Simple living or slow living. Whatever you chose to call it, it’s popularity is clear and it’s easy to see why. The idea of living a slower, more intentional life is very tempting, especially in this wild and fast paced world we’re living in. It certainly was for me! But how do you know where to start with it all? The first thing to consider is…
How slow do you want to go?
As you’re here reading this then I’m guessing that you would quite like some peace and quiet, some time to get back in tune with yourself and what you want out of life, but how much of that do you really need? After some trial and error I have discovered that I feel calmer with less clutter and a routine that allows for me to have some down time, so I’m living the simple life most of the time. But you might enjoy spending time in the fast lane, or maybe want a mix of the two? Take some time to think about what it is you need and would like to achieve by slowing down. To help you figure this out you need to know…
What simple living means to you?
When I started on my simple living journey I read all kinds of blogs and books, started following various people on Instagram and ended up head first down more than one Pinterest rabbit hole. It’s easily done, especially if you’re like me and get very focused whenever you have a new idea. I wanted to know how to do it right. But what I discovered is that it’s not about listening to how someone else says it should be done, but rather listening to yourself and doing what works best for you. I tried to keep an open mind and only try the things that felt right to me, disregard the things that didn’t and revisit anything I wasn’t sure on later. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do everything in one go. You don’t even have to do everything. My version of simple living could look a lot different to yours, and that’s ok, one thing I would say it to follow your curiosity wherever it may lead. This is why my simple life incorporates bits and pieces from lots of different ways of thinking, from minimalism to yoga and from to sustainability to mindfulness. The main thing to keep in mind is…
How do you want to feel?
Because I believe this is the beauty of living a simple life. It’s all about choosing how you want to feel, or what you need at that moment, and gathering the tools you need to help you achieve those things. Everyone’s version will look different, because as humans we all need different things. When I sat down and thought about it, all I truly wanted was to feel happier. I wanted to have more time to do the things that I enjoy, make more memories, be more present. I wanted to be surrounded by people and things that I love and that bring me joy. I wanted to be the best version of myself so that when I look back on my life I can be satisfied that I lived it well.
If you are struggling to know where to start, here a few questions that I have asked myself along the way:
- What things or activities bring you joy?
- How do you want to feel in your everyday life?
- When you look back on your life what would you like to see?
- What are the things you feel you ‘should’ be doing?
- Could you let go of anything that you don’t want to do?
- What do you wish you could do more of?
- What is holding you back?
- How do you want your home to feel?
- Which aspects of your life are truly important to you?
For me, choosing to make myself a priority and focusing on how I could improve my mental health were the things that spurred me on. I started journaling which got me out of my head whilst reigniting my love of writing. I started making time for yoga again just because I enjoy it and know how much better I feel after doing it. Living a simple life doesn’t mean picking one box, be it minimalism or mindfulness or sustainability, but rather looking in all the boxes and taking out the things that resonate with you, that work for you, that you can fit in to your every day life and that you can benefit from. Think of it as a sweet shop where you get to pick and choose the best sweets for your pick and mix. Because the really fulfilling part of simple living is getting to tailor it so that it’s perfect for you. Because the only rule you really need to know is to do what is best for you.