It seems like we’re constantly on the go. From work, to workouts, to social activities, to running errands, there’s so much to do and so little time. And if you’re any sort of Type A like me, you feel guilty if you’re not crossing something off your to-do list. Even if you’re not, you might feel societal pressure to do something productive.
But if there’s anything you should try this summer, it’s slow living. Forget vacation. You can take a break right here in your own city.
What is slow living? Well, to start off, it’s taking a breath. It’s taking the time to slow everything down, to make your life move like the pour of honey — sweet and easy.
It’s sitting in the sun with your smoothie, chatting with friends and not worrying about what else you have to do that day. It’s take a nap in the lazy hours of the afternoon, when the heat is oppressive, without feeling that sleep is for the weak. It’s lingering over dinner with a glass of wine, laughing and smiling and enjoying every last bite of your food without looking at your phone.
It’s taking the time to be, to exist, to savor your life as it is.
We worry so much about the future, about the present, about the past, about what needs to be done and how we can do it in the amount of time we have. But here’s a little secret: there’s always something to be done. Our to-do lists can be infinite, if we let them be. But we are in control of our responsibilities; if need be, we can say no. We can prioritize. And sometimes, that priority needs to be time to do absolutely nothing at all.
If you feel guilty about your time lying about, thinking that it’s not productive or doesn’t get you ahead in life, just know this: we need rest. We need to recharge. We can’t be going hard all the time, because we’ll hit a wall. And when we do, the time it takes to bounce back takes much, much longer than we anticipate, and hurts us in the long run.
So this summer, take the time for you. Take the time to do what you enjoy, whether that’s having a picnic on the grass, strolling along the river, brunching late on Sunday mornings, or sipping your favorite smoothie and people-watching.
Don’t feel guilty for living, or for taking the time to enjoy your life. We only have one life, after all.