That aspirational slow living lifestyle can often seem unattainable. Especially when you work full time and don’t have the luxury of taking big chunks out of your day to enjoy those slow living rituals. But slow living isn’t about spending your days relaxing in the countryside (although if that’s what you want then more power to you). Instead, it’s about giving yourself permission to make time for the things you enjoy. That could be something as simple as taking a proper break to enjoy your morning coffee. Slow living doesn’t need to take up much time. Here I’ve put together a list of activities you can do in under an hour. So no matter how busy your day you can still find time to slow down and be in the moment. These activities help to create a tiny bit of peace and mindfulness in your otherwise busy day.
When you have 2 minutes
Try single tasking during those 2 minutes. Single-tasking is when you completely focus on the task you’re doing. This could be stopping thinking about work or planning what’s for dinner when making your morning tea (or coffee if you prefer). Thinking about the water heating up and bubbling as it boils in the kettle then watching how the tea stains it brown as you pour it into your mug. Then how the milk sinks in and once again the colour starts to change. And finally experiencing that first sip and feeling the tea warm you up.
When you have 5 minutes
Staying on the tea (or coffee) theme if you have an extra couple of minutes take the time to sit and concentrate on enjoying your hot drink. Sit down in your favourite seat (preferably it has a beautiful view) or snuggle on the sofa with your pet. Even if you don’t have time to finish your drink before you have to return to work enjoy the few minutes you have. If you’re in the office just sit at your desk and concentrate on your drink. Your emails can wait for 5 minutes. Don’t think about work or all the things you have to do. Instead, focus on the drink and how it makes you feel.
When you have 15 minutes
Take your eyes off a screen for 10 minutes. We spend so much of our day staring at screens so taking a short time away from them during your day can only be a good thing and give your eyes time to relax. If you’re at home step away from your computer or phone and do something which doesn’t require screen time. This could be doing the dishes, folding the laundry or giving the house a quick tidy. These are screen free tasks but you’ll still feel productive. They are also simple tasks that allow you some time to think whilst doing them. If you’re in the office tidy your desk up or do some planning on paper. Or catch up with your colleagues.
When you have 30 minutes
Take a break from work or whatever else is keeping you busy and head out for a walk. I always try to get outside for some fresh air during the day (having a dog wanting a walk helps with this). Go and find some green space and breathe in the fresh air. A walk is also a great opportunity for some thinking time or if you prefer pop in your headphones and listen to your favourite music or podcast. If you can’t find any green space just walk around the block. Remember you don’t need to be out in the countryside to enjoy slow living.
When you have 45 minutes
If you have a little longer why not snuggle up with a book. If you always read before bed it will feel like a luxury to read during the day. Make yourself a cup of tea, find a cosy nook and open up your favourite book. If you’re out and about lookout for a cosy coffee shop or find a quiet spot in the office. You could even sit in your car if you can’t find anywhere else. Remember to set a timer if you need to return to work. Otherwise, you risk getting lost in the story and losing track of time.
When you have one hour
Lucky you being able to take a full hour out of your day to relax. Why not enjoy the ultimate luxury and run yourself a hot bath. There is something special about having a bath in the middle of the day. It just feels so self-indulgent and the ultimate at of self-care. So relax and enjoy taking some time for yourself.