The new year is the perfect time to slow down, reflect, and contemplate lifestyle changes with a fresh mindset. We all feel that urge to step away from the chaos and live simply reconnecting with our values. Part of that urge may come from the desire to recover from the holidays, but most likely it comes from how you choose to live day by day.
If you're unsure how to slow down, one simple way to find more joy in your daily routine and appreciate the small things in life is through slow living. Now that may sound like the latest fad, but actually it's quite old, commonplace, and easy. You probably already practice slow living from time to time in your own life.
Every mindful moment is an opportunity to embrace what you care most about and let go of what you don't need. As an inspiration, we created this simple slow living guide with five easy ways for how to slow down and live simply.
1. Transform Routines into Rituals
Driving to work and brushing your teeth are routines you probably don't think twice about, yet they offer wonderful opportunities to reflect and unwind during the day. By turning off the radio and your phone, and learning how to slow down, you get to experience more of the small pleasures and joys you wouldn't notice if you were rushing. Being mindful in the everyday makes responsibilities and chores more interesting and fulfilling. It's no surprise that food is tastier, commutes are less frustrating, and morning routines are rejuvenating.
2. Declutter and Repurpose
With winter here, now is the perfect time to organize your home to live simply. Many of those well-loved, old household items sitting in your garage or closet can be repurposed with new life and style. Once you let go of items you no longer use, you'll have room for what you utilize. We love decluttering as a simple way to cultivate calmness inside and out, and be re-inspired by our surroundings.
3. Choose Ethically-Made
Ethically-made products and gifts offer an amazing way to move away from fast fashion and fast consumerism to share your values in the world. Each fair trade pair of shoes, set of clothes, bar of chocolate, pound of coffeee (and candle, of course) empowers artisans with living wages, safe working conditions, and environmental respect. When you take the time to get to know a brand's story, you have a renewed appreciation for everything handmade in your home. A few wonderful resources to find a diverse range of ethical brands and products are The Good Trade and DoneGood.
4. Take Breaks from Screens
After spending most of our day quickly shifting from one activity to another, it's easy to accidentally do the same in our downtime. If you notice yourself gravitating to Youtube, Instagram, or your email when you don't need to, remember that it is okay to slow down and be bored every once in a while. One possibility to create a change is by installing an app like Moment that tracks your time spent on apps. A day or two of freedom from notifications and updates may be all you need to let go of stress! Give it a try, you'll be amazed at how free you feel when you live simply.
5. Cultivate Hygge
Creating a cozy ambiance during the winter is a ritual so practiced it has its own name in Denmark. It's called hygge. By adding a soft throw, making a delicious warm tea, or enjoying the company of friends and loved ones, you're cultivating hygge. It's all about an atmosphere of coziness and good feelings. One of our favorite ways to create hygge at home is by unwinding with a captivating story by candlelight. It's no surprise that Danes, the masters of hygge, burn more candles per person than anywhere else.
Of course, there is no one way for how to slow down or how to live simply. Each person has their own values and lifestyle, and therefore their own places where mindfulness works best for them. Let us know your favorite ways to slow down and live simply in the comments below!