of college. Or the helpless way I kept falling in love and getting my heart broken. Or my perpetual fear of an uncertain future.

 

Only now I am out of the city I can see the way it utterly depleted me.

 

I wasn’t happy. At least not the kind of happy that stretches deep beneath the surface, that bubbles away inside of you, giving you the energy you need to keep going.

 

The big city and all of its ways abraded me. It felt jarring, consuming and arduous to be a part of.

 

Being in the city felt like everyone and everything was taken in, chewed up and spat out into the same stressed out, discontented state.

 

There was something within me that knew I could never be happy there and when I finally listened to that voice, I got out.

 

I bravely packed up and moved home. To a city, several hundred thousand people fewer. To a place I feared would bore me. To a life that seemed slow and dull but in reality was the very thing I needed most.

 

simple living, minimalism, how to live simply, the secret to thriving in a society obsessed with the hustle, hustle hard, burnout, how to avoid burnout, mindfulness, how to practice mindfulness, slowing down

 

 

We live in a society that deems slow to be boring. We want things NOW. We want the biggest and the best. We want what everyone else has and more.

 

We live to consume. To outdo each other. To obtain more and more.

 

But this way of living is exhausting. The effort is futile and totally unsustainable. The ‘hustle harder’ mentality is not something we can maintain long term, eventually we just burn out.

 

That’s what happened to me.

 

I was so weary I could hardly summon the strength to get myself out of bed and go back to work.

 

I couldn’t face another day of squishing in between people on the train ride, running late and rushing through the crowds down the street or having to take so many coffee orders that I hardly had the time to look up and greet a person as they entered the café.

 

Every part of me felt suffocated by the way rushing had become the new norm. 

 

I wanted to have space again. I wanted to walk down the street without being swept up in the current of people moving forwards. I wanted to have room and time to actually breathe.

 

When you are constantly busy you don’t even notice the length of your days. Weeks fly by in a matter of minutes. I was terribly afraid that if I kept this up, my whole life could flash by and I wouldn’t even have lived it.

 

Simple living is about slowing down and realising what’s most important in our lives.

 

It’s about finding peace and contentment in the here and now. Being mindful of the way we consume and being aware of others around us.

 

I’ve seen a drastic change in myself over the past few months. Now I am out of the city and no longer a part of the hustle.

 

For the first time in a long time I am actually sleeping well. My mind switches off at night instead of worrying about all the things I have/haven’t done.

I finally feel positive and excited about life again. Once again I am actually looking for the beauty in every day. I’m no longer dreading and avoiding hard work. I’m even choosing to exercise because it makes me feel good!


 

But all around me I see people stuck in that same trap I was. Hustling endlessly each day, wishing for the weekend and burning themselves out.

 

I wish I could make them see that there is more to life than this constant competition for the flashiest Instagram photos. Or the addition of more belongings which clutter our homes. Or the mindless consumption of food wrapped in plastic, completely unrecognisable from its original form.

 

Simple living brings everything into perspective.

 

I thought slowing down would leave me feeling bored and irritable but instead, learning patience and practicing gratitude has made me so much happier.

 

I want that for other people, I want that for you.

 

So I decided to create a little challenge in order to do that.

 

And here it is…

 

Each day I’ve covered a different topic such as how to use social media cautiously or eat mindfully.

I’ve gone into detail to explain the importance of mindfulness in each area of our lives and then set a challenge for each day. This way you can easily incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.

 

Often I find that starting is the hardest part. It can be daunting and confusing to figure out where to begin. So this challenge will hopefully make it easy for you. 7 days and 7 ways to make your life a little more simple.

 

I’m super excited to share this challenge with you. If you are feeling overwhelmed and burntout and you’re keen to find more peace and contentment then join me by signing up below…

 

 

I hope you’ll slow down a little today and remember what is truly important in your life. It’s not all the THINGS you own or accomplish, it’s people. PEOPLE are what matter most.

 

One of the biggest struggles I have faced with living simply is making time for people. It’s so easy to get caught up in getting things done that I miss out on opportunities to build relationships.

 

So I’m interested to know your thoughts on this…

What is the biggest challenge you face when it comes to simple living?

Minimalism: clearing the clutter and living simply

minimalism-clearing-the-clutter

 

I feel as though I am constantly adding more things into my life.

 

I’m finding more recipes for the same chocolate chip cookies. I’m buying more pyjamas because they are cute and festive and I couldn’t resist. I’m putting more things on my to-do list because being productive makes me feel less insecure and lost.

 

More, more, more.

 

Perhaps it’s because we have this need to fill up empty spaces. We have to colour in every last square, fill every bit of silence and cover every inch of our counter tops.

 

I think the blank spaces make us uncomfortable.

 

The empty and quiet feels unsettling. Those places leave room for possibility, a chance for the unknown…and fear hates nothing more than the unknown.

 

So we fill, fill, fill until we are bursting at the seams.

 

And the abundance, the overflow, the lack of blank spaces makes us feel safe.


 

Ever since I noticed this about myself, I have found the concept of minimalism fascinating.

 

The idea that less could actually be more. That blank spaces, emptiness, and quiet could be the keys to happiness.

 

And the more I subtract, the more I let go, the more I welcome blank spaces…the happier I find I am becoming.

 

It’s not just the physical clutter that I’m letting go of, although that certainly helps too. It’s the emotional and mental clutter that I’ve been learning to sweep out my front doorstep and slam the door shut on.

 

minimalism, minimal living, simple living, simplify, clear the clutter, declutter, mindfulness, minimalist lifestyle, minimalist,

 

I’m learning to…

 

Let go of “shoulds”

 

The ones that I place on myself and the ones that others place upon me.

 

Like those niggling expectations of what our lives should look like at this point in time.

I should have a real job…

I should go traveling…

I should be saving to buy a house…

 

Because as Brene Brown so wonderfully puts it, “expectations are resentments waiting to happen.”

 

There is no formula. There is no exact route or set plan. Your life is up to you. You have the freedom to chose to live it however you like.

Your story may look different to someone else’s but that’s excellent. Because that is what makes us such an interesting, diverse species.

 

Releasing myself from burden of all the “shoulds” has felt like a weight lifted off me. Instead of spending so much time looking over my shoulder to see how everyone else is doing it, I’m free to just figure things out my way.

 

Accept things as they are

 

Realizing that these are the cards we have been dealt. This is the body, the person, the life we have been given and choosing to make the most of it.

 

Accepting that our shyness might make some people dislike us at first, or our skin might be paler than we would like, or our occupation might be less glamorous than we had hoped for.

 

Sometimes happiness feels like taking a moment to just appreciate instead of needing to justify.

 

I don’t always understand why things happen. I don’t always know what I could have done differently or how something can be fixed.

 

But I do know this: I am where I am. I am who I am. That is all.

 

Just be present in a moment

 

Instead of giving into my natural tendency to think ferociously forward to the future.

 

I’m learning to enjoy the surprises and spontaneity that life throws at us. To just be happy living in the now.

 

Gazing up in wonder at the starry sky when we had to pull off the highway to fix the car. Stopping to smell a rose as I’m wiping tables down at work. Tasting every bite of the meal that took me hours to prepare.

 

It feels frustrating when I just want to get to the good bits…but sometimes the good bits are disguised as the boring, the ordinary and the mundane.

 

Slow myself down

 

Fighting the urge to match the pace of the hustle that surrounds me.

 

Enjoying when breakfast stretches long past midday. Laughing at the fact nobody is ever ready to leave the house when we say we need to go. Celebrating when I manage to tick just one thing off my to-do list for the day.

 

Productivity is sometimes overrated. It can be a crutch we use to keep ourselves occupied so that thinking and feeling are things we can avoid.

 

Slowing down forces us to sit with our feelings. To be vulnerable and insecure and keep living anyway.


 

A word that keeps springing to mind at the moment is surrender.

 

It makes me think of the mighty ocean beating on the shore. Everyone and everything must submit to the great force of the ocean. The severity of the waves, the drag of the tides. There is no place for stubbornness or refusal.

 

And like a piece of driftwood I feel myself being swept up in the ocean currents, flung this way and that, pushed towards the shore and pulled back again.

 

I find peace in surrender. I think minimalism is surrender.

 

Giving up what is easier to hold on to. Letting go when our natural instinct is to cling on tight.

 

We need to make peace with the blank spaces. We need to welcome the cringey, uncomfortable emptiness.

 

Living simply, means clearing out the old beliefs that hold us back from our full potential. Finding freedom in the here and now, accepting things as they are and slowing down a bit.

 

I have come to the conclusion that what I really need to be happy is less. Which is surprising in a world that tells us happiness is more. More money, more friends, more belongings.

 

But having less means having extra time, extra patience and extra room to grow, explore and create. I need less in order to have more.

 

So I’m starting to think this minimalism stuff might just be for me after all.

What things do you still need to let go of before the next year begins?