My Slow(er) Living Challenge

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If you read yesterday's post,  you'll know that one of my intentions for the next couple of months is to slow the heck down. You can read the details around why in that post, but today I wanted to write about how I plan on doing that. I'm going to be setting myself a slow(er) living challenge. I saw slower living rather than slow living because I know I'm never going to be able to embrace a totally minimalist lifestyle, but I also know that I could definitely benefit from chilling out a little bit more. And because I'm the kind of person who loves a project, I've decided to set myself little weekly challenges to encourage me to slow down a bit more.

I thought I'd share my weekly challenges here so that you can get involved if you fancy it. I'll also be writing a post a week about how I've found each challenge and what I've learnt. Hopefully in 12 weeks time I'll be living life at a slower pace and feeling calmer and more relaxed as a result!

Week 1: Making something with my hands

The first challenge I'm setting myself is to spend the week making something with my hands. I find that using my hands tends to have the added benefit of distracting my brain, so making things kind of acts as a really fun way of practicing mindfulness!

Week 2: Reading for an hour a day

Reading is my absolute favourite way to switch off, but I've been so busy recently that I only ever manage 10 minute bursts. During this week I want to prioritise reading over all of the other things that make their way onto my to do list, and see what effect it has.

Week 3: 5 days of only home cooked meals

Being on the go so often means that I tend to eat out or indulge in pre-prepared meals to make life easier. However, I know I always feel better mentally and physically when I'm eating home cooked meals, and I find cooking therapeutic, so I think this will be a very worthwhile challenge.

Week 4: No spend week

I wouldn't say I'm a super spender, and I've definitely cut back on my indulgences during the past year or so, but I'm not always 100% mindful with my money. I'll be challenging myself to a no spend week to force me to think about my spending habits (and also to save a bit of dollar!)

Week 5: 8 hours sleep

We all know how important getting a decent amount of sleep is, but how many of us actually prioritise that in our busy lives? During week 5 I'll be committing to getting 8 hours of sleep every night and measuring the difference it has on my mood and productivity.

Week 6: Spending more time outdoors 

Fresh air works wonders for the mind and body, so as part of my challenge I'll be committing to spending as much time outdoors as possible. This week of the challenge coincides with our weekend in the Lake District, so I'm sure I won't struggle to be at one with nature.

Week 7: Slower mornings

Mornings are when I feel most productive, and for that reason I'm usually hooked up to my laptop before I've even finished snoozing my alarm. During this week I'll be treating myself to the luxury of slower mornings and easing into the day instead.

Week 8: Experimenting with meditation

I have dabbled in meditation once or twice before but I've never really cracked it. I'm going to be giving it another shot as part of my slow living challenge and documenting how it makes me feel.

Week 9: Handwritten

Week 9 will coincide with our trip to California and I want to use that opportunity to shut the lid on the laptop and get back to handwriting in a notebook. I'm excited to journal all about our trip and see what effect putting pen to paper has on my writing.

Week 10: Less screen time

I'll admit that I am very guilty of spending a ridiculous amount of time on my phone. Sometimes it's essential for my job, but sometimes I just get caught up with the scrolling too! During this week I want to focus on spending more time living in real time rather than via Instagram.

Week 11: No plans

I'm a chronic over planner and often have my weeks booked up for months in advance. For one week I'll be committing to keeping my diary plan free - I'm sure I'll very much enjoy living life a little bit more spontaneously!

Week 12: Reflection

For the last week of my slow living challenge, I'll be spending some time reflecting on everything I've learnt and any habits I'd like to carry over into my life once the challenge is over.