The one thing that I have been practicing for the past 6 years is creating and maintaining a simple lifestyle. Since 2014 I have been interested in things like simplicity, slow living and minimalism. I wanted a simple life of mindful, relaxing, and nourishing routines, simple pleasures to be enjoyed everyday, a slow life not to be hurried through and a simple beautiful home where my husband and I could be at ease and enjoy. I created these things for our life and still practice and maintain our simple lifestyle even during self isolation.
Many people are finding it very difficult to be home, so much so that now they are even going out to protest anymore stay at home orders. This has not been my experience at all. Although I do like to get out of the house on occasion to go grab a coffee at a coffee shop, visit the local shops, see a movie or visit a park, I am not finding it difficult to be at home and it is because of the simple lifestyle that we have cultivated over the years. We find pleasure in the small daily things such drinking our coffee in the morning with music playing, sitting on the back porch and having a conversation, going for a walk in the afternoon when it’s warm outside, reading a book and losing track of time and even taking a little afternoon nap.
These little things were already a part of normal lives and were things that we enjoyed most about our time off from work. When everything started shutting down back in March we were fully ready to stay home and weather the storm until it was safe to go back out again. But while I was seeing a lot of people having a hard time with staying home, even those who were self proclaimed homebodies, I myself was doing just fine and enjoying staying home. It seemed as though people needed to be constantly distracted or busy in order to feel content. Home life seemed to be utterly dull or depressing and some people just couldn’t handle slowing down. Here is how having a simple lifestyle prepared me for self isolation.
-Simple Ingredients, Simple Meals – I have found that a lot of people are either getting tired of cooking or some have never really cooked before and weren’t sure where to start. Cooking is something I enjoy doing because I have set it up that way. I had already created a simple meal plan made from simple and healthy ingredients, so when we were all under a stay at home order and were basically cooking every night, for me this was something that I was already doing and enjoying. I like to put on my cooking playlist, gather up the ingredients for a delicious meal and start cooking. We have ordered delivery a few times to create a little at home date night, but otherwise I shop for and cook all of the meals.
-Reclaiming Breakfast – Breakfast time is a sacred time for me that I have reclaimed long ago. There is no rushing, no skipping food and no distraction. In the morning I like to come downstairs, open the window shades to let the sun in, put on music (right now it’s a lot of Rosie Carney) and make some breakfast and coffee. Then I will sit down at the table and eat slowly and after I finish eating I will go sit on the sofa and drink my coffee. I had this routine set up long before self isolation, I just get to sleep in a little later now that I am not commuting to the office during this time. Having a slow morning sets up the rest of the day for me to go at the same leisurely pace and to not feel rushed or stressed.
-Leisurely Walks – At least once a day I will go for a walk around my neighborhood for 30 minutes or more. I will either listen to a podcast or if my husband is home he will join me. It’s a chance to move my body as well as a chance to get some fresh air, clear my head and to also get some vitamin d from the sun on my skin. This is a habit I set up long ago for myself when I was working in the office. It was important to me to take breaks and to go outside to get some sun and move around and clear my head. At work I sit in a cubicle that is not around any windows, so I always took a 15 minute walk in the morning before lunch, another walk after I ate lunch and another 15 minute walk in the afternoon after lunch. This was an easy routine to keep while being at home since I am able to still go for walks as I like.
-Simple Pleasures – There are some things that just brings simple everyday pleasure into our lives. Most of these for us were already set up at home. Things such as enjoying a cup of coffee, reading a book on the back porch, going for a walk, enjoying a delicious meal, lighting some candles, applying a face mask and putting on some spa music to relax, a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers and even taking an afternoon nap while the sun shines in on you keeping you warm were all things that we were already enjoying at home. We each cultivated these small pleasures for ourselves so that home would a place of relaxation and simplicity to be enjoyed away from the hurried world.
-A Cozy Minimal Home – I have no doubt that being home is very stressful for people because their home is not really set up to be an inviting space. Home is more like a place to quickly eat and sleep before going back to the office for most people. It is cluttered, has a long list of things that need to be cleaned or repaired, it’s basically a never ending to do list of laundry, cleaning and organizing. This is unfortunately more of the norm than not and I am sure this is part of the reason people are so antsy to get back out of the house. Our home has been set up to be minimal in physical possessions and cozy for us to live in. It is our haven from the outside world, a place that we love to be. We have a slow home that requires very little cleaning or upkeep because we do not keep a lot of things (no clutter), and if something needs to be repaired we take care of it immediately. It has been a cozy place for us to stay and live and we have not really had much of a cabin fever since we have been self isolating.
It’s not that I don’t miss going out or traveling, I do miss these things. But because I have been practicing a simple lifestyle for many years, I have just been better prepared to stay home and self isolate during these uncertain times. I have seen so many people talk about going stir crazy, getting cabin fever and some even getting depressed. This will not last forever and I really think we are closer to the end of it, but even when things go back to normal and everything opens back up, I will stay maintain and practice my life of simplicity and slow living. It has been one of the best things that I have done for myself and it has created so many benefits to my overall life that I could not imagine not doing it. Have you found that you had some simple lifestyle routines that have helped you weather the self isolation?