One of the reasons I wanted to leave the city and raise my children in the countryside was to lead a simplified, slow lived life.
Ironically since moving in December the opposite has happened. Our life feels much more hectic now then ever before. What with renovating the house, my return to employment, frequent errands, playgroups and appointments I feel like I never have chance to just be. My to do list is several pages long. I have been struggling to feel rested and recently I have been feeling pretty burnt-out. .
I am working towards slowing things down and simplifying our routines. I have been thinking about our priorities as a family. What do we really need in our lives? What do we value the most? What is essential and what can be forgotten? The pace in which we are currently living feels unsustainable. Something needs to give!
I have been trying to adapt and change things slowly but surely, step by step. It is a gradual process but one I am sure will bring many rewards. So far I have:
Early rising - I have been waking early to sit in bed blogging and reading while the children sleep. Quiet time to sit, wake up and start the day with a flash of productivity.
Sleeping In- Equally I have been learning to respect when I am tired, when we do not need to rush and can afford to lie in together and rest. Some of my favorite mornings are unproductive cuddled in bed with my smalls. Relaxation has value, I am starting to realise that now.
De-cluttering and minimalising our living spaces- I am slowly going from room to room minimising our belongings, re-homing anything we do not use or love and organising anything that is left so it is easily accessible. My aim here is to eventually have so little stuff cluttering up our our shelves that each room can be cleaned in a maximum of 30 minutes. In addition to this we are in the process of painting all our walls a bright and airy white. A clean and tidy space really lifts my mood.
Slowing down our routine - When Bear was small I would take him to every baby group I could find - anything to just get out of the house and stay occupied. I am realising now that by staying in, or at least staying very local 2 or 3 times a week we can make time for crafting, baking and soon gardening and our trips out are more enjoyable.
Penciling in time for the children -When I am busy it is so easy to be distracted from my children. We occupy the same space but forget to spend quality time together. I have been penciling in at least a couple of hours a day when I am not working to give my children my undivided attention. We sit, play and read together. such important and precious time.
Penciling in time for myself - Alongside time for my children I am really feeling the need to factor in time for myself in our routine. A happier mama equals a happier family.
Overestimating time- Giving myself an hour to do a 30 minute task. No rushing means the job gets finished calmer, happier and with less stress.
Reducing social media. - Alright I admit that this is something I really struggle with, it is so easy to get drawn into online social interactions through out the day. I have been trying to give myself 15 minutes a couple of times a day so I can sit and check my feeds guilt free before moving on until later.
Organised space and routine. - Clothes laid our and ready for the next day, snack boxes packed and waiting under the pushchair. Routes planned the night before. Fine tuning and smoothing down our mornings.
Meal planning - I was doing so well at meal planning when we first moved here but that all seems to have fallen by the wayside recently. I must go back to planning our meals. Diet is important and planning helps me provide fresher, home cooked and healthy food for our family. I am thinking of using Sunday afternoons to batch cook dinners ready for easy access healthy food on the days I am working.
Choosing 3 things off of my to-do list to achieve each day- My current to-do list is pages and pages long. It is overwhelming. Each morning I have been picking 3 jobs to tick off each day - much more achievable.
Reducing and reinventing our wardrobes - We have a lot of clothing clutter. I mean we have piles and piles of clothes everywhere. Most of it doesn't get worn much because it lives festering in the dirty washing pile. Most of the children's clothes, particularly Fig's do not fit. I am in the process of going through each of our wardrobes and sending our unworn items to charity. I am trying to be ruthless here choosing to only keep a small selection of nice, good fitted clothes that all work together. Simple outfits easy to keep on top of.
Practicing Gratitude - Perhaps most importantly I am trying to remind myself to sit, breathe and be grateful each day. A practice so easily forgotten but one that makes such a difference to my well-being
As a family we are at the very beginning of our slow living journey. I am excited to see where this path leads us. Hopefully to a happier and healthier family life.