If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that nothing is more important than the little things. I don’t claim to have discovered some big undiscovered secret- we’ve always been told it’s best to find happiness in life’s simple pleasures – but as the world adapts to a new kind of normal, I’ve been thinking about what lessons I can take from the last few months and so I wanted to talk about why I’m enjoying a slower pace of life.
This is the year that forced us all to slow down a bit. Compared to the difficulties that so many people have faced, I’ve been able to really take some time out…and enjoy it. Going forward there are some important things I am going to do my best to remember regardless of what happens over the next few months. First, is to make as much time as possible for family. I’m very grateful that most members of mine are in the same country; I really feel for people who had to spend months away from theirs. I’ve spent lots of wonderful days with Honor, Skyping (and now carefully visiting) her grandparents and plotting with Mackenzie about how best we can work from home…and who is on toddler lunch duty. It’s been stressful, messy and exhausting but with a lot of silliness and pizza thrown in for good measure.
I’ve also come to realise how important it is to be outdoors. Yes my Gardener’s World obsession started before we knew a pandemic was on its way but planting (and now eating) our vegetable garden, going on family walks and fruit and flower picking with my little girl have all been some of my highlights from the last few months. Fresh air and getting your fingers in the earth can do wonders for your mind and so, wherever I am, I want to try and always be discovering something in nature. It makes a vast difference to my anxiety and to my mood.
Whilst being outdoors can help your emotional health, we’ve all had to make our physical health a priority too. A few more greens, vitamins and supplements, exercise and the occasional glass (or two) of red wine are all key for making me feel physically well. I’m now so much more conscious of spreading things and have learnt quite a lot about germs! Our doctors and nurses are the best in the business and if a small change like better hand washing can make a difference to the spread of illnesses then I’m all for it! Honor singing Happy Birthday while she washes her hands is hilarious.
Lastly, I’m sure I’m not alone in being the only one who was really quite touched by all the camaraderie we’ve shown as a country. Looking after each other should be second nature but it was good to be reminded to help your neighbours, look after the older generations and help where we can. Even the tiniest act of kindness can make a huge difference and it’s something I’ve enjoyed teaching my daughter.
The above is of course in addition to having an evening bath, reading more, cooking and watching movies. Whatever your simple pleasures are, make sure you do more of them and you’ll find that you can also enjoy a slightly slower pace of life.