Three Ways to Slow Down in 2022
Are you looking for ways to slow down in 2022 without the tired old ritual of making New Year's resolutions you'll never keep?
If you're done with the cycle of self-deprivation and guilt that is the hallmark of New Year's resolutions, you're not alone! We vowed years ago to ditch the whole concept and permit ourselves the time and space to focus on our personal goals at any time throughout the calendar year, not just in January.
Having said that, there's no harm in taking the opportunity presented by January's quieter pace to do a little self reflection. Resolutions aside, there are many things we can all do to slow down, live more harmoniously and squeeze every last drop of juice out of this beautiful thing called life. We've gathered together our favourite tips below, but we're sure you have your own tried-and-tested techniques too...
The key, as it is in many of life's challenges, seems to lie in not waiting until the pace of life feels frantic and overwhelming before addressing it.
We've noticed we feel the positive impacts of small changes if we weave them into our daily lives during quieter periods, before things ratchet up and we lose the headspace to implement them.
We wish you success in making this lap around the sun less stressful and more full of simple joys than any lap yet...
1) Keep a Gratitude Journal (or notebook, phone notes, series of post-it notes... you get the picture).
You wouldn't think something as little as taking a few minutes to note down what you're grateful for each day would have such a profound effect.. but if done continuously and genuinely, it can! Long recommended by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, practising gratitude on an ongoing basis has been proven by scientists to have an astounding effect on our brains.
In fact, research has shown that gratitude can "improve general well-being, increase resilience, strengthen social relationships, and reduce stress and depression."1.
How to do it? Simply make time each day to note down things you're grateful for in that 24-hour period. In addition to the obvious and unchanging (e.g. my family), try to notice small and transient blessings such as seeing a beautiful bird, receiving a lovely compliment at work, or a parcel arriving at last!
2) Embrace Slow *Everything*
You've no doubt heard of the Slow Food movement, which began in the 1980's in Europe. But have you heard of Slow Fashion, or Slow Consumption?
Slow Fashion is a movement which encourages slower production, rigour around sustainability and ethics in fashion, and encourages us all to invest in well-made and lasting clothing and accessories. It is the antithesis of 'Fast Fashion', with it's focus on cheap, wear-once-and-discard items created in Third World sweat shops.
Finally, Slow Consumption, which encourages us to interrogate our shopping behaviour and reduce consumption across all categories. It starts with thinking deeply about your material needs, and only buying new those items which you literally need (not want), cannot procure second hand, produce yourself or borrow from someone, and which you'll use for many years to come.
In essence, the 'Slow' movements are all around mindfulness, treading more gently on the planet and taking the time to source, care for and retain quality products - all values we share at Kalapriya. We strongly encourage thoughtful selection of our jewellery, taking care to extend each pieces life, and passing them on to loved ones when you no longer wear them. As we like to say, we sell jewellery for forever, not just the weekend!
Upcycled Denim 'Dancing Jacket' from Sydney sustainable fashion brand Day Keeper
3) The Power of Now - and NO
The Power of Now is a well known philosophical book by Eckart Tolle, which exhorts readers to realise that the present moment is all we have, and the past and future are no more than illusions. It has a lot to teach us, and we can't recommend it highly enough... but we understand if it feels a little esoteric and challenging at this time of year!
If you're seeking simpler solutions to perpetual feelings of overwhelm, the Power of No might be a good place to start. In essence, this means saying No to requests which prevent you pursuing your own goals or passions, or which delete all downtime from your life. Sounds like advocating selfishness? If pursued thoughtfully, it's quite the opposite.
As described by Psychology Australia, "wielded wisely, No is an instrument of integrity and a shield against exploitation. It often takes courage to say. It is hard to receive. But setting limits sets us free." 2
In 2022, consider protecting your wellbeing and your right to choose what to do with your own free time by saying No more often to inessential requests. Join a committee you have no interest in? No. Cancel your Yoga class to meet with a friend who has stood you up three times running? No. Attend a party where you'll know no-one, when you're already exhausted from three nights out in a row? No. You get the picture...
When we find the power to say No, we are subtly saying 'I'm as important to myself as other people are. I deserve some time to myself, too.' This has real power. Combined with a gratitude practice, mindful consumption and a keen awareness of the moment we're living in right now, these tips are a great way to start a slower, and more joyful 2022.
1: The Science of Gratitude, Hey Sigmund https://www.heysigmund.com/the-science-of-gratitude/
2. The Power of No, Psychology Australia. https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/articles/201311/the-power-no