Life right now has given us a bit of time of re-evaluate, a moment to think, and our thinking is we want to slow down and appreciate the small things in life. From sleeping better to long, meandering, unbeatable coastal walks, we’ve pulled together ideas for less ‘doing’, more just ‘being’. Say hello to life in the slow lane.
Wake up slower
An early morning rise in stress can then carry on for the rest of the day. Cortisol, the stress-related hormone increases in the morning to, crucially, help us wake up, but a muddle of frantic activities after isn’t always the best idea. So instead of reaching for your emails first thing, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier to ease yourself into waking-up mode. Make self-care your priority by savouring your morning routine. Think a purifying, antioxidant-charged shower gel and a hydrating, silken body lotion. Be sure to drench hands in a velvety hand lotion, like this one from our friends at Noble Isle – perfect after all that hand washing. Also, try stretching or relishing the process of a manual-brew or loose-leaf tea. Enjoy those moments when you’re in softer-than-soft loungewear.
Intentionally thinking about and noticing the positives in life helps you then see them more and more. What is it you love in this very moment? Finding pleasure in the little things, like a great poem, or sumptuous fabric, or a wonderful view you’ve seen a thousand times but never fully admired, helps you dwell on what you have. Release regret by each time you think of what could have been, instead turn your energy to phoning someone you’ve not spoken to in a while, writing a letter or crafting something. By the same thread, worry less on missing out and think more about who you can share your next adventure with.
Deaccelerate mealtimes. Studies show slow eating aids better digestion, hydration and weight management. It takes about 20 minutes for our brains to receive the hormones that indicate we’re full and a hurried work-from-home sandwich isn’t always conducive to a mindful day. Instead make a conscious effort to delight in cooking, sourcing the ingredients, preparing and eating together. Light a candle and make it a restorative, family moment to share. When it comes to exercise, try a slower form. Think low-impact styles like Pilates, Nordic walking or barre.
Feel productive on less
So often we have a million things on our to-do list and beat ourselves up if we don’t complete a million-and-one in a day. With hobbies or books, think quality over quantity. Try shortening your life admin task list and reward yourself when you do them – the sense of achievement will power you through to do more. Often we underestimate the amount of time it takes to do something so double the window you give yourself. Learn to say ‘no, thank you’. Soak in those spaces, or even plan them in where you can without feeling guilty, daydream, watch the trees and get inspired. Cultivate the joy of doing nothing, dolce far niente.
Slow down time
We all know those moments where time stands still: on a great holiday, or with a thrilling book, or a long, sun-drenched evening with friends. Find those things that bring you life and do them. Increase your time outside and on the coast. It’s been shown that spending time in nature can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and help our immune systems. Studies have shown walking with no agenda – joyful wandering – allows the flow of ideas that don’t occur when we’re focused on something specific. By the same token, intentionally unplug and disconnect from technology. Give the gift of time to people you love. Chasing the slow life is all the chasing we want to do this autumn.