As mums, we are notorious for having mum guilt, especially when it comes to creating an intentionally slower family life. There are many stories, myths and mindset errors that come with slow living so let’s bust through some of those to help you take a few more actions and a few more steps to slow down and enjoy life.
Let’s Talk about some of the Slow Living Myths I’ve Heard
- Slow living is for lazy people.
- Slow living is for people who are introverts and don’t like going to things or don’t like seeing people.
- People with kids can’t live slow.
- Slow living is for people who are boring and don’t know how to have fun.
Here, I would like to challenge all of those myths and say that it’s all about mindset and always comes back to how you feel and how you want to live your life. Slow living is for people who are living
intentionally, getting the most fulfilment and use out of their precious time, creating quality moments because that is what happens when you slow down. Slow living is for moments that matter. It’s time to slow down and enjoy life.
1. Have your Take Out Coffee in an Actual Mug at the Cafe
When you go to a coffee shop, sit and drink your coffee out of a proper cup rather than a takeaway cup. Take 10 minutes out of your day to intentionally sit and enjoy the coffee. Have conversations with those around you or just sit and enjoy the ambience. At this moment you will notice the people coming and going, and may even get to know the regulars, or develop some new friendships. This simple task can help you connect and feel more part of your local community. I think that that is something that we can all appreciate.
2. Say YES with Intention!
When you agree to something and you say, “Yes, I’m going to have that play date,” or “Yes, I’m going to go to that birthday party,” or “Yes, let’s have dinner with those friends”, make sure you have intentionally agreed to that event/appointment in your diary. Slow living results in a schedule that doesn’t see you committed to back to back events or appointments so that you’re not having to think about rushing off to the next appointment or the next activity or the next diary entry. This means that if you’re having a good time catching up with your friend and the kids are playing really nicely, you don’t actually have to rush them to leave to get to the next thing. If you want to stay, you can because you’ve allowed time to do that. Slow living allows you to have more opportunities to stay and enjoy the natural moments that occur when you are having a great time and don’t need to rush off. And that’s a fantastic feeling that you can really commit to those relationships where you’re with somebody and let those conversations flow naturally and not rush them along. Even if you don’t see another adult for the rest of the week, you feel like you have gotten your social needs met in that one moment.
3. Play One More Game
“Hey mum, can you play a game with me? Hey mum, can you do colouring in with me? Hey mum, can you read me this book?” And you say, “Yes, in a minute I will. I’m just going to do this. I’m just doing that.” When you’ve finally finished all your jobs you sit down and you spend 10 minutes with your kids and they say, “Come on, let’s play a game, let’s play a game.” But by the time that 10 minutes has passed, you say, “oh, I’ve got to hang the washing out. Oh, I’ve got to get started with dinner”. But if you have the mindset of living slow, of living in the moment, of being intentional, your highest priority is your family relationships. You can then tell yourself it’s okay if we eat a little bit later tonight, I’m enjoying this moment and my kids are having fun. Staying in that moment and enjoying another round of the game, or having a dance party, listening to another song, will result in being able to engage with your kids. And you know what one of the really great benefits of spending more time playing and enjoying time with our kids is that they’re better behaved, they’re more connected to us so they are more likely to do the thing that you need them to do, like put their shoes on cause you need to get out of the household. You get better family life, you feel more fulfilled and the kids are more cooperative because you’ve taken the time to really engage in their world which is really important. We all strive towards being the best mum we can be and it really eases that mum guilt when we have given our all.
4. Use Slow Living to Give you More Time to Practise
I’m sure your list of things you would love to do is a mile long, like reading a book, learning a new hobby or skill. Personally learning Spanish is one of those things I want to do. But I tell myself this story that it is an indulgent way to spend my time, and not very productive. When you commit to slow living you can get these things done and they actually make you feel quite fulfilled.
Check out my video below to learn how I’m using slow living to help me learn Spanish!
5. Be More Mindful
This goes without saying, if we’re more mindful we can be more aware of our thoughts, we can be more aware of the stories we tell ourselves and the mindset that we’re in. We are often not aware of the stories that we tell ourselves. As an example, I’ve always said I’m a procrastinator and I don’t finish things. But once I spent some time being present and realising that that’s just a story that I was telling myself, I wouldn’t have been able to make some impactful changes around structuring my day so that I could prove to myself that I’m not a procrastinator and that the things I was doing are the reasons why I was procrastinating. Be really mindful about the thoughts and the stories that you tell yourself and see if you can come up with something that’s not true, that you have come to believe because you have not been aware or as present or as mindful about those stories and see if there’s something that you can do to make a change. Prove yourself wrong and make the conscious choice to slow down and enjoy life.
Soon you’ll be able to find the antidote to the overwhelm of being a modern-day mum, while in transit! I’m launching the How to Live Slow podcast in May 2020. For the time being, you can still subscribe to our YouTube channel where you’ll find more slow living ideas, tips and discussion. But you can also subscribe below to this blog, and I will be able to send you emails letting you know the latest news and updates, including when new blogs are released and when my podcast launches.