The word slow has been coming up for me again and again lately and I've been embracing it wholeheartedly. The past 6+ months have been a really busy season and I'm ready to slow down and savor the little moments. I'm trading in hustle for stillness, busy for rest, and overwhelm for slowness. I know this is something we all long for, and yet we often feel like it's a dream we can't really achieve. But why does it have to be that way? Why does busy have to be the norm? For a long time, I've wanted to change that mindset for myself and for you too.
When Kate from The Corner Chair approached me about doing a guest post on this very topic, I knew it was something that needed to be shared and I was immediately drawn to her 30 days of slow challenge she is hosting in April. Keep reading for some encouraging words from Kate about embracing slow.
Busy. Rush. Hustle, hustle, hustle. These are very common words, & a short time ago, I was letting them run my life… & run me ragged. Most days you could find me frazzled & stressed out as I tried to do All. The. Things. My patience was on a short fuse, & a spilled mug of tea could send me to tears. “I’m SO overwhelmed!!!” was my go-to explanation when Hubs asked me how my day was. I was so busy. The ironic thing is, that the more I rushed around, the less I seemed to accomplish. My days were filled with frustration & discontent as the cycle of busy & stress kept on going.
One day, I sat with my Bible & journal in my lap, trying to figure out how to do it all, & wondering how some other women seem to manage their homes, families, & lives so easily. I heard a still, small voice whispering “Slow down.” I didn’t know what that looked like, or how to even start. My health seemed to be the best place to start, as I was constantly tired, stressed, & cranky. I began napping with my toddlers, taking supplements, & making sure I didn’t overbook my days & weeks. Slow was beginning to take over my life. I began to feel like my “cup” was full, rather than empty.
So… what is Slow Living? To me, slow living could also be called “Intuitive Living.” It’s ultimately about slowing down, having less “busy” & creating a life you love. However, Slow is a very open-ended idea, & it looks different for every person. The best way to find our own version of Slow is to learn to recognize what we need. What brings us calm & rest, & what keeps us in the hamster wheel of stress & frustration. Slowing down is stopping the busy so you have time to re-evaluate what you need, want, & long for to live a good life. The beauty of Slow is that there are no rules. Slow living brings a freedom from busy, but only in a way that makes sense to YOU.
You may ask: “If there are no rules for Slow Living, where do I even start?” Here are some simple starting points for seeking Slow as a way of life:
Think of the “Big Picture”
When you are 90 years old, will you be happy with the life you lived? Will you regret binging on Netflix instead of writing that novel? Will you wish you had spent more time making memories with your loved ones, instead of yelling at them? How you spend your days is how you live your life. Honestly, I’m really good at seeing the “big picture” of the life that I want… but the daily application is hard for me. Often I will realize I just wasted 2 hours on my phone that I could’ve spent working towards something more lasting.
Take care of Yourself
The very first thing I did was begin to take care of myself. I know a lot of women naturally tend to neglect themselves while taking care of everyone else. (This is a big weakness of mine!) Are you eating enough? Getting enough sleep? Soak in the tub. Splurge & let yourself watch that Jane Austen movie. If you have little ones at home, get a babysitter (or a grandma!) so you can visit a cafe in peace. If you take care of yourself, you will be better equipped to take care of everything else.
Listen to your Intuition
The most important part of Slow Living is listening to your intuition. We have a God-given understanding of what our bodies, hearts, & minds need, but we tend to ignore it because of the glorification of “busy”. Start trying to listen to yourself in stressful situations. If you find yourself wearing cranky-pants, slow down. Think about how you got those pants on… & how to get them off. The more you listen, the more in tune you will become to the things that trigger stress, busy, & frustration in your life.
Are you interested in learning more about Slow Living?
I hope you’ll join me for 30 Days of Slow, a free course starting April 1st! I’ll be talking about self-care, living intuitively, & a whole lot more.