Mindful Activities Indoors And Outdoors

When I brainstormed this idea for a blog post I was excited to start writing about different mindful activities you can do indoors and outdoors. Being mindful is an essential part of a slow lifestyle.

I’m sure it’s going to be a long post so I decided to split it into two parts and talk about mindful activities indoors and outdoors separately. I had also started writing it before the series of the second lockdown had started sweeping across the globe. So I made the mistake of starting with activities to enjoy outdoors.

Unfortunately, that’s not possible for me so it’s taking me longer than expected because I had to rethink my strategy and start drafting a post about activities indoors that would help many who feel stuck and anxious.

Digital minimalism

Hello everybody, while currently working on a long post that I decided to slip in two, I decided to make a quick post about another topic.

You all have heard the phrase minimalism and what it means. You probably also know if you’re a minimalist or not. But have you heard about digital minimalism?

What is digital minimalism?

Digital minimalism is a philosophy that helps you question what digital communication tools (and behaviors surrounding these tools) add the most value to your life. It is motivated by the belief that intentionally and aggressively clearing away low-value digital noise, and optimizing your use of the tools that really matter, can significantly improve your life.

I chose to quote the definition of digital minimalism by Cal Newport. He’s an author of the book Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World.

digital minimalism
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

How to become a digital minimalist

Technologies are important in our lives, they made a lot of work faster, requiring fewer resources, but now they own our attention and in this way – us.

You will often find yourself scrolling through social media first thing in the morning and last thing before bedtime. You will often stretch out for the phone when you’re bored or to check how many likes your post has received. Social media platforms like Facebook are working to keep our attention captured and held for a long time. That helps them survive.

But you don’t have to be a daily contributor to your social media accounts, nor be afraid of ”missing out”. Post on the feed when you really have something to say or show, not to gain likes. Don’t try to keep up with what others are doing because you lose time doing things others would like to follow.

 

Essentialism, minimalism & slow life

  Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless. The last book I bought is Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of…

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Digital minimalism and decluttering

My email inbox has less than 50 emails that fit inside one page. I can and I will decrease this number to the smallest possible. 

I can’t remember when I had first started to keep my mailbox clean by removing unimportant messages. There are emails to be read once and deleted, there are emails with information to take and keep, there are important emails to keep, but they all eventually expire their importance.

To keep your email inbox neat and clutter-free you should:

  • Immediately delete emails that don’t contain important information. Ads, newsletters you don’t care about – unsubscribe and delete them.
  • If there’s a newsletter that you found useful and want to read again keep it while it’s relevant to you. If the email contains interesting links open them, delete the email. After checking the link you will probably close the tab and forget about it. That’s why keeping it in your digital inbox isn’t important.
  • If you decide to leave an email to ”check something later”, most likely it means never. Any information you need, you can find through the google search.
  • When an email contains important information for the short- or long-term keep it for as long as it’s relevant then delete it.
  • If the email contains files you need to download and keep them where you can access them. No need to fill your limited inbox space.
  • When you’re done removing unimportant emails empty the spam box then go and clear the deleted emails so that they wouldn’t remain anywhere. I know that email providers delete them every 30 days, but you can do it manually and keep it clean.

It’s the same as removing the bag of garbage from your home – you wouldn’t wait until the end of the month to do it.

And it’s not just email – your computer will have files and programs that you don’t use, your phone and tablet will have unused apps, contacts you don’t need, the music you don’t listen to, or loads of pictures. I am guilty of many things of the above, especially photos.

I bought a portable hard drive just for photos, then I realised that I have too many boring, worthless shots. They might have looked nice at the moment of taking, but later they had been useless, taking up space that I could fill with photos I’m proud of, travel memories to keep, moments to cherish.

What Marie Kondo’s book lacks is decluttering your devices. Think of your digital files in any possible device and storage: is it useful to you? important? does it spark joy? See what I did there?

On Android devices, it’s possible to close up all of your opened programs by tapping the square button on your home screen. Phone browsers often have many pages open. Many tabs on the internet browser – all of the things that can slow your devices or overwhelm you. 

And when you’re done cleaning your computer always empty the bin – you don’t keep your garbage at home.

For more about digital minimalism, you can read in this great article How to Simplify Your Online Life.

 

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digital minimalism

How To Hack ‘Slow Life’

Slow living is ‘it’. Beige and light aesthetic on Instagram picturing women in linen dresses, and flat lays showing a set of book, cosy sweater and a cup – it’s the popular and sought-after lifestyle.

I can’t deny the ‘feel good’ message and effort put in shooting such pictures, but it doesn’t show the reality.

Aesthetic definition in the dictionary is: concerned with beauty or the 

slow life

appreciation of beauty. “The pictures give great aesthetic pleasure.” As the example sentence shows, cosy items are there just for the pleasure of your eye, to invoke longing in being part of this lifestyle and that’s how people can become interested in living slowly.

I like this

blurb about slow life

by House Of Flint, who described it well in a few words. 

Declutter your home

Let me just tell you upfront that there is no way in ”hacking” slow life and no badge to mark that you’re living this way. You can’t wear certain clothes or surround yourself with certain items to live a slow life. Although, what you wear and how you decorate your home could be a good starting point.

Look at your wardrobe and ask yourself if the clothes that you own express who you are? Do they make you feel comfortable or are they following the latest trend?

Living a slow life means you listen to yourself more and choose the clothing that empowers you and makes you feel comfortable. You will live a more conscious life and choose to buy clothing from sustainable brands, or thrift-shop, as opposed to fast fashion, who is a major polluter. Don’t be too quick to throw your clothes out, either. If they are small for you or don’t suit you anymore, sell or donate them. Extending the lifespan of stuff is a sustainable practice, and slow living is sustainable living.

Take a look at your home and see the big picture. How well do you feel there? Does the amount of stuff makes you comfortable, or does it cause you stress because of upkeep? Do you like the colours of your home?

declutter your home

First of all, you can decide to declutter and give away furniture in good condition (check Facebook groups for local furniture giveaway clubs) or throw away broken. But don’t just leave it at your garbage pickup. Check where you can deliver your unwanted furniture. The same goes for your household electronic devices – sell, give away, or take it to the local pickup point for utilisation.

When decluttering /changing furniture and the entire look of your home consider what furniture you really need, browse giveaway groups, and vintage markets for rare items. Sometimes the budget might not allow you expensive furniture. I had replaced the furniture in my room, as well as wallpaper over several months, by buying one or a few items at a time. The change wasn’t overnight, but in the end, I created a light, cosy, and decluttered space.

My bedroom was the place where I had spent time after work and on weekends, relaxing and enjoying my hobbies. When I moved I could only bring half of the furniture, due to size and available space in the new home, so take your life situation into consideration: are you living in the place where you settled down, or do you plan to move? If you plan to move sometime in the future, can you bring your belongings with you, or that might not be possible? 

When you free your space and eliminate distractions you might then want to continue changing and start improving your life. 

For example, by slowing the pace of your work. It might not be possible if you work in a corporate job, but if you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur – you manage your time.

There’s one good way which many bloggers will suggest to you.

Start a planner or journal

Journals and planners – some people turn their insta feeds in the aesthetic pleasure of notebook pages filled with neat handwriting and decorations. The habit of keeping a journal might seem like a form of art only meant for creative people, but that’s not right. You create your journal.

You choose the notebook, your pen, and whether you want to decorate the pages or not. You can always browse online stores like Etsy for printable templates, make your own, or download my free planner template and free journaling prompts. No sign-in is required. Feel free to print and fill in, or use as a reference.

slow life

It would be best if you could spare time to set goals in your planner for the day, in the morning. Then come back and review or journal your experiences and feelings in the evening. Or just choose the suitable time of the day when you can shut out everything else and concentrate on your notebook.

These were but a few suggestions to get into the slow life mindset and even if it’s not a hack, it will help you. By preparing your home, or environment, and organising your mind, you won’t notice when you start to slow down your pace.

slow life

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