"I don't have enough time"
"I wish each day had 48 hours instead of only 24"
"I'm too busy"
We've all heard and probably used the above excuses for not getting more things done. Time is a commodity and there never seems to be enough of it. However truth be told time is usually not the issue but our inability to prioritize what is important that causes us stress and seemingly 'not enough time'. I have been a slow living enthusiast for a little over a year now. Slow living, to me, means having enough time to still stop and smell the roses. Enough time to appreciate the little things, and take part in the little things. Enough time to make my priorities a priority. Enough time to enjoy life instead of rushing through it. Enough time to savour the sweetness. But despite wanting to live a slower paced life, slow can sometimes still feel busy as Krista from A Life In Progress talks about in her post When Slow Living Feels Busy and Stressful :
"Sometimes my plans for slow living are thwarted for weeks on end by unexpected illness, a new life challenge, a desire to serve the people who ask for my help. The time blocks I have set aside for rest get eaten up by work – even good work, meaningful work. I spend a week and realize I walked on my treadmill only a couple times because I felt depleted and instead chose to crawl into bed. I loved and slept and accomplished many good things. But never quite enough."
Krista's post is comforting in knowing that we aren't alone in the challenges we face with pursuing less in a world that sells pursuing more, and that slow living isn't perfect - it is messy, imperfect, and yes, even sometimes busy. Her post inspired me to think of 21 things you can do in just 5 minutes to pursue slow living, and savor the sweetness of any moment.
1. Stop what you are doing and take it all in. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What to you feel? What do you taste?
2. Light candles. Candles, especially scented or beeswax candles, can really set any mood! I find that I am a lot more in the moment if there are a few candles glowing near by.
3. Reach for the fine china. We often save things for special occasions, but every single day is a special occasion. Grab your fine china, and celebrate today.
4. Take your makeup off before bed and take a few extra minutes to moisturize. I've found that slowing down before bed time and having more of a routine allows me to take in the last few moments of the day and allows me to sleep better.
5. Make a fruit smoothie. Fruit smoothies are my favorite, especially with warmer weather right around the corner. They are a great way to pack in a few more of your daily vegetables and fruits. I love adding spinach to mine to give myself an extra boost of nutrients.
6. Give yourself a time out and take a few deep breaths. While you are doing this tell yourself 'this is it' and remind yourself that your life is happening right now.
7. The next time you are about to pick up your camera to take a snap of your dinner/your shoes/your coffee (#guilty) - don't. Instead resist the urge to document the moment, and just enjoy it instead.
8. The next time you have to do a chore like the dishes, laundry, vacuuming, or rushing out to do errands, give yourself an extra 5 minutes before you leave to do something you enjoy.
9. Read 5 pages of a good book. There's nothing like getting lost in the pages of a good book to slow down time.
10. If you take the bus like I do, get off one stop early and give yourself 5 minutes to take in the fresh air before you head to work, or head home.
11. Take 5 minutes to be creative whether it's learning a new stitch in knitting, writing a 5 sentence story, doodling a little picture, or whipping up a new drink 'recipe'.
12. Give yourself some extra time in the shower and soak it all in. Pun intended.
13. Wake up 5 minutes earlier in the morning and spend that time stretching and savoring the new day.
14. Download the Calm app (I did this today!) The app itself is free and you can use some of their features for free too! Cait Flanders is having a giveaway for a one year subscription to the Calm app over on her blog so head on over to enter, and read more about her Year of Slow.
15. Write down 5 things you are grateful for. After all, gratitude turns everything into enough.
16. Jot down a to do list and empty your brain of all the clutter you're holding onto.
17. Cuddle. Cuddle your pet. Cuddle your spouse. Cuddle your friend. Cuddle your pillow. Cuddle yourself. Cuddling is good, and good for you too.
18. Use your essential oils. My favorite is Peppermint oil (it's so soothing!) and I buy mine from Purdy Naturals which is a local business supplying our city with amazing home made, all natural makeup and beauty products.
19. Read inspiring quotes.
20. Brew a tea. My current favorites are jasmine tea, peppermint tea and a 'Garden Fog' which can be found over at London Ritual Café. It is to die for!
21. Watch a slow cooking video. Ever since I stumbled across Peaceful Cuisine I've been hooked!
What are some things you do in 5 minutes or less to slow down?