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slow living

How to Cultivate a Slower and Simpler Life

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps10 Comments
How to Cultivate a Slower and Simpler Life | www.maplealps.com

Start waking up a little earlier

Wake up a little earlier to establish some good morning routines. It will slow down your morning and you will be able to face the day with renewed energy. Starting earlier will give you more time to breathe and brace yourself for the day - and with time for a hot drink as an added bonus! Waking up earlier and facing the day with purpose as opposed to letting it just happen to you will help you take control of the tone you set! Trust me.



Related: Tips for Starting Your Morning Right



Cultivate the love of homemade goodies

Taking time to gift homemade goodies for your family, friends, and neighbours brings back that community feel that I think our society has lost to some extent. Take time to get to know your neighbours and bring them homemade gifts. This can be as simple as a loaf of bread or a jar of homemade granola or jam to let them know you’re thinking of them. Go the extra mile and package it in an attractive manner that will show that you put thought into it. The process of making these goodies in itself is a good way to relax and pour your heart into something for someone else.



Related: An Aspiring Minimalist’s Guide to Gifts



Make time for family and friends

Spend time with your family. With the exception of your spouse, you don’t generally get to choose your family members, so you should cherish them that much more. It doesn’t have to be elaborate - just eating dinner together can make a huge difference in the culture of your family unit. Once in a while, extend your circle and invite some people over to join you and your family. Building relationships around the dinner table is so special.



Related: Gathering with Intention and Simplicity



Consider getting a pet, or two

Having a fur baby to love is a great thing! Having an animal companion to care for and have as company helps you slow down and think about something other than yourself. Dogs are great to walk, and [some] cats are great lap companions. There are also all sorts of pets out there. Pets aren’t for everyone though. If you’re not into pets, or allergic, you can start with a pet rock! I’m mostly kidding.



Take up a slow hobby

Take some time to be creative and pick up a slow hobby. This could be anything from gardening to crocheting. Maybe you want to pick a pen pal or start a card ministry. You could even paint or build model ships - whatever your sweet, simple life loving heart desires!

How to Cultivate a Slower and Simpler Life | www.maplealps.com

Read more

Like with hobbies, stopping to read is a wonderful way to not only slow down, but to learn about the world in the process. Set some time aside to get comfortable with good lighting and a hot drink to accompany your book. By the way, you can find a few of my favorite books here! Try reading all sorts of things and you might even find some new interests!




Related: Fun and Creative Ways to Learn New Things (Without Going Back to School)



Add Houseplants to your Home

House plants are so great. They add life to your living space, help keep your air pure, and reduce stress! Not to mention that they are super pretty and make you feel fancy. Consider finding the perfect house plant for your home!



Related: 6 Reasons to Add Greenery to Your Life



Go For Walks

Taking some time to just go outside and breathe in the fresh air. You don’t have to go for hours at a time - even just 15 to 30 minutes of walking outside will recharge and energize you. For a bonus, bring a friend or family member with you and use that time to talk and bond. Relationship building is always important.



Be Intentional about your Phone Usage

A lot of us are letting our phones rule our lives, instead of using them as tools. Consider making a phone free zone or implementing rules to make your usage more intentional. Start practicing not to rely on your phone as much.



Related: 5 Ways to be Intentional About Your Phone Usage



Learn to Love Tidying

Keeping a neat and tidy space allows you more time to enjoy and slow down rather than trying to keep up with keeping your home clean. Consider adapting more of a minimalist lifestyle and surround yourself with that things that bring you joy.



Related: So You Want to be More Minimalistic



Be Content with What You Have

Surrounding yourself with only the things that bring you joy helps you to be content with those said items. Loving your things helps you care for them! I know it sounds strange, but I challenge you to try it for yourself!



Related: Why I God Rid of a Lot of My “Stuff”

 

How do you practice living a slower and simpler life?


 

My Evening Routine

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps1 Comment

Earlier this year, I shared some tips for a great morning routines, and as you guessed it, I'm here again to talk about more! This time, I'm just going to share my evening routine. 

There is something about a morning/evening routine that makes one feel accomplished and at peace. It also adds the structure that I need.

Tips for a great evening routine | www.maplealps.com

Tidy Up

This is honestly just so that my morning will go much smoother. I don't think that tripping over articles and coming out to a sink brimming with dishes is the best start to a day, do you? Making sure the kitchen is cleaned and that everything is off the floor is the absolute least I can do to help my morning go well.

Get Ready for the Next Day

Not only does this also contribute to a smooth day, it helps me think about what I will need, and kind of acts as closure for the day's events. I like to pack my lunch for the next day, and even my bag gets packed and gets put by the door. I even choose and set out my outfit. This prevents me from running around in the morning (and waking up my husband!) while looking for the items I need. Although, I forgot my socks this morning and had to sneak back into our bedroom to get a pair. Oops!

Look At To-Do List

I don't know about you, but if I don't look at my to-do list before bed, I wake up (often in the middle of the night) stressed out about what is or what isn't on that list. Looking at it gives me a sort of game plan for the next day and I feel more at ease and in control. Even if the next day does not go as planned, it's alright because I already got the sleep I needed the night before!

Turn Off Electronics

I try to turn off my electronics an hour before I actually sleep. It helps me wind down, and gives me a really good excuse to takle the books and magazines stacked on my nightside table. Honestly, besides the whole electronic screen keeps you awake thing, it's nice to not have time disappear because I was mindlessly scrolling on my phone. I like to keep my phone out of my bedroom. 

Related: What Happened When I Created a Phone-Free Zone

The Basics

Obviously, I brush my teeth, floss, and wash my face! A warm shower helps me sleep, and I cannot go to sleep without getting the day off my skin! Just thinking about everything that gets on me during my day grosses me out, and making sure I get it all off puts my mind at ease (and makes my skin happy).

Pray

I like to end the day the same way I start it out - in conversation with God! I love to fall asleep in Jesus’ arms.


Related: 7 Ways to Increase Your Prayer Life

 

 

What is your favourite part of your evening routine?


 

 

Easy Ideas to Live a Slower and Simpler Life

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

The slow life has always fascinated me. I grew up in the city, where almost nothing was slow but was always drawn to a simpler, quieter way of life. I begged my parents early on to find a place in the country. 

Even when you live in a busy city, there are plenty of ways to cultivate a slower and simpler life. Today, I share a few that go deeper than avoiding crowded shopping centers.

Simple Ideas to Live a Slower and Simpler Life | www.maplealps.com

 

 

Start waking up a little earlier

There is nothing like the calm of the morning before the rest of the world wakes up. It's a special peace that isn't found at any other time, and unless you've experienced it, it's hard to understand. But trust me. Nothing will make your day better than a slow morning. Waking up late and rushing creates stress, but setting your alarm earlier will change your day completely. 

 

Cultivate a love for homemade goodies 

Not just consuming them, but also making them! There's something to be said about the process involved in making homemade goodies whether it be [bread], muffins, your own granola, or even something as simple as preparing your own dinner. We live in a world that promotes convenience, and while not bad, there is always a way to make time to slow down and make things yourself. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment, and when you sit down to enjoy your treat, you'll be glad.

 

Make time for family

Living a simple and intentional life is all about priorities. Surrounding yourself with the things you love also includes being around those you love! Make time for family. Set aside some intentional, phone-free hours to just connect with, pray with, and enjoy one another. You will feel refreshed and happy afterwards.

 

Write Letters

Good old-fashioned snail mail is good for the soul - and not just for the person receiving it. In this fast-paced world where a quick text is the norm, slow down to dust off your stationary. Taking time to pen a letter or a card is a great way to let someone know you're thinking of them, and a great slow living activity.

 

Get a pet, or two

I once heard that those with pets live longer. There have been many different studies conducted, and it has been shown that owning a pet makes for a happier life. Why not? I thoroughly enjoy my pet and loved all my pets growing up, so I believe it!

 

Get House Plants

There's something about a houseplant that makes life feel so simple and slower. Don't ask me why! Watering it and taking care of its needs is a nice way to slow down and reflect. Of course, I have a black thumb so sometimes it becomes frustrating for me, but the more I practice, the longer the plant successors live! So far, I find that snake plants are able to resist my plant-killing tendencies.

 

Take up a slow hobby

My personal hobbies are pretty slow. You already know that I love to [crochet] and I often pair it with listening to audiobooks or podcasts. I also love getting out in nature and enjoying it in awe-filled silence. I don't even run with music on! Writing is another hobby that allows me to sit in a quiet room and pound out my thoughts. Get out and try something new! Find something you enjoy doing, and do it - even if you're not the best at it! Practice does make perfect.

 

Go for more walks

Going for walks is the perfect way to slow down. Apart from all the physical health benefits, it's a really great way to clear your head as well. Take along someone for company and enjoy a connecting conversation!

 


What are some of the ways you embrace a more simple life?