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November 24, 2021
Winter is the perfect time of year to embrace a slower pace of life. When the weather outside is frightful, cosying up indoors and enjoying small pleasures is the perfect way to embrace the colder months. Envision yourself sat around a glowing fire, wrapped up in a soft blanket and engrossed in a good book – or stood at the kitchen stove, carefully chopping ingredients to create a warming winter stew to serve to friends. Slow living is personal and is all about making time for the things in life that you value and enjoy the most.
When the days are shorter and the evenings darker, our daily routines change. We may no longer enjoy evening meals outdoors or weekend wild swims, but there are so many other ways to slow down during the winter months. The weeks leading up to Christmas are the perfect time to enjoy slow crafts, such as making your own cards or decorations. Spend your evenings cooking or baking seasonal delicacies to enjoy with family and friends. Try setting aside half an hour each day to write in a journal, writing down your thoughts or documenting your day. Dedicate time before work in the mornings to sit with your thoughts and a steaming cup of coffee.
Improving your work/life balance is key to slowing down at any time of the year. You may find it harder to rise early or take advantage of your evenings in the winter, but dedicating these short blocks of time (mornings, lunch breaks, evenings) to slow pastimes will help you to live a more content and harmonious life. Structure your day in a way that works best for you: if you’re not a morning person, take advantage of your lunch breaks rather than forcing yourself out of bed early.
A slower life cannot be solely lived indoors, even during the darker months. Embrace the Norwegian tradition of friluftsliv and get outside at least once every day, whatever the weather. Friluftsliv literally translates as ‘free air life’ and is all about developing a deeper connection with nature by spending as much time as possible outdoors all year round. Wrap up warm and wear waterproof clothing if necessary, heading outside to walk among nature, even if it’s just walking to work or strolling around the park during your lunch hour.
If you’re unsure where to start, try writing a list of your favourite ways to spend time, focusing on activities that make you feel calm and relaxed, and moments that you savour. This could be as simple as writing in your diary before bed or taking your dog for a morning walk. Some of these activities could be daily occurrences, and others could be weekly. The key is to make time for these moments that you enjoy, allowing yourself to linger over them without rushing. Try and overcome any seasonal restrictions that arise. Could you light a candle in the mornings to illuminate the pages of your notebook?
As midwinter approaches, our bodies naturally want to slow down and hibernate, seeking out warmth and light. Don’t fight this instinct – embrace it. Snuggle up, wrap up and allow yourself long, lazy, languid evenings curled up on your favourite armchair or strolling around your neighbourhood. This time of year, the lead-up to Christmas, is a time to be savoured. Allow yourself to say no to things and dedicate more time to those moments that you most enjoy.