There is no denying that we live in a hurried world nowadays. American culture is especially rushed as we are constantly inundated with messages of hustling, being as productive as possible, keeping to-do lists and just always go-go-go. There are times to be productive and get things done to be sure, but there are also times to not only slow down, but to stop and enjoy your life more. To enjoy the little things that bring you pleasure and that are just good for the soul. Here are some of the ways that I slow down and deliberately enjoy my life.
+Enjoy Slow Leisurely Mornings on Saturday – Saturday morning is a time that I use to enjoy slowing down and not be in a rush. I don’t set my alarm and wake up when I am ready. I then get out of bed, put on my cutest and softest pajamas and meander downstairs. From here I will light some candles, make a latte and then maybe read a book, watch some relaxing you tube videos, listen to music or write in my journal. After awhile I will eventually make some breakfast and then relax some more. It is a time for me to savor and enjoy my senses. I don’t look at the time, I don’t work, I don’t schedule anything. I just spend my time in the quiet morning relaxing with my coffee.
+Take Shopping Trips By Myself – Some people hate shopping and I get it. I really enjoy it though, all of it (except online). I enjoy the experience of going out, getting a coffee and then visiting the mall or shopping center. I love to walk around and treasure hunt. It’s also fun to see new trends and to talk to new people. This also goes for grocery shopping. I enjoy the experience of walking around the store and seeing what’s new, getting meal ideas and trying new foods.
+Go For A Walk – I love a good walk, whether it’s in a park, in a shopping center, around the block at my work or around the neighborhood at home. I love putting on some music or a podcast or even an audiobook and taking a nice brisk walk. It probably comes as no surprise that fall is my favorite time to take a good walk as the air is cool and the leaves are beautifully colored. It’s a time for me to reflect and contemplate, to just let my mind wander where it will with no interruptions.
+Cook A Decadent Meal – Most of the time I cook the usual weeknight meals and just work through them routinely. But on occasion I like to get a new recipe and really cook a decadent meal (or dessert). I put on some music, tie on my apron and just get to cooking. I feel a little like Julia Child as I cut, peel and sauté. Sometimes Joseph is there and we will get into conversations of life, traveling and food and sometimes it’s just me, the music and delicious food.
+I Simply Do Nothing – I know that sounds weird in this day and time. Who sits around and literally does nothing? This girl! I will make a cup of coffee, sit an area of my home and do nothing. I may have Ludovico Einaudi playing in the background, but I myself am just holing my coffee while sitting and do nothing. My mind will wander, maybe it’ll be raining (or snowing) and I am just watching, but other than that I am engaging in nothing else. No phone, no television, no book, no nothing. I think this is a hard one for people to do nowadays as our brains have certainly become addicted to a constant flow of information, noise and images. But to practice with the Italians call Dolce Far Niente (pleasant idleness) is actually quite satisfying and calming. It’s a chance to just be without all of the noise.
If you are feeling burned out, rushed or that you’re doing too much of that hustling then I hope that you too will find ways to slow down and deliberately enjoy your life. I know it’s cliché to say that life is short and that we only have one life to live, etc. But these are all at the end of the day still very true. Once time is gone, it’s simply gone and I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a life full of these luxurious moments that I enjoyed rather than time spent on Instagram, constantly working or worse…constantly worrying. So go out there and deliberately enjoy your life.