How I have started to slow life down

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Doing offline things slowly has been relatively easy to do, ironically quite quickly, because the results on how I was feeling were glaringly obvious. Happier, less tired, more content, relaxed.

I am only at the beginning of slowing things down and have been trying to do so intuitively rather than doing ‘generic slow living things’. I have started by trying to recognize moments in the day where I feel more tense than others, the idea being I’ll work on little chunks of life a bit of a time to see if it’s possible to positively improve my day. Here’s the first thing moments of my day that I identified as ‘things I do but don’t really enjoy as much as I know I could’:

#1 The School Run.  

Leaving for the school run 10 minutes earlier has meant that I’m not stressing about traffic, about finding a parking space, about anything at all. In fact I found I gained little pockets of more natural time. So arriving at the school gates five minutes early to pick up the children means I can enjoy a quick Instagram dip in peace and quiet before focusing on family time when we get home.

#2 Lunchtime.

 I have been enjoying making myself a nice lunch, just for me, when I am home alone and sitting at the table reading a magazine, slowly eating, rather than flicking noodle juice across the keyboard as I simultaneously Facebook and chomp. Simple and quick to cook lunches like sage and butter fried mushrooms on toast, soup and a roll, poached egg on toast and my new fave thing avocado on toast (with a rasher of crispy bacon on top for extra opulence!) Yeah a lot of toast – but that’s an Autumn thing right?!

#3  The post-school  but pre-tea gap.

Taking the kids for a walk on the way home from school, like in these photos you see when we popped to the local beach on a blustery afternoon and just chatting and collecting shells has left us all happier and the atmosphere at home more relaxed when we do return. Energy has been burned off and they both seem happier to settle down and do their spellings / home work.

You might be looking at those three things and thinking ‘well it doesn’t take a genius to realize that allowing more time for things will  make life easier’  but there’s a big difference between knowing it and doing it. Doing less, but being more present in those things, taking my time, enjoying the process of what I am doing has made me enjoy it more. And as a result I am happy doing less. Happy being the key word.

ClichΓ© time:

Little changes can make a big difference.

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  • It might be obvious but actually making those little changes is not always easy. I have a list of things to address over the next few weeks. Simple things that I know I have to do but it doesn’t make them easy changes x

  • Totally get this – our mornings were becoming too rushed, so a simple change of getting up 10 minutes earlier gives us so much more time. Bonkers how that works, but it does πŸ™‚ x

  • I love this post, there’s a big emphasis on the slow life, the dark and moody but slowing things down isn’t just an aesthetic for Instagram is it?!It’s about actually making the most of your time. Not in a I need to cram as much in as possible, but actually being present in a moment. When we have a weekend at home we never get dressed early. Almost all the boys in Ollie’s class have joined the local rugby club and I was trying to explain to a mum why it wouldn’t work for us. It’s so social she said, the boys love it, it’s not that early, starts at 10am on a Sunday. But what I know my boys enjoy (and they do masses of sport at school and after school)is not being rushed. Not being ushered into a car. They like to loll about in our bed on a Sunday morning, bring all 17 bears and dogs and mario soft toys in, laze about in pjs. Same goes for Saturdays and I am not in the least embarrassed if the postman knocks and we are all still in our comfy clothes. It’s a way I slow our lives down after a hectic week dictated by school routine. My mum jokes that I like a hot lunch but taking the time to make something as simple as a jacket potato makes me actually sit down properly and eat it. A pocket of quiet in a frantic working day. Happy Friday chum xx

  • Well done to you for slowing life down and finding time that’s just for you to live in the moment. It’s a difficult thing to master – but a brilliant one if you can. Here’s to a slower pace of life x

  • I have had to do this because of my current family situation but am also feeling the huge benefits. My husband keeps telling me of the article that says people who don’t use social media are happier. I’m glad all this is make my you happy but do admit I’m missing your presence and even been tempted to call you x

  • Yup.I’ve been getting things done around the house more now . Christmas stuff U’ve started doing now, just so not to burden myself.I’ve got loads of crocheting, book reading and colouring in done in the evenings since cutting back my Internet time.It means the kids have seem me as more available, so we bake and make more, read together and play g

  • Such simple things, that we sacrifice when we shouldn’t. I eat a proper lunch most days now while I catch up on TV recordings I like. It makes such a difference. I need to leave earlier for the school run too – I know it would make such a difference to my stress levels, it’s just making it happen that seems hard!

  • I love this post. My life feels so hectic at the moment and I know I need to slow down, that it is good for me. One of the things I am most looking forward to is (hopefully) passing my driving test in January so I can enjoy that post school pre dinner time with my son. Due to the pain I am in we currently just go straight home and I don’t feel like I am enjoying as much time with him as I should be. I have recently taken to waking up early, giving myself an hour in the morning to myself really sets me in a better mood for the day.

  • Doesn’t it feel wonderful? These are the changes I made 2 years ago when I moved to the countryside and I love the sloer pace f living. I never want to go back to hustle! Mich x

  • It’s wonderful to hear how happier you are now with a slower paced life. I’ve cut back significantly the amount of time I spend online, and it feels so much better. I do miss chatting with certain people (you mydear), but just connecting once in a while still works.

  • I am not sure slower is the word that best describes this type of living. I think it is a more mindful way of living. It harks back to a life lived rather than one always looking for the next thing, if that makes sense. I think we have all slipped in to this and we need to find our own speed! My health slowed me down, I learned that I had to look after myself more, in order to look after everyone else. I live much more in the present. Well done you for making such small changes that you have seen reap LARGE rewards,

  • Inspiring. This has reminded me to really try and slow down. We are moving to the countryside to get out of the hustle and hectic city… but the moving process seems to have upped the hectic. I feel like I am constantly trying to squeeze things in and I am always running late right now. I really need to be more mindful about my tasks, leave earlier for things so be in less of a flap.

    It’s funny because the more you rush and flap the slower you actually are at getting things done. Or atleast that is how I find it.

  • While I was raising my kids there wasn’t any social media until I joined twitter in 2007 which I rarely used until I started blogging in 2009, by that time the kids were 21, 20, 17, 14 and 9 with the youngest in boarding school. I only used SM in the evenings after the kids had been fed and done their homework and I would only really interact at other times when the kids were at their activities and I was sitting in car parks in the middle of nowhere waiting for football training and part time work to finish. On moving to South Africa I used it as my life line, made friends, interacted, found out about local events etc. I realised a few weeks ago whilst in SA that I didn’t miss using it when I was out of range of phone signal and read books and sat and bird watched in the garden. I started work today and didn’t reply to any of my messages until i got home and had a cup of tea and a sit down and now again at bed time, in-between I read, sat in the garden, took the dog on a longer walk and cleaned the bathroom rather than trying to fit everything in on one evening. I feel much better for it, hope it works long term for you also