Simple Living and the Slow Movement
When it comes to lifestyle, what I’m hoping to find is balance. We hear a lot about work life balance, but there is so much more to the life part that we ignore and as a result, work seems to be the focus. Admittedly for most of us, work does take up a significant amount of our time. Those who have families are juggling work with children and school and all the joys and challenges that family life brings. Our materialistic culture seems to have created a situation where we work more and more, to obtain more and more stuff that we don’t really need. And because we are working so hard, we don’t have time to use the stuff anyway. Often our spare time gets used up trying to manage the stuff that we don’t have time to use. It’s a depressingly vicious cycle. However, there are a lot of people who are trying to do things differently. Recent times have seen the emergence of the simple living and slow movements. More and more people are opting out of the ‘norm’. The internet is full of blogs and websites about getting rid of your stuff, decluttering, downshifting, seachanging, slowing down, minimalism and more. When you find yourself wondering what the point of life is, this alternate approach is like a breath of fresh air.
Over time I have slowly been simplifying my life, getting rid of stuff I don’t need, working towards a situation where I can balance my work, family life and personal life in a way that works for everyone.
When our lives are too busy we often neglect the things that matter the most, like looking after our health. When we take the time to eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and prioritise time for relaxation, we are far more likely to feel a sense of wellbeing and contentment.
A busy life means taking short cuts and this can translate into fast and unhealthy food choices. The Slow Food Movement was the catalyst for the growing focus on slow living practices throughout the world. When we slow down, eat real and wholesome food, and become more mindful of our health, we are more likely to have a long and enjoyable life.
As well as good nutrition, we need to make sure we have a lifestyle where we can balance the busy demands of work and other responsibilities with enough time for rest and relaxation. Our bodies and brains need time to unwind rather than being always on the go. If you find yourself burning the candle at both ends, using caffeine to get yourself through the day and constantly running from one thing to another, it is definitely a sign you need to slow down and cultivate a life less busy.
A Slow Home Sanctuary
Our environment can have a significant impact on our sense of wellbeing. If we use our home to create a sanctuary then we are able escape and recharge after being out in the busy world. For centuries the Chinese have used Feng Shui to ensure that they remain in harmony with their environment in the hope of creating auspicious circumstances including good health and longevity. While many of the beliefs of Feng Shui may seem like superstition to us today, the underlying principles are sound. If our homes are cluttered with junk we don’t need, if the air is stale because we never allow fresh air to circulate, and if the decor doesn’t inspire us, then we simply won’t enjoy the same sense of wellbeing as if we were living in a spacious, beautiful and healthy environment. It is well worth dedicating some time to ensuring your home is a reflection of the kind of life you want to be living, not a burden that prevents you from relaxing at the end of each day.
The act of designing a home sanctuary hinges a lot on creating a mood. I have a Home Sanctuary board on my Pinterest account with some ideas to inspire a relaxing and serene home environment. The basic principles are to clear the clutter, choose colours that help you feel relaxed, think about what you would like to do in order to relax, and ensure that you have space for those things.
Blog Posts About Leading a Life Less Busy
- How To Create A Life Less Busy
- Prioritising and the Challenge of Busyness
- Less Stuff, More Living
- There is No Glory in Being Busy
- Contemplation and the Meaning of Life
- Finding Your Slow and Simple Living Community
- I’m An Introvert…Get Me Out of Here!
- Connecting and Sharing in a Digital World
- Hello Nature