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

You can pin it for later.

Cosiest Slow Youtube Channels

Don’t we all go on youtube more or less often? Either music videos or movie trailers. But Youtube has so much more and you can watch entire episodes, lessons, tutorials of ‘how-to’ anything you can possibly think of. But I went there one evening looking for Japanese and Korean YouTubers because I have an interest in these countries and I wanted to see what their lives are like, not what is shown in movies or tv shows. I also thought that I would have language practice, or just watch some videos for the sake of aesthetic pleasure. That’s how I started discovering one channel after another and I spent two long evenings just watching one video after another. It wasn’t exactly all that I wanted, but I found them even better.

At first, I found it unusual that these vloggers don’t talk or show faces in their videos, but soon I found that I prefer this type of videos and I would quickly leave the ones in which it was spoken. It was relaxing to watch well-created videos with silent music in the background.

This has become my evening ritual that later turned into a morning ritual. I caught up with all the videos of my favourite YouTuber channels and I started waiting for new ones to appear.

I found that I can categorize these videos in different categories, as follows.

Daily routine

Seeing how someone else has organised their day makes us want to follow and keep our lives so neat as well. The creators of these videos are minimalists who had found the right way of maintaining their home so that they free up time for important things. I never liked cleaning, but after watching videos like these I found that cleaning can be done fast and with a minimal amount of effort if you turn it into a routine. Going minimal with your belongings is also important if you want to cut down cleaning time. When the home is clean, you can move on to doing more enjoyable activities.

Work

Watching fire and a working person are two most calming things. I heard this saying a lot, to which I can include, watching someone work is inspiring to work as well. This is not about being busy and worshipping work and work only, but about being inspired to do important things, to stop procrastinating. I find such videos most inspiring when there are things I need to do when I know what needs to be done to gain something (like working on my blog), but I’m doing unnecessary things and waste time. Sometimes I can turn a video on while I’m doing something (like cooking) and feel the work going 10x times smoother.

Follow-along videos

In particular, these are oil pastel drawing videos. There are different kinds of videos and tutorials like these on youtube, and at some point, we tend to search for how-to videos there. Somewhere along watching my eye caught sight of oil pastels and soon enough, I bought a cheap box and started. But it’s not easy to draw exactly what I want, so I like following along and trying to draw the same until I gain the skills of drawing what I see in my own mind.

  Cooking

Most of these YouTubers like to cook and they share the recipes so in this way I discovered a lot of new recipes I wanted to try. Sometimes it’s just the pleasure of watching delicious food being created.

Now, on to my favourite slow lifestyle youtube channels.

냥숲nyangsoop

Korean vlogger nyangsoop lives in the countryside in a wooden house that seems like it came out of a Ghibli movie. She has a cat named Taco who is a major cutie. 

Her life in videos is the ultimate introvert heaven: cosy interior, beautiful and delicious meals, hobbies, and some travel videos. She even DIYed a playground for her cat in the room. That’s inspiring me to create something for my furry pet.

Choki

Choki is my favourite Japanese YouTuber and her videos are as cosy as Ghibli movies, almost like a movie with two cats, lots of delicious food, and inspiring thoughts. I love the videos where she talks about her life and gives advice – that has helped me settle my uneasy mind and think about things differently. Including self-love and accepting myself as I am. Well, you know what it’s like to not feel enough, to not give yourself enough credit, to be disappointed in your past. Her kind words could help you as well.

슛뚜sueddu

Sueddu is my inspiration for becoming an independent, hard-working freelancer. And someone with good video-editing skills. I can picture myself when watching her videos about freelance work and I feel a little jealous of a life she has already created for herself. She also lives with the cutest toy poodle named Bebe. She is also a minimalist, who follows ”one in – one out” rule for stuff.

Her last videos, however, were less interesting, mostly about cooking, while there was a mix of everything before. And even though I sound disappointed, she still deserves love. It motivates me to learn Korean so that I could buy and read even 3 of her published books. Amazing accomplishments!

해그린달 haegreendal

So many good words to say about haegreendal. Her videos, almost like mini-movies – recently they have been filmed and created so well I’m surprised she only does them for fun. Views from her home and daily lives and meals of her family, together with many useful advice and recipes – I can’t note down everything I learned and tried, but it will be worth returning to. Or at least to enjoy her warm and enjoyable videos. It’s ok to feel touched and cry at some, that’s how much I enjoy it.

These are the four YouTubers I have been following since late Winter and I can conclude that watching their videos was more than just pastime – they have changed me. After seeing so many well-done videos I wanted to give it a try and do something similar so I started filming moments since Spring, but only videos from Summer are being created. I dedicated a Youtube channel to my slow life memories from Summer. They are far from what these girls make, but they are a huge inspiration to me. 

Feel free to check out my channel on Youtube which is still work in progress, but return soon to see how it is going for me.

redheadinwoodland

I create videos about my life in the countryside, my hobbies and interests, some food. As I usually have a camera with me at all times I try to remember to shoot some videos. Those often end up shaky. Other times I set up my tripod and take more proper videos. There’s lots of room for improvement, but it’s going to be interesting to see how I learn along the way.

 

Over to you: do you have favourite YouTube channels? If you checked channels mentioned above – who did you like the most?

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 less by Greg McKeown. Basically, it tells the difference between essentialism and non-essentialism and teaches the reader how to pursue essentialism in career and life. Throughout the book, I noticed a lot of connections to a minimalist mindset and for slow lifestyle.