Updated: Oct 31, 2020
Summer seems to fly by faster than any other season of the year. Between vacations, camping trips, and visits to family and friends, I feel like September arrives before we know it.
I'm not down with that. If you're not either, you're in luck: my 5-part series on how to slow down time is finished!
So in honor of my favorite season, let's practice savoring every minute together.
Part 1 of my series on how to slow down time is all about reducing plastic waste. This was the first change I made in trying to live more environmentally-friendly. I had no idea it would effect my pace of life. By forgoing convenience, I was choosing intention, and that opened up doors to happiness and contentment that I had never seen before. The norms in our culture make it incredibly difficult to give up plastic altogether, but summer is the perfect time to try—next month is #plasticfreejuly!
Part 2 of the series talks about reducing food waste. We've become very used to throwing things away—out of sight, out of mind—but when we stop and think about where our trash ends up, we realize there is no "away." When food ends up in the landfill, it's problematic. It doesn't decompose properly and produces greenhouse gasses, becoming a significant contributor to climate change. Again, we need systematic change to cure the problem completely, but we can do our individual part by reducing food waste at home.
In Part 3, we get heady and talk about taking care of your mind. You know that trope about putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others? When it comes to mental health, this is multiplied exponentially. Imagine how your day could change if you cleared your mind of negativity and focused instead on everything you're grateful for. Imagine how our world could change if we could all shift a little closer to that mindset, if we could all make an effort to be more present and intentional.
Part 4 takes the idea of intention a step further and delves into living a minimalist lifestyle. Mental health and minimalism are closely related; you can use mental health to arrive at minimalism or you can practice minimalism and watch the mental benefits unfold. Either way, the destination is the same: contentment. Plus, when you shrink habits of consumerism, the earth breathes a sigh of relief.
In Part 5, at long last, we focus on taking care of your body. Being a lifelong dancer, it took me a long time to see that not everyone prioritizes taking care of their physical bodies. It always felt like a given. Then, as a Pilates instructor, I got to witness people prioritizing their bodies for the first time in their lives. It was amazing to watch them realize how precious and extraordinary their physical selves were. When you connect with your own physicality, you unexpectedly see how you fit into the natural world around you.
Take care of yourself, take care of others, and take care of the earth. The connection between these three values is incredibly powerful; it's an unstoppable cycle for good. I think it's time we put that cycle to use.