Slow Living: The Self-Care Moms Really Deserve
It wasn’t long ago that my life was a chaotic mess of stress and anxiety. Ultimately, I chose to embrace a Slow Living philosophy but it took a huge recalibration of my mind. I look back at the year we moved to California – two small kids at home, a husband working 50+ hours/week, house hunting (then renovating), lofty blog goals, double the deadlines, financial stresses, relationships either falling apart or needing attention, the ever-present mom guilt – and I wonder… WTH was I thinking??? No surprise that the following year started with a two-week stint in the ICU as I battled pneumonia. Like they say, stress is a killer. Talk about needing some “self-care”, right?
Truth be told, while self-care tips are super in trend, nothing the experts were touting was going to fix the mess I created. Spa trips, book clubs or meditation apps can’t help if you’re waking up with coffee and winding down with wine. Instead of adding more to my life, I yearned for less interference and a focus on priorities.
In the midst of deconstructing and analyzing my life, something really cool happened: I slowed down.
What is Slow Living?
According to the Global Slow Living Movement, Slow Living is meant to guide a busy society with principles of mindful intention. They state, “the solution is to pay attention, on purpose, in a systematic way, in the present moment.” I found that when I lived each day more slowly – with intention and less frantic consumption of so much extra everything – my stress began to dwindle. I needed less “self-care”. I had space for the people, interests and thoughts that truly mattered to me. I removed the part of my life that created chaos and dissonance.
Most importantly, I am modeling to my children how to cultivate a life with less stress and more mindful intention.
3 Mom Tips for Slow Living
Prioritize family conversations: We need to be talking to our kids! Slow living means more family meals at home, at an actual dinner table, allowing space for conversations to happen. There are various studies out there that show how impactful these meaningful moments are to our children, setting a foundation as they grow to talk with you about life’s tough decisions. Stay connected with your family and leave stay for conversations. It really is that important.
Claim a sanctuary night (or weekends): For us, that’s Friday night. It’s our one night of the week that Daddy D and I claim as a sanctuary and respite. Plans are very rarely made on Friday nights. Dinner is not scheduled. Sometimes we order pizza and play outside until it gets dark. Sometimes we meet up with friends. Sometimes I cook and we watch movies. But most of all, Fridays are for US. Our weekends are usually pretty busy, but Daddy sneaks in a nap or two, too!
Get comfortable being bored: Some of my best childhood memories come from summer days of boredom. It’s amazing how we were able to entertain ourselves! Summer bucket lists are great (I love SMART goals and life lists as much as anyone), but when they equate simple splendors with checking tasks off a list, the stress seeps in. Instead, plant seeds of creativity and imagination and leave the kids alone for a while. Think critically and often about how you love to spend your time and invest more of it in those things, relationships and interests. Read a book. Live more slowly, less frantic. It’s okay to be bored, I promise!
#TalkEarly and Talk Often
I’m so excited to join the ranks of influencers working with Responsibility.org this year as a part of their #TalkEarly program encouraging parents to create a lifetime of conversations with kids about alcohol responsibility starting with kids as young as 6-9 years old.
I’m passionate about creating a family legacy that is founded on open and real conversations with our kids – which includes the culture we have around alcohol. As drinkers, Daddy D and I are open about alcohol with our kids and I’m super excited to explore this topic more as part of the #TalkEarly team with Responsibility. org.
You can so many great conversation starters, tips and knowledge over on the #TalkEarly page. The nonprofit Responsibility.org sponsored today’s post, however all opinions are my own.