lifestyle | my approach to slow-living
Amara Amaryah | travel + books + poetry, always poetry. a platform for story-telling, visuals, positive self-talk and empowerment | my approach to slow-living.
how is life where you are? in the UK we are going through a second national lockdown which means more time at home. i can't complain. living alone is a blessing and my pink sanctuary (her name) really is my safe space at the moment. my lockdown wellness habits have definitely evolved since the last lockdown and i wanted to share a little bit about how i am moving through this period.
before i get into the post i would simply like to let you know that i have discovered king krule. sharing this so you too can desire to go on long walks with no destination and fall in love with things that don't exist anymore. that is truly how the music feels. i have been sharing my fave songs and mixes with my newsletter loves so today i thought why shouldn't we bring music to the blog too? but anyway —
i have been practicing slow living for a while now. probably about two years consciously. my definition of slow living would go something like: showing up easefully, without rushing through the day, with a pace that honours your wellbeing and human need to rest. i imagine it as the opposite of the lifestyle that is encouraged in most of the western world; output/production heavy, 'productivity' obsessed and constant. slow living to me is a total rejection of this lifestyle with the intention of creating space for rest. being physically, mentally and spiritually rested bears good fruit. it almost invites you to genuinely be brand new each day.
here is how slow-living practically looks in my life on a daily. it has absolutely been a few years of learning myself and resisting what i have grown to learn is a picture of a 'good adult'. i'm writing this especially for those feeling rushed or off-centre and in need of some lifestyle hacks to slow down and reclaim breath. feel free to drop me an email or comment below if you want clarification on anything, have points to add or simply resonate with this lifestyle too:
simple intentional routines ~ being intentional and staying true to your personal routines helps with slow living. it is a simple and quiet way of staying true to yourself. i want to say it resets my mind and reminds me, in a weird way, that before anything else i have a duty to look after myself. gratitude lists first thing in the morning, drinking water before breakfast, writing down my intention of the day are some ways that i practice this.
not rushing through the morning ~ slow all the way down. i try and avoid getting out of bed and logging into work immediately. create a buffer and a safe space for you in your morning routine.
start the day spending sacred time alone ~ my latest revelation is that seeing the morning turn from pitch black to bright is a next level joy. it feels like you're witnessing the day wake up rather than feeling like you're rushed or that the day started without you. i guess this is a nice way to appreciate late sunrises, it means you don't have to wake too early to enjoy the quietness of the day. make your favourite morning drink, set an affirmation and watch the day slowly begin.
yoga ~ i love a good stretch. i've come across the phrase 'i'm moving as fast as i can' and it has changed my relationship to yoga. imagine granting yourself time to move through your practice slow, slower than you thought was possible just to feel. try it.
social media detox ~ i stepped away from social media to have a mini break and exist beyond instagram. it sounds annoying to write but sometimes i feel like i owe it to my friends and followers to prove that i am me or that i am being rather than just being. (do you get?). so i left for a bit to be more present. and it has been divine to be me for me and remind myself that the internet doesn't need to know. i literally go through this every single year and i am not even mad about it. sometimes it is easy to forget how nice it is to disconnect and to choose who accesses you. i'll be back but right now i'm really enjoying keeping my alone time precious.
being present ~ i'm getting back to going on walks without distraction. i am in the practice of consciously paying more attention and maybe leaving my head phones at home to do this.
not multi-tasking all of my tasks ~ i multi-task a lot but slowing down to enjoy a phone call and be entirely present is actually very much it. it helps that a lot of the people in my life at the moment are quality time love language people so i am learning to avoid splitting my attention to love them deeper.
not overworking ~i do not believe in slow living for the weekend only. i do get that slow living and the majority of 9-5 work routines seem to not mesh well. the trick is to do whatever is necessary to remain topped up, we shouldn't be functioning for a company while we're empty, never on E. be easy on yourself, create a calming working environment, take regular breaks (dance breaks ideally), communicate (to yourself first) to colleagues what you have capacity for, don't treat yourself like a robot and allow yourself to unlearn the idea that taking a break/setting boundaries/ avoiding burn-out makes you a bad employee. (this unlearning will take time, don't punish yourself). also key, carry this with you even when you physically return to office if you're currently remote.
boundaries ~ i have an alarm/reminder to ease me into my evening and switch off social media after 9pm. knowing when to turn off helps me honour my commitment to slowly unravelling at the end of the day (just as i slowly moved through my morning).
being still ~ enjoy doing nothing at all. don't feel weird about it.
listening to my body ~ living slowly has helped me pay attention to my body clock, my cycle, my dietary patterns, how i can practice intuitive eating... ultimately slowing down has allowed me to release routines that i just went along with so that i can now feel more natural in my body. i also am turning off my morning alarms so i can pay attention to when i naturally wake up. a nice consequence is this has also helped me pay attention to others and listen deeply, sometimes in ways beyond language.
sabbath ~ a friend reminded me that i have kept the sabbath for 5 years now. this was my first introduction to true slow-living and i realise that this God's ultimate gift and reminder that we really need to slow down and take ourselves out of the game once a week. i value this time to spiritually recharge and reflect and just not get caught up in the pace of the world. my spiritual reset aligns with my physical as i prepare all parts of myself to start a fresh week.
and that is it. i hope my sharing has been useful. i speak often about being able to notice things, like the sky's different colours, the course of the sun takes, the moon's phases and to be there to notice the little changes your body makes each day. it is nice to be a part of the world and not too distracted that you miss it. i personally live slowly so that i can be notice what my life feels like and respond to that.
thank you for reading what i write.