A sunny gal from Cali living in France. I adore slow living, the cosmos, and celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I’m a Disney nerd, obsessed with cats and hot cocoa and living in different places in the world, and you can often find me swimming with the fishies in the salty sea or looking up astro transits, making secret world predictions. Come along and enjoy the magic, the simple joys of life with me...
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Hello my fellow kindred spirits / slow living-readers! You may know from my youtube channel, that I have been on an intentional, slow living journey for quite a few years now. After hustling it out for years in my “past life” in the U.S., I found a way to slow my work-life down, so that I’m living slowly while still living efficiently and productively in my life. For anyone that says that balance is not a thing, I would highly disagree, as I am just one person that has found a balance to living productively while also living a slow, peaceful lifestyle. In one of my last slow living blog posts, I shared how I balance life as a content creator while living slowly, but today I want to share with you some practical ways that I approach work in my everyday life.
Here are just a few ways to work and live slowly, along with some of my favorite slow living rituals.
One of the main ways I live and work slowly in my day-to-day life is I focus on hitting time goals over project goals. This means that I set aside a certain amount of time everyday toward a bigger project, whether that’s editing a video, writing content or creating and recording guided meditations. But if the task if not completed, I don’t feel any guilt about it, because the focus is on the time spent, not on if the project was completed. Obviously, some projects (like sponsored videos or finishing a book manuscript) do have deadlines, and when I write in that important deadline on the calendar, I slowly work on it every day without feeling rushed.
One of the ways I prioritize time goals is by using the Pomodoro method. This was actually how I wrote my book on Slow Living! Every day I would write for two hours. The goal wasn’t to write a certain number of words (although that’s how it started, and I ended up switching it up to focus on time goals because of it! Everything is trial and error, right?) but to write for a certain amount of time. This helped me reduce overwhelm in tackling larger projects and work tasks.
This is an essential component of living slowly: focusing on the process over the end result. It’s like that famous saying “progress over perfection.” Done is always better than perfect. When it comes to working slowly, I don’t place my focus on the end goal as much as the process of enjoying the work I do. Personally, I have to love the work I do. And so because of this deep value and priority of enjoyment that I place on my work, it’s much easier for me to enjoy the slow process of creating and accomplishing tasks. It doesn’t feel effortful. There is no “grind” or force because I enjoy the small steps along the way. Placing your attention and love on the process of the work you do over the end result is a serious game-changer in living slowly.
While I love and embrace slow living, I always am a devoted planner! I love writing lists and having things scheduled! My mind may change, and my productivity may wane, but a to-do list, even if it isn’t accomplished, brings me great joy. The act of writing a to-do list with my favorite silky pen in my favorite planner brings immense satisfaction. A to-do list gives us structure, and the structure helps us reduce anxiety and stress. But here is something that is super important when it comes to a to-do list: you want to keep it simple.
In other words: only write down 2-3 goals for the day and always write it down on paper. The reason for this is if you write your daily targets or to-dos online (like on Notion, for example, which I love!), it makes it easy to fill your day’s list with a million tasks. Keep a small notepad (like these!) and physically write out 2-3 main goals for the day. Become an essentialist and don’t clutter your mind with nonessential things. Keep it simple, and you’re more likely to get those few things accomplished than if you feel paralyzed and overwhelmed by a lengthy list.
When it comes to work and living slowly, one of the things I discovered recently in the last few years is how important quality versus quantity. Time is our most precious resource. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t actually matter how much you create. Creating one amazing piece of work is infinitely more impactful and fulfilling than creating a lot of content that is subpar. Now, this doesn’t mean that we should overthink things to the point that we never get things done. I am a firm believer that done is better than perfect, and creating work that is okay but meaningful is more important than not creating anything at all. But at the end of the day, in the grand scheme of things, when we zoom out and look at our lives big-picture, the quality of what we’ve created is more important. When we put love and care into something, we’re influencing the collective consciousness. When we pour genuine love and devotion into a project, we are living and embodying that particular energy, and that same energy within us radiates outwards, affecting those that see it, and impacting those that are around us. It uplifts and expands, and creates movement of similar vibration. Living slowly is about living intuitively, living simply. And this goes for our work too: work on what is essential and make it a beautiful embodiment of you.
There is an idea I’ve been playing with since spring of last year and that is: create one thing every day. This doesn’t mean taking bold, big action. Remember: process > result. However, this can look like living a life in which you create more than you consume. We are all creative beings, we are all here on this earth to create. We’re not meant to live this life plugged into a screen, watching other people’s lives and not fully living out our own. We are put in these human, physical vessels to create. And it doesn’t have to be artistic in any way. It can look like doing simple things: making a great meal, arranging some flowers for your home, putting together a puzzle, or expressing yourself by dancing your heart out to your favorite music. For my fellow content creators or artistically-minded creatives, this might look like writing a short poem before venturing off to sleep or writing your thoughts down in a journal. This might look like scribbling down a sketch of someone you see on the subway or posting a photo of the beautiful flowers you saw on your walk that morning. We are all creators of some kind. Make it an intention to create one thing everyday. Forget the long to-do list and just do one thing. Make that your only goal! Over time, those small daily acts surmount to a huge amount. It might not look like it at first, but I can attest, as someone that has been consistently creating one thing every day for the last year, it does! And that amount of conscious creation in our lives shows how much we fully lived: how we were active, conscious participants in this reality and not passive observers.
The reason we find it so hard to slow down and turn off from work is that we’re too immersed in the work itself. At some point, in the hustle of trying to make ends meet, in trying to have/do more in our lives (which by the way, never works as I talk about in this video here), we lose ourselves. We lose that connection with ourselves and our inner voice. We lose that connection with life. This is why remembering to zoom out, to remember the big-picture of your existence is so important. Imagine yourself. We’re so in the day-to-day grind that we forget the big-picture, the whole reason that we’re even here, spinning on this swirling blue ball in the middle of space. Do me a favor, will you? Stop reading for a second, and look up. Look around the room, look outside. What do you smell? How do you feel? What senses do you feel connected within this very moment? Take your gaze away from the computer screen and start to zoom out and celebrate your beautiful existence. When you do this enough, the inconsequential work stress just doesn’t even matter anymore. Your life is more important.
Your worth is not in your work. Lemme say it again: your worth is not in your work. The sooner you disassociate your value as a living, breathing human being from what you do for income, the quicker you’ll free yourself from the systems that wish to enslave you. Memorize this phrase. Write it on a post-it and stick it on your bathroom mirror. Get it tattooed if you have to – I point is: separate your worth and meaning from your work. Know who it is you are and the values you cling to tightly to your heart. And living slowly (and having fun!) will become much easier. I promise.
In one of my favorite posts I’ve written here on the blog, I share how I flow with my natural creative cycles. Rest and rejuvenation are needed for those on the creative path. Especially for my ladies reading, it’s so important to track your menstrual cycle and plan your work routines around that. If it’s that time of the month, chances are you’ll feel less productive and more in need to rest. There are ways to balance our masculine and feminine energies, as I share in this video here,
Living a slow life of freedom, relaxation and rejuvenation can look like taking mini-retirements throughout the year. We aren’t machines, meant to constantly create, make, and do. And spending an entire lifetime constantly churning out content, with no periods of rest, no free moments to percolate and ponder, is exhausting. That’s why taking time away from work is so vital. This is why vacations are necessary and critical. Only two weeks of vacation? No Bueno (just one of the many reasons why my husband and I decided to move abroad to Europe). I would venture further to say that taking time off routinely throughout the year, as many Europeans do, is better for the heart. Obviously, if you’re living in the United States, this is going to be more difficult, where the systems and structures in place make it harder to take more than two weeks of vacation (Ah the “work hard, play hard” American motto)! But there are still things you can do: use all of your sick days, ask if you can work remotely and save precious time from your daily commute, look into working part-time at your job and slowly dip your toes into freelance work or making passive income online, if you’re feeling courageous! If you’re not using all of your sick / vacation days each year, it’s time to start prioritizing your mind, your body, your soul. Put your health well-being over the companies.
Enjoying my daily slow living routines is seriously one of my favorite aspects of life. It’s the little things in life that we remember most: the small acts of self-care, the daily routines, the simple joys. And creating rituals – basically, a fancy word for routines – help you live slowly and enjoy the process more.
Here are some slow-living work rituals I do every day to help me stay connected to the present.
A clutter-free desk makes a world of a difference in terms of thinking clearly. When I am organized and have less clutter in my environment, my mind feels free to create. A clutter-free space allows inspiration to drop in! On my desk, I like to only have my laptop, perfume and a glass of water. If I’m video editing, my bowl of sd cards and an external hard drive.
This is my favorite daily ritual that I like to do before working and it makes a world of a difference in terms of feelings of stress and overwhelm. Walk outside every day without your phone. I know, I know….but podcasts! This is something that took me a bit of time to get used to, but I started taking daily walks without listening to podcasts or music and lemme tell you: will this rejuvenate and refresh you! Start small with a 10-minute walk (without listening or consuming any media) and work your way up from there.
Before getting started on work, I love to light a candle and set an intention for the task before me. Sometimes I open the Akashic Records, other times I say a little prayer to my higher spirit. Other days I just watch the flame, allowing my gaze to soften, my mind to relax and become clear. Tension is a creative blocker. When you’ve got a lot on your plate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and overthink things. Remind yourself of the present moment through this daily ritual, and find clarity by going inward, and connecting with yourself. The flame may help!
My 100+ page ebook Slow Living Made Simple is part guide and part journal. You’ll find not only all the inspirational tips, routines and self-care practices that have helped me transform my own life but I’ve created a workbook with over 60+ writing prompts to help you ground, and recenter. It’s beautifully designed and minimal and trust me, you will feel inspired!
If your intuition feels like it’s a fit for you, you can order it from my online shop here!
If you’d like to support my work as a blogger, filmmaker, and author (my first book “Slow Living” is being published and will be coming out in 2023!), you can join my community of kindred spirits on Patreon or buy me a cup of hot cocoa (on my Ko-Fi here) to fuel those long nights of writing and video editing. Thank you in advance! Your donations help keep me going!
I’m sending you the warmest of hugs, and I hope you have a magical day! ✨
I'm Helena, your new kindred spirit.
Free-spirit, writer, astrologer and all around creative in love with documenting the simple joys of life. I am passionate about noticing light and truth around me and reflecting it back to others.