Living on my own for the first time has really changed my perspective on how I spend my time, but, not only that, it has changed my perspective of how I view my time as a whole.
I used to live in fear of wasting time – I always had to be productive.
Wasting time: what does that mean to my backwards brain exactly? Well, anything that doesn’t produce some sort of outcome; time that is, spent without anything to show for it.
I’ve spent the last 3-4 years changing my mindset around this – as it started giving me anxiety + I would do things half-heartedly just to get them done – to feel that I had been productive in one way or another. I am finally in a place where I find pleasure in ‘doing less’.
Lazy days, quiet moments, meandering without a plan – all of these can be just as fulfilling as a day filled to the brim.
Here is something that I’ve recently started to understand: Some days will be full of adventure and breathtaking moments; one in a million experiences, all-encompassing happenings. But not every day will be lived in this way. And – maybe more importantly – not every day needs to be lived in this way.
There is great comfort in simple. There is a wonder in little moments. There is magic in stillness.
And while I haven’t rid myself of this “productivity-is-above-all-else” mindset entirely, it is one that is strengthening every day.
If you are looking to bring simple pleasures and small activities into your days – ways to fill afternoons or wee hours of the morning without much effort or overthinking – continue reading below for some of my favourite slow-living activities.
- Reading + a good beverage – a comforting cup of tea, my current favourite is Chai Latte
- Cooking or preparing a meal – and eating it without doing anything else
- Take a bath – add rose petals, oil or bath foam* for a dreamy touch
- Forest Bathing – enjoying the scenery and the sounds of nature
- Swimming at the beach – the chill of the water, the weightlessness of floating
- Unplug – a time to redirect your attention or engage in activities you typically don’t turn to
- Do a hair mask – a pampering activity that takes a bit of time but is worth it
- Doing something that puts you into a flow state – a way to pass the time without even realising it – for me, is watching Lifestyle videos that inspire me to give my home some TLC
- Laying in bed with the windows open – tranquillity without fuss – I absolutely LOVE doing this while snuggling up with my weighted blanket
- Baking – it is always worth the effort to bake up your own little treats – I tend to bake bread a couple of times a week
- Creating something with your hands – crafts, art, food, woodworking, flower bouquets…
- Writing / Journaling – thoughts, brain dumps or creatively writing
- Declutter one small area or a pile of stuff in your home – decluttering your physical space always has a good impact on your mental state
- Listen to music and sing, dance or cry along – music is the most cathartic thing I know
- Check-in with your partner – what do they need from you right now?
- Visit a farmers market – I visit my local Farmer’s Market a couple of times a week and buy seasonal produce
- Pick wildflowers to bring inside – bringing nature inside always adds life to your space
- Care for plants or a garden – it’s always nice to nurture something outside of ourselves
- Make an extravagant breakfast – breakfast just feels like a special meal to me. Go over the top with a full English fry-up or mountain of waffles
- Sit and observe nature – feel the breeze move around you and the birds chirp above you
- Go for a bike ride – a way to get outside and move your body while feeling the wind rush through your hair
- Watch a movie without checking your phone – I can’t remember the last time I’ve done this. Hard, but worth it
- Write a letter to your Future Self
- Listen to a guided meditation – a way to get centred and quiet any ugly thoughts
- Invite over friends for dinner – good food, good company, good times
- Play board games, puzzle games* or card games – a little competition never hurt anybody
- Have a picnic – nothing is better than eating outside in my opinion
- Bundle up and walk through the snow – appreciate the way the snow lands on the trees or the crunch under your boots
- Find some water – a stream, creek, lake, whatever, and just sit and listen
- Forage for something and add it to your next meal – just be sure to be safe with what you harvest!
- Go barefoot and get grounded – the beach, the grass, or the forest floor
- Decorate your home for the season – fairy lights, garlands, seasonally inspired pieces…
- Visit the library or a coffee shop to read, sip, study or write with a pretty atmosphere – a nice setting can make all the difference
- Make a vision board or future journal/sketch – include things you dream to have, places you wish to go, or who you want to become
- Deep clean your space – get to all the dust that collects in hidden corners, bringing freshness and newness to your home
So, here’s to slow days filled with basic little pleasures. Here’s to still feeling valid while doing nothing at all …