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  • Tracy Struthers

Breathe In and Be Present: My Journey Embracing the Art of Slow Living.

Picture of Tracy resting on a couch

The last couple months have been nothing short of extreme. We undertook a full backyard makeover ourselves and hosted a bridal shower at our home for our daughter, both of which were overwhelming endeavors. Thankfully, both the landscape project and the party came to a successful and glorious conclusion. As I reflect on the past couple of months, I realize that I haven't taken a moment to breathe, pause, or simply enjoy my surroundings. My maple trees have bloomed, and my lilacs are nearing the end of their blossoms, yet I somehow missed the moments leading up to these changes, which saddens me. I thrive on being busy, but in reflecting on the time that has passed, I recognize that I forgot to be present in the moment for myself and for those I love around me.

In our culture, which largely prioritizes productivity, it is quite common to use weekends to catch up on tasks like laundry, house cleaning, and lawn care. However, taking some time to be counterproductive can actually be beneficial. Personally, I am on a journey to unlearn the habit of filling every moment with work and errands, and instead, I am embracing intentional moments of rest and reflection. I have started walking again, which helps me to find my center, and become more present in my surroundings. Additionally, I am practicing other aspects of slow living, which I would love to share with you.

Create A Mindful Morning Routine

Picture of nice chair with a book and a  blanket

Start your day with intention and mindfulness. Instead of rushing through your morning, take the time to enjoy each activity. Whether it's savoring a cup of tea or coffee, meditating, stretching, or reading, allow yourself to fully engage with and appreciate the moment. This sets a calm and deliberate tone for the rest of your day.

Try Disconnecting From Technology

Picture of Tracy walking on grass in bare feet

Set aside specific times each day to unplug from technology. Use this time to engage in activities that don't involve screens, such as reading a physical book, going for a walk, or practicing a hobby like painting or knitting. Reducing screen time helps you be more present and foster a sense of tranquility.

Say No And Simplify Your Schedule

Reevaluate your commitments and prioritize what truly matters to you. Cut down on unnecessary obligations and learn to say no to things that don't align with your values or bring you joy. By simplifying your schedule, you can focus on activities that are meaningful and reduce the stress of being constantly busy.

Practice Mindful Eating

Picture of Tracy in Kitchen with watermelon
Picture of kitchen sink with watermelon

Turn meal times into a mindful practice. Prepare your food with care, and eat slowly, savoring each bite. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and aromas. This not only enhances your enjoyment of food but also helps you develop a healthier relationship with eating and improves digestion.

Create Relaxing Spaces

Bedroom picture with nice linens

Designate areas in your home that are dedicated to relaxation and unwinding. Fill these spaces with items that bring you comfort and joy, such as cozy blankets, plants, candles, and soothing music. Use these spaces for activities that help you decompress, like reading, meditating, or simply sitting quietly.

By integrating these practices into your daily routine, you can embrace the principles of slow living and cultivate a more peaceful, intentional lifestyle.

Be well.

Tracy x


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