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How to live slow.

Yeah, its come to that now! But before you write me off as a bore, let me tell you, this blog post is probably the best blog post you’ll read here because this is not just about our homes but us. About you and me who are trying everyday to excel in multiple roles, not because we have to but we like to. It’s about us, the ones who are very unforgiving to ourselves for not being able to live up to our own expectations. About the lot who would turn the whole house upside down for a good photograph, won’t sleep till they get the best headline, squeeze in a bit of everything in hope of striking a balance and thereby forgetting to breathe. Being strong has its negatives but the good part is, strong women uplift men and each other and inspire each other so everyone can be a part of the party! I write this in hope that this will inspire you to prioritise you by taking a step back and taking it slow.

Because multitasking is bull

I have never been a huge fan of the word “multitasking” anyway and what a world to live in: there isn’t one job requirement email that did not mention “Must be a go getter and a multitasker”. But think about this once…why should you be multitasking exactly? Why can’t you do one job at one time properly? I don’t know. Because I used to and then one day it all came down. There I was in my bathroom, shivering away to anxiety, nausea, foggy head, cold sweats and wondering what happens to the shoots I promised, the events that are lined up, the edits that are pending and a thousand others. My brain was so rewired to think 10 things at the same time (often work and what will happen) that that Sunday afternoon it felt like I am living in a colony of thought worms where I am paralysed and not being able to do anything at all, all the while cursing myself for feeling down.  I haven’t read a book in 8 months, didn’t relax other than those long baths which really helped, didn’t meet my friends, did not pass out in George’s house {best house to pass out} and a vacation to Goa seemed like work because I was constantly thinking of instagram, ways to shoot better, the blogs that are scheduled and how I am failing to add all of that which is making my engagement take a dip. In short, shit got real.

I generally refrain from writing sob stories here in this corner but people over patios. All day, erryday!

Other than the dreamy little nook I created, I was living a life that’s so fast paced that it took me a month long bout of anxiety, PMS related depression, high cholesterol, high sugar levels, low vitamin levels (whichever came first triggered the other) and sleeplessness to finally wake up and realize that I need to prioritise me over anything else. I have a home that begs one to relax and I am so inspired by comfort and informality but was I really practicing it? Slow living and hygge is not just a philosophy or a design style but is life. I am guilty, I admit that I have not lived slow but I am aware, so I am thankful.

2 weeks of taking it slow, good food, skipping for 3 minutes {still pathetic at this} and meditation and I already can feel my thoughts again and not just think without a solution. I have consciously made a decision to have some free time for me everyday, sleep at 11:00, wake up at 7 and do nothing for half an hour and then let the day begin. I had to give up on a few wonderful collabs but that’s okay. Me over anything. And I have consciously made a decision to take a step back, do more DIY, work with Brands I have always enjoyed working, and ones that I personally feel will add value to your and my life with its designs, utility and purpose.

And while doing so, I have asked myself a thousand times if I am making a mistake. If I am right in taking a step back when everything is working for me so well. I am a human, I have my demons. But weighing all odds, I think I am. When you are too within the system, it gets difficult for one to see the bigger picture. To advance and make necessary changes as you advance, its important to step back from time to time to get some perspective. And living slow is step 1 to doing that. 

How to Live Slow

So over the past couple of weeks, I have been consciously practicing how to live slow and I cannot tell you how rich it’s made me from within. If you are struggling with speed and breaking down and wondering where the days are going, take a deep breath and slow down. Remember Mantis? He was so fast. So so fast that he became absolutely restless when the crocodiles put him in a cage? He tried hard to defeat them but restless within a cage only added to his frustration. But then one day, he slowed down. Forced to stay still for days, he not only became aware of the virtue of patience he needed to free himself but also actually found more time in a day. While we are forced not to live still, this is how you can practice the age old technique of living slow.

Do less

Feel there’s too much on your plate? Because maybe there is too much on your plate. Cut down, prioritize, note down and move through your task list, checking one work at a time. I know multitasking is highly valued but it’s not necessary as a skill. This I have learnt well from my husband. Other than sorting out the car and paying for things, he does absolutely nothing in the house. No, I am not rebuking. For once I am seeing the brilliant part of it. For years I wondered why but then with 3 promotions at work and people raving about how amazing his work is, I realized that he is doing one thing properly. He is making one thing as the focal point and giving time to only the important things. On the other hand I am doing a job, a blog, shopping for the house, shopping for the cat, overseeing the maid and also squeezing in some DIY. In turn, I am getting frustrated, breaking down, suffering anxiety and depression of not doing enough, properly. So yeah, what did I do? Because I know I have to do certain things in the house because I am wiser {truth} I do it at my own time. What ever is bothering people, people will sort it out if its bothering them too much. Priotitize YOU first. But don’t be shelfish either 😛

Practice Mindfulness. Absolutely love Headspace

How to live slow? No. First, how to be mindful of each moment.

You cannot slow down properly, if your mind is not at rest. Again, drawing inspiration from Oogway here…remember what he said? When the mind is not clear, it gets difficult to see things clearly. Just a bowl of water when stirred. On the other hand, when your mind is still, calm and clear, you can see through to the most baffling of situations. And I cannot tell you how true this is. When you are clear in your head, each of your agenda becomes clear and you can slowly wade through the pace of it all without breaking your head. And to do that, you’ll need to be mindful. Not just in doing chores but also while doing everyday tasks and activities. For example? When you eat, just eat. Don’t eat and watch TV and oversee whats going on in the kitchen. When you meditate, meditate. When you take a bath, enjoy that feeling of water running from your forehead to the toe.  When you soak with a side of Nigella, appreciate the soak and the food she is cooking. Dont lie there thinking of your work, projects or chores. It takes practice, on days you will fail miserably, but you will learn it eventually and you’ll see how wonderful it is to be mindful of what you are presently doing and not think about the past and the future. I have been practicing a bit with the Headspace app and it’s so so helpful. Do it. You’ll feel a major difference.

People, not machines

The single, most horrendous disease that has affected our generation is that of “Instagram engagement”. Compelled to keep the engagement going, we are constantly responding to people on social: I personally feel super awkward if I don’t respond to every one within like minutes and stuff. I tried not to and some of them keep writing with follow up messages too! Point is, you can’t be connected all the time. Being connected every minute of your life is simply filling you up with incoming information which in turn is stressing you out. You might not realize this, but it is. And it’s fucking difficult to slow down and be mindful, if you are constantly checking messages and likes and comments. Instead, spend time with friends and family. By doing this you not only shut yourself away from random information but you’re also talking to people which is making you more “present” in time. Coming from me who barely steps out and meets people, this is weird but I now realize your people are really all you have. I am not asking you to small talk. But have good, silly or meaningful conversations with your loved ones as often as possible. Consider this as point crucial in how to live slow.

Step out. Get outside

You know, if my friends read this, specially my husband Rohan, Abhishek, Ankur and George, they will beat me to a pulp. All these years they’ve been asking me to get the f*** out of the house and chill and I stayed put at home seeing rubbish horror movies and having Belgian Waffles. Then I wouldn’t sleep at night and think about Valak and Conjuring and wire my brain to get scared. While all along I should have seen better things or best, hung out with these miserable bunch of people I love and felt the dirt, sunshine, wind and rain instead. Task for this year? Go and do a scuba diving class somewhere. More nature, less Netflix. Or should I say Nature and Chill. 

Breathe

How to live slow can be coined in just one word. BREATHE. No matter what you are doing, at what place and time, allow yourself to step back and breathe. Breathe deeply. Open your heart and breathe and feel the rising and falling of your chest and stomach. And while breathing out, see how light you feel. Notice that light feeling and appreciate it. Through out the day, take some time to breathe. I have found essential oils to be really helpful for a breather and a wind down!

Essential oils I use at Home

Now, I’ll talk about this, anxiety, vitamin and stuff in detail later someday but I use a mix of these essential oils to help me with unwinding. It’s Mandarin (Vitality), Lavender (Calming) and Green Tea (Refreshing) for my diffuser. Patchouli, Tea-Tree and Geranium for my skin. I also add a few drops in my bath tub sometimes for a good soak or add a few drops to the water we sweep our house with. I use an electric burner with an adjustable light intensity which I keep on all night but you can use one with tea lights as well. Trust me. One of the best things you’ll invest on in your life are good essential oils and I’ve been hooked onto it since 2014. 

Brands I use: Blossom Kochhar + Nykaa for my skin & Aarohi for diffuser

Hope this little blog reach out to you with loads of love and healing- remember to take a little time and breathe 

You all are the best set of people ever

XO

2 thoughts on “Slow Living, Essential Oils & A Fall Shelfie”

  1. I am just so glad there is a new blog from you to read! After re-reading the previous ones countless times. And, the words have done the magic 💯

  2. So so true, it’s definitely one of the best post!! I swear by meditation and in current scene where we are trying to overdo,overthink everything over, it’s a life saver…thanks for the post

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