In what seems like the blink of an eye, over half the year has passed and it’s now July. Can you believe it? I can’t. And after hearing many of my friends echo the same sentiment, I thought now was probably a good time to take stock and evaluate how my slow living goal is going (if you missed it, you can see the original post here).
And how is it going? Well, if you look at my life as it stands, the three words that probably come to mind are ‘big fat fail’. Meaning that my days are busier than ever! At the start of 2015 I was totally unprepared for how things would ramp up this year – this blog in particular, but also just work and life in general. Time is moving faster than ever and I’m completely caught up in the flow.
But (there’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there?). Although my days may be even more hectic than before, I’m not unhappy. Sure, there are times when I get grumpy at all the tasks I have to do. Sometimes you might find me having mild stress attacks about the deadlines that loom over my head. But though I may not be technically living slower, I made a few changes to the way I prioritise and I’ve found I’m now living FULLER. And that makes me happy.
After writing my first slow living post, I realised that a lot of the dissatisfaction that I felt towards the end of last year stemmed from the fact that time had just ‘disappeared’ without me having been truly present for it. I felt guilty and sad that my days had been so consumed by ‘tasks’ – like work, blogging, deadlines and schedules – that I hadn’t had made time for the people and activities that were equally (or more!) important.
Finishing 2014 on that low note was the kick in the butt I needed to get me to reprioritise. At the time, this wasn’t a conscious decision so much as a gut feeling that a change was required. So little by little, I started doing things differently. I booked in time each week to exercise (and I stuck to it). I called and visited my family more often. I spent time outdoors on road trips, far away from the city. I dedicated whole weekends to cooking, gardening and cleaning the house. Yeah I know, cleaning doesn’t sound very therapeutic but it helps to prepare me mentally for the week ahead and puts me in a better frame of mind on Mondays!
And while the changes have taken time and I’m only just getting into the swing of things, I’ve already found that I’m in a much better headspace. Sure, it’s still hard to fit everything in – probably more so now that I’ve added to my list of high priorities! But I feel way more refreshed throughout the week, having taken the time to do things just for me. I’ve spent more quality time with my loved ones and that impacts positively on my (and hopefully their!) wellbeing. And at the end of the day, I still manage to meet my deadlines. Maybe I take on a little less work than before, but that’s okay – when I sit down and take stock at the end of each month I find I’m still making progress towards my work goals and most importantly, I feel like I’ve been present in my own life.
So while I’m evidently not a poster girl for slow living, and I can’t say with any kind of certainty that this method is for everyone, reprioritising has definitely helped me feel like a more well-rounded individual. I’ll keep you guys posted on how things go over the second half of the year and if I find any new strategies to help with this crazy hectic flow we all seem to find ourselves in these days I’ll be sure to let you know!
In the meantime, if you’re after ways to live slower, more fully and to take care of you, these articles are worth a read:
- This list is a great way to start making pampering a priority
- Feeling stressed? It’s not always a bad thing – sometimes how we think about it makes all the difference.
- Setting realistic and well-aligned expectations can make all the difference to our wellbeing