Time to pause.
Most of us are back into the grind of routine and holidays feel like they happened on a galaxy far, far away.
Often I find myself wishing that I could channel a way of living a more free range life.
For me, what does living ‘free range’ mean?
It's that cool and calm summer feeling that I have on holidays. Don't you always feel more balanced on a break?
How can you channel that feeling into everyday... if only it was as simple as filling your favourite perfume bottle with eau do hols and spritzing it behind your ears and your wrists when that wave of angst and activity threatens to overwhelm.
But my mother always taught me that life wasn't meant to be easy.
That life lesson has inspired me on that never-ending quest to find new ways of slowing down. If I can slow my mind, there is a better chance that I'll be more balanced and present for the people I love.
You may have heard of the 'Slow Movement'? There's #slowfood #slowliving #slowmusic #slowcities #slowdesign #slowparenting #slowtravel... Should I go on??
Usually I'm iffy about movements. I've always been deeply suspicious of green juice, bone broth and cutting sugar from your diet. How sad would life be if it was sugar free?
I want to have my sugar and enjoy it in peace. So much so that I hide my stash from my daughters and hide away in our bedroom slowly, savouring the dark chocolate strawberry creams that are just for me!
There have to be other ways to slow down that don't involve hiding out from your kids?
There have to be other ways to slow down that don't involve hiding out from your kids.
I got some more ideas about ways to slow down after reading the fabulous book 'Slow' by Brooke McAlary.
It's a straightforward, practical book that doesn't preach but instead suggests simple ways that you can lead a more balanced and meaningful life.
Some of my favourite ideas include:
- Caring more and caring less (work out what matters to you and focus on that and let go of the crap that doesn't matter to YOU).
- Consider your legacy. Take some time out to think about what kind of life you want to be remembered for.
- Declutter (I'm hopeless at this- I love my clutter).
- Mindfulness- be present and pay attention in the here and now. Not the washing, cooking or list making. Those things can wait.
- Disconnect to reconnect- stop measuring your value in the number of likes, retweets and follows you get in your social media.
- Talk to the people you love. Ask them, 'What was good about your day?' and 'What was a not-so-good part of your day?'.
- Ignore that inner-mean girl inside your head! Remember you are loved and you are good enough!!
- Gratitude- there is always something to be grateful for, right now! (try to get rid of the 'I'll be happy when....)
- Embrace the 'Wobbly kind of balance'. Life isn't perfect.
There is much in the book that resonated with me, and it’s inspired me to make more resolutions to add to my own list, such as:
- Spend more time outside enjoying the simple things like beautiful walking paths, gardens and public spaces near my home.
- Make time for more family activities to get us out of our set routines and out of the house, like picnics, local festivals and exhibitions.
I'm still a work in progress and still find that I can be too hard on myself. But let's give ourselves permission to slow down, look after ourselves and hopefully lead a more balanced, free range kind of life.
This article is sponsored by Lilydale Free Range Chicken. #jointhefreerange