With more hours of daylight to spare in conjunction with the constant buzz of life, it’s hard to ignore the nagging impulse to fit more in – more work, more fun, more obligations…the list is endless. As a society, we have been conditioned to not only embrace, but to also chase, the culture of busyness. To live slowly or to simply be bored is not a widely encouraged practice. In the end, we find ourselves exhausted, sometimes living from one thing to another without truly registering the month or even the day.
Brian and I can’t believe it’s already July! Time flies and even more so when you add the stress of work and daily demands. This month, we are focusing on making sure we live day to day, slowly and with intention. We have found that we have to actually make it a point to work on embracing “the slow” as it doesn’t come naturally to us. With only a couple of summer months left, we are committed to slowing down and enjoying the simple life.
Create a Meaningful Morning Routine
Start your day off right. Wake up slowly and enjoy a cup of coffee with a little bite to eat. Whether you center yourself through meditation, a morning workout, or just by making the bed, start your morning by readying your mind for the day. Make sure you set an alarm, even if it’s a really late one for “just in case”. It’s never fun to sleep away your day when you don’t intend to.
I cannot stress this enough – not feeling up for a dinner? Dreading an event? Exhausted from playing hostess? Just say no! You don’t have to do everything. Pick and choose as you please, though within reason. You know your own limits.
Turn off the TV and leave your phone at home. Unplugging helps you to be fully present in the moment. Instead of half-listening to your friends or staying partially tuned into work, you will find yourself with more opportunity to really connect to others.
Spend time outdoors for a little one-on-one with nature. Enjoy the fresh air and a healthy dose of Vitamin D! Hit the trails, plant some flowers, or do some reading out on the deck. Being outside enhances mental health and reduces stress and distraction.
Take a Nap
If you’re feeling sluggish, a quick 20-minute nap can help re-energize your mind and body to finish out the day. Napping promotes creativity, relaxation, and an overall calmer mindset.
Watch a Sunrise or Sunset
Take some time to witness and reflect on the start or end of a day.
Plan to Have No Plan
It can be difficult to wean yourself off of a schedule. However, doing so frees up your time to do whatever comes your way. Don’t schedule yourself for anything for one entire weekend and see what you get yourself into.
Make Time to Treat Yourself
Whether you prefer to hit the spa, play video games, lounge, or complete some projects around the house, don’t forget to do what makes you happy. Make some time to treat yourself to whatever helps you relax.
Hopefully, Brian and I will be able to detach from work a little more to enjoy a slower summer. With practice, I think we might be able to enjoy an intentionally slow life beyond this season! Have you slowed down this summer? Feel free to share your ideas on how to embrace “the slow” below!