slow living

Processed with VSCOcam with a7 preset

A resolution for 2015: to slow down and to simplify.
2014 has been good to me, but frantic, without focus.
So maybe it’s fitting that I don’t really know where to start with this, either.

I’ve got as far as a list of 12 areas of my life I’d like to work on; one for each month of the year.

  1. Media consumption – be mindful about what I absorb. stop reading news. read books again. waste less time online. Update here and here.
  2. Sleep & energy – get more of both, really.
  3. Commitments – what can we do less of? say no to the things I don’t want to do.
  4. Wardrobe – DECLUTTER. it’s threatening to swallow me whole again.
  5. Food – share what I do well at, review & improve.. A start, here and here.
  6. Mornings – enjoy that first cup of coffee. stop eating breakfast in the car.
  7. Weekends – slow down, enjoy our time together.
  8. Health & beauty – what’s going on with my hair? why do I catch every sickness ever? Do I really need all these products in my bathroom? Updates here and here.
  9. dependencies – from medications to wifi to that bottle of gin in my freezer. The more you need to be happy, the harder it is to get there. A sort of update here.
  10. Work – both my dayjob and my dream job need a bit of attention
  11. Home – who put all this stuff in here? what else could we do with all this space? An update here.
  12. Parenting – slow down, don’t ‘over-parent’. keep the pressure to perform at bay. Updates here, here and here.

simple living morning

My plan: pick an area (not necessarily in this order) & work on it for a month, keeping in mind the principles of The Slow Movement. I’ll share how I get on over on my instagram, & on here.

For January I’m focusing on #1 on my list – media consumption.
Join me, if you like?

Slow Living means structuring your life around meaning and fulfillment. Similar to “voluntary simplicity” and “downshifting,” it emphasizes a less-is-more approach, focusing on the quality of your life. … Slow Living addresses the desire to lead a more balanced life and to pursue a more holistic sense of well-being in the fullest sense of the word
Beth Meredith / Eric Storm

  • Katie May

    I can thoroughly recommend Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes to help you out with items 8 and 1. Wonderful book with honest and common sense advice about all things Hair and Beauty.

    • Oh, excellent! Thanks Katie – & it’ll give me something to read in my mindless-media-free-moments! πŸ˜€ x

  • Sounds good Tare! Lots of things I should be doing too I think xxx

    • Thanks pie! I’m basically convinced it will transform me into a whole new person. Hopefully. Maybe x

  • I am very impressed that you have a 12 point list on the 1st of January! Overall I’m feeling very similar with regards to a few of these aims (just wrote a similar post!) but especially the idea of slowing down. I find my brain is full to the brim with information gained from different media sources and there’s no room left for my emotions and instead they’re spilling over in all sorts of ways! So I’m resolving to set aside time each evening reflecting (media and device free) on how my day has gone and just take it all in. I’ve already started listening to more music again as a result (and may have developed a small teenage crush on Ben Howard at the same time

    • Haha well thanks! Suddenly it occurs to me that a 12 point list on the 1st of Jan is perhaps neither slowing down or simplifying? Oops. Next year I expect my resolution will be just a single syllable…

      I love your idea of device free time! I originally thought I’d try internet-free-Sundays but then I realised that was more than I’m ready for! Yours sounds much more manageable, and I love the idea of rediscovering teenage crushes and musical memories! x

  • Love all your points Sara, especially on parenting and work. Will join you and thanks for the 12 points as nice to give a structure to it – all good things to be mindful of. I’ve felt very lacking in balance the last few years (work/life, relationship/kids etc) so v keen to improve this. And get out into nature more! Thanks for posting this and happy new year x

    • Ah yes, everything you said rings entirely true. Getting out in nature more – even with it here on our doorstep – seems a challenge some days! I will add that to my list I think, under weekends πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • I’m with you on many of these, especially media consumption. I’m constantly refining what I read and what I follow, asking myself if it helps me, interests me, is beneficial… Rather than just following everything and reading everything! It’s good to cull my reading list every now and then, as well as to add in new things and to move in new directions. I’m generally talking about social media feeds and my feedly (RSS) with this, but also with traditional news.

    One of the best things I have done for my state of mind is stop reading the news. I used to get so wound up by UK politics and so fed up with reading so many horror stories and tales of suffering around the world. Reading about it doesn’t make the suffering go away, it just brings me down. So I skim headlines to keep up to date on the comings and goings but don’t read or follow politics anymore in any depth. This will be even more important over the coming months with the election and all the nonsense both ‘sides’ will be peddling. It’s been so liberating! I just read the technology and culture sections of the paper instead!

    Good luck with your goals here, I’ll be following along with you and joining in too.

    • THIS! I agree and relate to everything you have said so much – in fact lately I’ve really been questioning *why* news is news, and why it’s seen as so essential and prestigious. Because yes, some things we need to know about so we can act, but mostly it’s just being broadcast for entertainment and distraction. I think I have a whole ranty post in me on that subject…
      So I’m looking forward to getting to your stage, where I have extricated myself from the cycle. Thanks for sharing your experience – I’m really interested to hear more! x

  • Inspiring words as always, make sure you remember, that it is important not to put too much pressure on yourself, if you don’t achieve all you set out to, that’s ok, sometimes life just gets in the way.

    Emma xx

    • Oh thanks Em – wise words, especially as I read these at 11pm sorting through my books to I could get rid of a whole bookcase!! Must remember not to burn out before Feb.

  • Michelle

    Yes yes yes x 12!

    • πŸ™‚ I’m so glad it’s not just me! x

  • Freyajohanna

    Great list. I am thinking about similar areas. But i was Never thinking about all the stuff in my bathroom, maybe i will have a look at it today πŸ™‚
    Have a good day, Sara.

  • Hey Sara,
    Thought I’d just get in touch to say I’ve finally done the deed and started my new blog. Would love to keep in touch – am enjoying your feed. Bryony

  • Hello and happy new year!

    I loved reading this post. For me the latter part of last year was all about slowing down, taking the time to appreciate the simple things and to not put myself under too much pressure all the time. But the thing that struck a chord with me the most is our relationship with media consumption and I think it’s all something we all need to start being a lot more mindful of – being aware of how what we follow impacts our own choices is very important and sometimes it can be very difficult to take the step to cut it from our lives when we’re essentially creatures of habit! And I guess it all comes back to slower living – the time to process our thoughts and be able to realise what’s impacting us negatively. Bring on a slower 2015! x

  • I can definitely relate to these, especially 3, 4 and 6!
    Beautifully written as always.

  • I’ve just started decluttering my wordrobe. So many unnecessary things that I haven’t used for ages….

    • How did it go Ania? Any tips you can share with me? This one is still lurking on my to do list…

  • Michelle Moss

    I have just discovered your blog and am thrilled. It seems you have the same goals for 2015 that I have been claiming for myself. I look forward to seeing how you are getting along with it….

    • Thanks Michelle! A bit late responding to this, but I’d love to know how you’re getting on…?

      • Michelle Moss

        Hi Sara! Lovely to hear from you. I have been making some small changes πŸ™‚ I have decluttered my wardrobe of things I simply do not wear, which also gave me the opportunity to get some new (for me) designer clothes; I am learning that sometimes my best “yes” is to say no; I am appreciating time out to have one good coffee – it might be while I am standing in the kitchen, but it is not rushed; however I think the most significant thing we have implemented in our home is that my husband and I pack an easy picnic each Sunday, and take a thermos and our three children to a different park in our city just to play. Our down time as a family before we head into the new week. It is our way of putting on the brakes….
        If I wasn’t on the other side of the world I would be looking to trade something for a weekend in your gorgeous cottage! πŸ˜‰ Best wishes

  • Pingback: Slow living: a beginner's guide - meandorla.co.uk()

  • Pingback: a mindful 2016 - meandorla.co.uk()

  • Pingback: Yoga In Morocco – YOGA WITH ELISE()

  • Hannah

    I really love this post. It is so important. I’ve struggled the past four years that I’ve been practicing minimalism with sentimental clutter the most. When we moved into our last house, my craft room (I kid you not) was filled to the ceiling of boxes of crap (mostly paperwork) from my childhood that my mother and grandmother had kept for me. I will never forget the stressful many, many hours I spent going through all of that paperwork. I’d leave that room feeling depressed, overwhelmed, and burdened every. Single. Time. I ended up throwing out seventeen packed-full black trash bags (the biggest ones you get to clean leaves in the yard) of that paperwork. And since then I’ve gotten rid of so much more. I was a writer and an artist (I started drawing and writing at age three), so by the time I was twenty-one, it was a ton to go through. After the loose papers I’d thrown away, I still had over one-hundred journals and sketchbooks of poetry, essays, thoughts, stories, diary entries, etc., and one day I just couldn’t take the stress of going through it anymore and bagged it all up and sent it out of my life. The past is, to me, meant for the past. The stress of living my life again through my writings and drawings was just way too much. I am twenty-four now, and I have two more boys than I did then, and I can assure you I will never do to them what was done for me. No one wants to go through paperwork they didn’t even know was in existence the day before. And I don’t ever want to be the bearer of that weight in their lives.

    All that being said, I do keep photos in folders of each year and then each month of that year in my computer. We have five photos of our family strung up on a wall in our sitting room, and that is all. And we go through the pictures on our computer all the time. It’s so fun because they are in order to see how everything changes through the years. At the end of each month, I put the pictures from mine and my husband’s phones into it’s appointed folder. I make the folders for the new year on the last day of each year, to make it easier on myself to organize.

    Minimalism and slow living has really changed my life for the better, and if you are struggling with the sentimental clutter, I highly recommend just getting rid of it. It is so, so, SO freeing.

  • Hannah

    So, sorry, thought I’d commented on your post about ruthlessly editing the ephemera! Fail!