Hi everyone. Happy December!
Today I was thinking a lot about the upcoming holiday season and the general busyness that surrounds this time of year.
With all the glorification of busy it can be easy to become overwhelmed. I wanted to share my daily rituals that contribute to the gentle rhythm of my life. Hopefully, some of these rituals or rhythms will help you slow down during one of the busiest seasons of the year.
I use them to slow down every day.
Before discovering slow living and minimalism I always felt like I was rushing. Rushing to work, rushing to class, rushing to do all my homework, rushing to eat- just rushing. In all that rushing I started missing things. I wasn’t giving my full attention to my partner Andrew, or my pup Kiley.
I would come home from work or school, throw down my bag and immediately start talking about how busy and stressed I was. I would rush through dinner and feel sick because I ate far too fast. I would get through homework in a ball of stress and finally I would “decompress” watching Netflix or beauty gurus on YouTube. Sound familiar to anyone?
That previous life I had was full of a lot of “I”. It was all about me. In the busyness of it all, I wasn’t connecting with my little family. I felt like it was a chore to walk Kiley and that Andrew was, “asking me too many questions, and bothering me!” I don’t like that Bonnie. I don’t miss the Bonnie that had time for everyone at work and at school, but didn’t have any time for the people and pets at home that she loves the most.
Slow living simply means letting go of the unnecessary stressors. Letting go of the “shoulds” and the “have to”. Let the word “no” gently enter your vocabulary. Think about what truly makes your heart happy and make more time for it. Saying yes to those things you think you should be doing, means saying no to something else.
I’ve already shared how decluttering gave me more time. Saying no to things that I truly didn’t want to do but I thought I was supposed to do gave me even more time. Some people will always say yes. They will stay late at work and take every outside opportunity that comes their way. To me, that’s not what life is about.
To me, life is about spending time with and valuing the people (or beautiful pets) that you love the most. Find out what you value most in your heart and let it fill you up.
Here are a few other daily rituals that allow me to live a more slow, mindful life.
1. Spend time outside
Even if it’s just for ten minutes, go outside. Even if it’s cold, even if it’s raining. My favorite parts of the day are when I’m walking to and from work or when I’m outside playing with Kiley. Ming and I even go on walks! She loves being outside.
Nature heals your soul. There is a light in each living creature, inside every flower and tree. Go connect with their light. Breathe in the cold, fresh air. Remind your body and your mind what they are truly connected to.
2. Limit and be mindful of noise
We live in a very noisy world. We live in a troubled world. For my own health and for my sensitive heart I am very careful about what I let enter my mind. Each morning I listen to NPR through an app on my phone. I hear the world news and the local news, and that is all the outside world noise I take in for the day. On my walk to and from work I listen to a podcast (I often re-listen to Slow Your Home because I just can’t get enough) or I just walk slowly and let the cold air fill me up.
Be mindful of all the things movies, television, media, social media, advertisements, and the outside world put on you. Limit the noise.
Take five minutes, just five minutes, to sit and do nothing. There are great free apps to help you get started. My favorite is called Calm. Just take five minutes to quiet your mind. If you can’t find five minutes in your day, think about what that means. Do you want to live a life where you don’t have time for five quiet minutes?
These are a few of the ways I live a more slow and intentional life.
I hope they help.
Bonnie Rae xx