pancakes

 

Ahh, slow living.

Even the sentence makes me breathe a little calmer, feel more relaxed and at bay.

I only just discovered the slow living movement in the Instagram world over the past couple of weeks, and boy am I HOOKED. Those cosy nights in with fluffy blankets, having a cup of tea with no (and I mean, no) distractions, taking the time to indulge in self-care and homemade treats, reading the pages of an actual book! It’s basically me in every sense of the word.

If you’re new to this lifestyle, have a gander of the slow living #hashtag and be prepared to swoon over the autumnal moody lighting, beds you want to curl up on and snooze the day away, bunches of blooms on a gorgeous dark wooden table.

A few weekends ago I had no plans, and the BF was out doing his own thang, so I decided the time was now to have my first slow living day. Let me tell you, it was glorious. I slept in, chatted to my favourite people online and had wonderful weekend conversations, pottered about the house with no purpose or action plan, make banana loaf that I sat and ate with a gorgeous cuppa, snuggled up on the sofa with the dog. I’ve been thinking about the day ever since it happened.

I can’t wait to have another day like this. Along with relaxing, it felt nourishing to me as a person, that I was investing in myself, truly. I really was living with no expectations and limitations, and what a joyful moment it was. Days that make the heart sing are my favourite.

SLOW-LIVING ACTIVITIES FOR YOU TO TRY

  • Collect some apples, and make them into a crumble
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Get out in nature, and listen to the birds sing
  • Have a lie-in
  • Take a midday bath and don’t for one moment feel guilty about it
  • Put on some soothing music and have a good old stretch
  • Talk about things that matter to you, your passions, goals and dreams for the future
  • Make tea and enjoy the process

 

Have you ever had a slow living day?

 

 

window sill

 

 

I wanted to give myself a challenge of logging off early every night. I spend a lot of time on social media, as we all do, so making a strict 9pm no social media rule was something that I found myself looking forward to, and getting some no screen chill out relaxation in.

SUNDAY

Sunday night was the first night for me, and obviously it was a lot easier than the rest. We had a pretty lazy Sunday so I was all caught up with Twitter and Instagram, and spent the evening reading my book and relaxing, it was heavenly. I had such a great sleep and felt so refreshed when Monday morning rolled around!

MONDAY

Monday was a bit tricker, and after a few hours of no screen time I found myself eager to check Twitter and see what was happening. Although I did think of two new blog posts whilst I was trying to get to sleep, which is always the way with me, thankfully I did remember them when I woke up on Tuesday!

TUESDAY

I totally forgot about my challenge, until it got to 8.45pm and I quickly withdrew from scrolling Instagram and Twitter, and headed off to bed with a new book and finishing a jigsaw. I’ve noticed over the past few days I haven’t had any headaches at night, which is something that is usually quite often for me, so I’m thinking that is was definitely screen related!

WEDNESDAY

Oh, Wednesday, it was all going so well. Switched off, watched The Apprentice, read a book. Then I couldn’t fall asleep. This is something I’ve always struggled with, unless I’m 10/10 shattered, it takes me a good hour to fall to sleep. Fast forward to an hour later at 12am and I couldn’t resist a scroll through Twitter. Oops.

THURSDAY

Thursday I logged off just before 10pm. I’ve started to feel a lot more detached from the social media apps, I still love using them, but I feel like I use them less for validation and more for fun, which is great news. I never knew I used them for validation, even if only for a teeny amount.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY

Friday was no problem, and by Saturday I was a bit less restricted with a 9pm log-off as I felt I had achieved what I had wanted to with this little challenge.

 

 

What I’ve learnt:

I learnt that actually, I was a lot more reliant on social media than I thought I was, and taking a step back was really lovely and refreshing. I felt much more refreshed on a morning after I haven’t spent the full night scrolling, so it’s definitely something I want to keep up with a few nights a week. I would completely recommend logging off early if sometimes social media feels a bit ‘too much’ for you, and it definitely helped with me having less headaches, that I found interesting.

 

Do you ever log off early?

flower in hand

 

I feel like I’m definitely qualified to talk about being single, as before I met Dan I only had a few short previous relationships and was single for four years. I’ve thought back to my old single lifestyle and wanted to share what I learnt (and there was a LOT of learning)…

YOU WORK OUT WHAT YOU WANT (IN A PARTNER)

Every failed relationship taught me how I wanted to be treated by my future husband (I wasn’t messing around here, guys. I didn’t want to go on loads of dates, I wanted to meet ‘The One’).

I worked out the qualities that I will not settle on, and the things that I thought would bother me that actually didn’t, that much. Sure manners are super important, but having the exact same interests as you? Not that essential really. There was definitely a part of ‘single life’ that I enjoyed, and I knew I didn’t want to give that up for somebody who wasn’t right for me. It turns out check-lists are completely pointless, bin them immediately. I had an extremely long one, and looking back it turns out Dan is in some ways a complete opposite of what I once thought was ‘crucial’.

 I FOUND MYSELF

So cheesy, but oh so true. I spent so much time alone that it was in those years that I discovered what kind of person I wanted to be, what things I believed in, and what people I wanted to surround myself with.

Being single really is your time to indulge in yourself and I didn’t hold back. I thought back on past experiences a lot and learned when I was in the wrong, and when I wasn’t as strong willed as I should of been. You can’t re-do your past experiences, but you can use them as what to do if something similar happens again.

 

FAMILY IS KEY

I’ve always been very family orientated, but whilst going through a very messy break-up, I couldn’t of done it without my family. Whether that was my Dad just giving me a hug when I got upset, or my mum going on a walk with me everyday to get some fresh air, I relied on my loved ones very heavily, and they helped me survive the heartbreak so so much. Family are just the best.

 

LOVE IS SO UNEXPECTED

The old cliche is true, love always happens when you least expect it. I had given up trying to find ‘The One’ as I didn’t want to go out and go clubbing to find an other half as that’s not something I genuinely enjoy. What would be the point in going drinking, meeting someone and then explaining ‘oh, I actually don’t drink’. I left it up to the universe. When Dan came along I decided to rip up the rulebook, and be the first one to contact him instead of waiting to see if he would contact me. It worked and now here we are, engaged and happily living together. My top tip would be always follow your instincts, they will very rarely lead you astray.

 

Did you learn anything whilst you were single?

products on table

 

I asked on Twitter if anyone would be interested in a mega long post all about the Boots Botanics range, and thankfully lots of you said yes! I would just like to state that whilst all of these products are gifted over a number of months, that does not affect my opinion and I haven’t been told what to say, I’m also not being paid for this blog post.

First up is the Rosewater Toning Spritz, and I have to say I’m not too keen on this one. Something about it doesn’t sit well with my sensitive skin, but I will say it is refreshing. I’d rather just use one of my other toners or pass the step completely.

The Eye Roll-on is one of the newest out of the bunch, but after a few tries I’m really rating it. It feels very cooling and refreshing on the lil peepers, and is super hydrating which is always a benefit for eye products and preventing some lines that I’m bound to get as the years truck on.

I tried the Face Polish for the first time last night. It was my first time using anything like this, and I was so surprised at how harsh the product was. I was super worried it would affect my sensitive skin, but thankfully it didn’t at all, although it did feel a bit too abrasive for me unfortunately.

Now onto a firm favourite from the collection, the Day Cream. I’ve harped on about this in many blog posts already, so I’ll keep it snappy. My skin laps the stuff up (might be due to the rosehip in it), and it never breaks me out, just leaves my face feeling nice and hydrated. Definitely going to be repurchasing this one, although it’s going to take me a while to use up as the tub is massive!

I really enjoy the Face Scrub as it’s very gentle, I would say it’s much more of a wash with scrub particles in it. It exfoliates just enough that your skin feels fresher, but not too much that it’s not left feeling super dry and tight (which is a feeling I really hate). It always feels lovely to use so I would definitely recommend picking it up if you’re in the market for something slightly exfoliating.

The Radiance Balm hasn’t had much love in my collection as usually it’s a product I forget about, but that definitely needs to change. It’s a very liquid base that leaves your skin feeling plump and glow giving, and not at all greasy. A little sure goes a long way here, which is great as that means it’s going to last ages. I love wearing this on it’s own or under foundation that isn’t as dewy as I usually like.

Have you tried anything in this range?

rain

 

I’m definitely an introvert.

I get my energy back by spending time alone.
I get extremely tired being around people constantly.
I like to spend a lot of time looking inward, thinking about my life.

Over the past couple of years I’ve clung to the introvert myth that I dislike a majority of people and their company- well, to a certain degree. I took my alone time into over-drive, and didn’t want to socialise or chat. I wanted to do my own thing. I wouldn’t say yes to a lot of things. In the end, I ended up extremely lonely and quite isolated, all from my own doing with only myself to blame. I pushed people away.

What I’ve been realising recently is that I do like people and their company, but it’s got to be the right kind of person. They have to be genuine and uplifting. A radiator, not a drain. I don’t like to be around people who thrive on drama or negativity. Luckily I have lots of people in my life who provide me with great chats, a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. That’s not to say I wouldn’t like a great set of mates, but I’m hoping I’ll get there some day. Is there anyway we can all just meet up and hang out in real life, tea and cake included?

It’s crazy to me that once I’ve spent time with the people I love who are positive influences, I don’t need three hours by myself to de-stress, I feel happy. I feel inspired.

I’m learning new things about myself all the time, and I’m really happy that I like to socialise and get myself out there a bit more. I honestly felt like I was quite a people-hater, and now I love spreading the love to everyone! It’s super cheesy, but I hope you can tell how happier I feel about this whilst I’m typing these words.

With spending a lot of my time working from home, something that I really struggle with is loneliness. I’m starting to really crave social interaction and getting ‘out and about’ so if you have any tips for me, I would love to hear them and very much appreciate them.

 

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Can you relate to any of my previous feelings?