I’ve been thinking a lot this week about a slower pace of life. You’d think that being a yoga & mindfulness teacher with some energy therapy and contentment coaching thrown in, I’d have that pretty much sussed. In fact, the biggest danger of loving my job so much, is that I take on lots of new projects and clients and forget how much I also love to take a bit of time to slow down.
For a long time I believed that if I wasn’t busy all the time then I wasn’t successful or secure. Sometimes I still believe that. Everything I have learned from developing Vitality has shown me that the opposite is in fact true and slow paced living is what makes for a happy and contented life.
So here are my tips in praise of the slow paced life <3
The time illusion
Do you find that the more you have to do, the faster time goes? I try to be organised and schedule in development time and creative time but I have to be honest, once I start feeling overwhelmed there is a strong temptation to disappear into social media oblivion.
In my slow paced life, I take time out, I take the dogs for a walk, I lie on the floor with them and we talk to each other in blinks and sniffs (am I the only one? G is pretty sure I am .. lol), I sit with a cup of coffee and drink the whole cup! And then, I go back to whatever it was I was telling myself was so important … or I don’t.
Top tip: Make time every day to just be .. to stop and breathe
Read, write, paint, knit, sew, upcycle ..
We are all creative. All of us. Doing some kind of creative activity every day is soooo nourishing, especially when we’re feeling time poor. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good .. it just matters that we take the time.
I have my ‘making things desk’ set out in my living room with all my paints out waiting so that I can grab five minutes to splash paint about or glue paper to things any time I want. I don’t care if its good. I’m a big fan of finger painting at the moment. Think back to when you were really,really small and everything you created was a masterpiece. You were right!
I also write. I absolutely love to write but I care a little bit more whether its good (I’m trying to care less) so I use painting to get me tuned into the slower pace and then go play with my writing.
Reading .. I’m creating in my imagination, so it still counts? Right? My absolute slow living indulgence is to spend a whole day on the couch (preferably in PJs) with the fire on, a great book and endless cups of herbal tea. ‘Candy books’ are my favourite for this. Books where you know its all going to end well, everybody is lovely except that one person you know you’re meant to hate and there’s a wee bit of conflict to keep you going. Nora Roberts is my candy book favourite. Don’t get me wrong, I love literature, I love well written complicated books that challenge me and make me wish I’d written them … but for my slow paced day of luxury, its candy books all the way.
What’s your creative thing? I know so many people with such amazing skills. I’ve got a little bit addicted to a Frenchic group (thanks Sheilagh) on facebook .. I’m working myself up to pretty much upcycling the whole house ;)
Top Tip: Keep your creative stuff handy .. if you have to haul everything out and tidy it away every time, you won’t do it. It can just be a colouring book and some pens but make it easy and you’ll be much more likely to grab a little slow paced time.
Family and friends
As a fully signed up introvert I am the world’s worst for making plans with other people and cancelling to stay home in my PJs with a book. I love people, I honestly do, but I find socialising overwhelming.
In my slow paced life I take time to see my friends and family on a one to one or small group basis. If that socialising includes PJs and a Netflix boxset then these are definitely my kind of people!
I am a little bit envious of extroverts, with their ability to chat to everyone and recharge in the company of people … my partner and many of my closest friends are extroverts … but I prefer to let them socialise for me and stay home with my book … living sloooooowly .. loving life <3 Luckily my daughter is an introvert too,so we love box sets, blankets, cosy chats and time to just be together and do much of nothing.
Top Tip: Combine one of your favourite slow paced life activities with some (or one) of your favourite people.
I have a confession. I love to cook but I work late most evenings and I very rarely have time. I’m not going to lie, it is not a rare occurrence that my evening meal consists of crisps, cheese and an apple (sorry Sophie!). But .. when I take time for my slow paced life I always make time to cook something. Most meals are so quick and easy to cook from scratch and my slow cooker is one of my most prized possessions. Soup is the greatest thing ever, so I’ve made a pact with myself (and the whole Vitality facebook page today) that my new daily self care habit will be to always have a pan of homemade soup on the go :) I feel better already ;)
Top Tip: Definitely buy a slow cooker and a slower cooker cookbook.
I am a huge fan of slow paced exercise – our yoga classes are slow vinyasa flow and yin classes .. yin is soooo slow you could have a nap during a posture … bliss bliss bliss. I love to walk on the beach and collect sea glass. I like to walk for the sake of walking, look at the things around me, play with the dogs, chat to other dog walkers. I adore pilates and have found a wonderful class where it is such a luxury to be taught rather than teach. I’ve run in the past and I’ve done all kinds of exercise classes but for me, slow paced works best with my life.
Top Tip: Check out our yoga page for some more information or join a local walking group or pilates class
I find that having a morning and evening routine makes a big difference to how I feel about my day. Taking my time in the morning carries that mood into the rest of the day and slowing down in the evening helps me sleep better.
- My morning routine starts quite early with many kisses from Daisy (the pug) – I like to get up at least 3 hours before my first client (usually 10.30am) so that I can drink coffee, have breakfast, write my morning pages (more about these in another blog), meditate, read, walk the dogs and have a think about the day ahead. Sometimes this works brilliantly, sometimes its all about lots of coffee and a binge read of facebook. I can tell the difference! We run a Daily Self Care thread over on our Vitality facebook page – I find that helps with my morning routine. Maybe you’d like to join in?
- My evening routine can differ depending on what’s happened through the day but on an ideal evening I’d take the dogs a walk, have a bath, read, watch something from my Sky planner (I don’t watch much TV but I’m currently obsessed with Nashville, Victoria and the Great British Bakeoff), yin yoga, take time to be grateful, drink some night time tea or a glass of wine, and go to bed early <3
So, those are my tips for a slow paced life .. take the time to smell the coffee (or the dogs), make something, read something, binge on Netflix, have a stash of great PJs, have a routine and most importantly have space in your life to do nothing … absolutely nothing … those lying on the carpet, blinking at the dogs, knowing there’s nothing else I have to do or nowhere else I need to be moments are probably some of my happiest.
Top Tip: The Miracle Morning is a great read if you’d like to develop a really powerful morning routine.
How do you build some slow paced living into your life? I’d love to hear all about it x