Slowing Down and Enjoying Life:
There’s an unmistakable fascination with the simple life. Of slowing down and actually enjoying your day.
Can it be real you ask?
Slowing down? Enjoying a simpler, freer, happier life?
Of course it can. And in this post I’ll share how it can be done.
I personally despise the trend these days to glorify being busy or productive – particularly as mothers.
As if we’re not seen as successful unless we’re run off our feet, doing two things at once, perpetually busy doing something.
It’s not enough anymore to savour a cup of coffee for the enjoyment of it. We now NEED coffee to keep us awake and sane.
Nor is it valuable to do nothing. It’s seen as the opposite – a waste of time.
Simple living has become a rarity, replaced by a busy, relentless, exhausting and unfulfilled life.
The trend is more of everything these days. I know you feel it too.
The modern world gripping her claws in.
Meanwhile, our lives are wasted simply by being run ragged. Stretched to the limit.
Our health suffers as a result, snacking on bad foods and copious caffeine.
We ask, “Is this what life’s meant to be like?”
Living in the fast lane is doing us no good.
We completely miss the present moment when we live fast, feeling like tomorrow we may get around to living a bit simpler.
Calming down as it were.
But we never do. The pace increases, as do we.
And yet, our own daily life doesn’t need to be this busy and chaotic as it is in the fast-paced world.
There doesn’t need to be a mad rush to get ready in the morning. Or endless activities to occupy the kids with yet more Amazon buys.
The slow movement advocates a gentler approach to living.
An intentional, harmonious behaviour, whereby you choose to approach day-to-day activities in a calmer way.
I know you’re thinking, is it that simple? So let’s find out.
Yes, slowing down and enjoying life is simple in theory. But the practice of it is not so simple.
It’s the same as changing anything, such as a bad habit of biting your nails.
It takes commitment, willpower and determination in the early days to stop doing it.
In a roundabout way, living slower requires you to face the reality that you’ve been living fast, frantic and wholeheartedly stress filled.
Therefore, living slower starts with a mindset shift.
“I want to live my life in a slower, calmer, more tranquil way” or something along those lines.
Like any habit, breaking the behavioural pattern you’ve developed takes time and effort.
But the thing is, life with children is not a game. It’s not a trend or fashion to be a mother. Nor is it a badge of honour.
Motherhood is a lifelong relationship and connection with your children.
It’s certainly not something which “has to get done”, and then it’s over with (which is why a lot of parents rush their kids).
Once you’re a mother, you’re a mother forever.
It’s truly the best gift of life to be a mother to your children and the mindset change to understanding the gift that is parenthood will stand you in good stead for living slower.
Motherhood is a journey, not a race.
It’s an experience, so why not experience it with all it has to offer?
This is why doing less and slowing down will actually improve how you parent and how you feel about yourself.
I say this, because I’ve felt out of control and chaotic as a mother.
I’ve been the angry mama who’s raised her voice to “hurry them up”, only to ask afterwards – why was I like that? And how did that make my babies feel being like that?
I focused on connection and love for my boys from the get-go but still got entangled in the busy life. Worrying about finances and work, as we all do.
Putting the priority on ‘getting to that appointment on time’ versus resisting, saying no and choosing to take things at a calmer pace.
What do we mean by living a slow life?
It’s a life where you take everything at a calmer pace. Removing the need to be busy and productive.
In removing busyness, you learn to appreciate the simple things. You escape the rat race.
A slow life is where you spend a long time enjoying life’s simple pleasures, such as admiring the tininess of your little ones’ toes or the smell of their hair when you cuddle.
You end up doing this for far longer than before, and time seems to stand still. You become more mindful and less mindless.
There are no longer those remarks about time flying by, because by living slower, you are truly living.
In the present moment, enjoying the process. You create the feeling of having more time.
Better still, you’ll no longer rush about and panic about not having enough time.
You have plenty of time! And you appreciate it.
It’s a mental shift like I said before, and it’s a choice, to live life slower.
To savour the real beauty in the day to day mundane is a joy. Because it is beautiful when you’re in it, experiencing it (and not distracted by something else).
You reduce the speed limit on life, as it were. You become intentional with how you live.
Rather than ambling along with the chaos or worse, battling to survive (as many modern mums sadly do) you proactively choose not to be like this.
Slow Living Lifestyle
With living slower, little things start to become big things.
Appreciating the giggles from your toddler, gazing at them for longer than a second when they sleep, or the warm sun on your face in the fresh air of an early morning walk.
When you live slow, the important things become your priority. You hear the birds sing. You feel more in tune with the cycles of life.
Your family and those close to you become your immediate responsibility-not work, or the emails, or the social media feed.
There’s less stress and more free time because you are so intentional with how you live. You’re less distracted, and life becomes more manageable. More fulfilling.
In motherhood, living slow means you are more present with your children.
You put their shoes on gently, at a pace that is theirs.
Slowing down your walk so that your little toddler’s legs can keep up without strain.
You don’t hurry, nor do you hustle. Say bub bye to those horrible words! You simply live at a normal pace.
Life starts to become real when you live in the slow (er) lane.
You no longer need to be attached to your phone as a boredom breaker.
Instead, you are content reading a good book and spending quality time with your family.
You’ll often choose simpler ways to do things. You might take on a vegetable garden or go foraging.
Perhaps spend the afternoon browsing second-hand shops or craft fairs, practising mindfulness as you go.
By taking your time and slowing down, you become the driver of your life.
You get to choose how you mother your children, and how calm you are with them. It also helps you check in with your behaviour and language – what are you saying to your children? And how are you acting with them?
You’ll discover really connecting with them. Living a slow life means being a present mother. You are fully here, in the now, not panicking about the future or dwelling on the past.
Living slow means you become more aware of your behaviour, your words and actions. You begin to appreciate your loved ones more than you ever thought possible. Everyday life becomes genuinely satisfying.
You notice new things like someone’s lifted the blinds from your eyes. From my experience, I started to see more colours and flowers, meadows and trees.
I was less focused on the dirty bits of life such as overflowing bins and what not.
You’ll start to make small changes, such as eating healthier, home cooking with fresh ingredients, taking long strolls in the sun and generally doing less, but feeling more. Experiencing more. And loving more.
And crucially, your children will thank you for the slow down.
This slower pace of life I now live came at the request of my beautiful 3-year-old.
Heartbreakingly, he begged me to slow down when I put his shoes on one time. I didn’t even realise I was rushing him, but his pointing it out made it all the more impactful.
I broke down at the truth of it and tears fell. It cut deep. Something had to change, and that day I committed to living slower.
Modern life is not something to be taken for granted. Today’s world must slow down for the sake of all our health, and the health of our children. And it starts with mothers taking the lead.
Slow Living Movement
There is a movement to live slower, with intention.
But let me clarify that living slow doesn’t mean you waste time. It’s the other way in fact. You create more time by simplifying life and focusing your awareness on the important things.
You’ll have a happier life, one that’s captivating and vibrant. Read on for my best advice on starting to live a slower life.
Slow living Tips
- My best tip is to become aware. Awareness is the foundation of my coaching and the Busting Anxiety In Motherhood programme. Start to observe your behaviour through little pockets of time every day. Try out the journal prompts below if you need help getting started.
- Practise Mindfulness Meditation, again little moments, but do it every day (read this post to learn how and practise it in real-time)
- Simplify things. Maybe plan ahead and pack the bag the night before? Put out the clothes and shoes. That sort of thing.
- Stay committed. Living slow is not a one-day event and then you’re back in the chaos. No, it’s a way of living permanently. You’ll never go back!
- Choose one or two slow activities per week, such as gardening, reading, writing, art, journaling, singing, photography, baking, basically, anything away from a screen.
- Pick one or two situations every day to go slow, whether at mealtimes or in the shower, bathing the kids, dressing them, or anything else. Choose to take your time and be present for it. Focus your attention on the experience, and use it to connect with those around you.
Slow Living Journal Prompts
What would my life be like if I was more connected to it?
How would I spend my time if I had more time?
What activity would I like to try that doesn’t involve a screen?
I hope you enjoy this post. If you do, please share it. And I’d also love to know, what’s one slow living activity you’d like to try? Pop a comment below and let me know.