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Luxury used to be about owning an exclusive product, designer clothes, a house on the beach, or a sports car. Not anymore. Time is the new luxury. Time to be still. Time to rest. Time to think. Time to create.

We’re slowly becoming aware of the collective impact of our excessive consumption and the impact it’s having, not only on the environment but on our wellbeing. Experiencing life and taking time for self is developing a new economy of experiences where immersing oneself in memorable moments is becoming more desirable than buying or owning things.

It Can Be So Simple

Making the most out of your time doesn’t have to be exclusively about extreme experiences or adventurous holidays. It can be as simple as spending time with those you love. Taking time to stop and be present. Time to pay attention to what (or who) is right in front of you.

Universally, people have a deep yearning to slow down. While we can’t stop time altogether, we can change how we experience time.

Here are a few ideas to help you slow down and really experience life. 

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‘I’m too busy’

How often do you hear yourself say ‘I’m too busy’?

  •       I don’t have time
  •       I wish I had more time
  •       I don’t have time for the things I love to do
  •       I’m working all the time to pay the bills/rent/mortgage
  •       I’m running after the kids all the time
  •       Between my family and my work, I don’t have any time for me

We tend to get so pre-occupied with stuff that’s going on around us that we lose track of time and the most ideal way to spend it.

Around the clock

Modern life is 24/7. We have access to products, services, and facilities around the clock. We want instant gratification. Waiting in a line at the supermarket or at the bank has become a great form of frustration for many people. Not to mention how a slow internet connection can intensify a person’s mood in a heartbeat!

Disconnect to reconnect

With technology making work so accessible, it’s increasingly difficult for people to switch off. Work expectations outside of normal working hours has become a hidden rule. Yet the ability to ‘turn off’ is vital to a person’s ability to function.

Multitasking doesn’t help. It only decreases the quality of your output.

Stress, and a lack of sleep, are widely accepted to have a range of negative impacts on your health, especially when experiencing them long-term.  Taking active steps to minimise stress, such as reducing the time we spend on our devices, especially at home, will actually improve your health.

Reducing screen time can help you sleep better and for longer, reduce anxiety, and aid concentration. Putting your phone down altogether for periods of time will help you to recalibrate entirely, both mentally and emotionally.

All of me – practice being present

We’ve all seen it.  A group of friends or family out for a meal, heads bowed, engrossed in their devices – not talking and not really spending time together. Sadly, it’s a common occurrence.

Our phones have made us slaves to what’s going on in other people’s worlds – celebrities, media figures, even strangers, that we have forgotten about who is right in front of us. Being fully present with someone and giving them your gift of time, is the most valuable gift you can give.

Being present can also be as easy as stepping outside for some fresh air, taking your shoes off, spreading a picnic rug in the park and gazing skyward for a while.  Taking a moment to be fully present within yourself.

Slow living movement gaining pace

By latching onto the idea that the world is fast-paced, and the need to keep up with it, we seem to have lost track of ourselves. Where are we rushing to? If we spend all our time trying to reach our goals and achieving our ambitions, what becomes of the journey?

Movements are popping up all over the planet encouraging people to slow down.

“As an antidote to our tech-obsessed society,” describes the Wall Street Journal, “slow-morning practitioners wake up early to meditate, read, exercise or do nothing at all.

We need to re-learn to bring our energies back to the present – to something small and focused. By slowing down and focusing on where we are and what we are doing at that moment, we give our minds time to relax and balance.

Starting from scratch

The process of slowing down can begin with making things from scratch or doing something in its entirety. It wasn’t that long ago that if you wanted to listen to music, you’d turn on your record player and listen to an album from start to finish. People used to do this, mostly because it was a nice way to spend your time, and there was no real easy way to skip between tracks without getting up out of the chair, walking over to the turntable and lifting the needle.

Think about ways you can spend your time being creative, doing things like painting, mending or making clothes, learning a language, gardening, or finding out how your food is farmed, harvested or grown.

Speaking of food, it’s little wonder people worldwide have embraced the slow food movement. Once upon a time if you wanted some biscuits, you’d take the eggs, flour and sugar, and make your own.

Think about the multitude of prepared meals you can now buy. All you need to do is open the packet, heat and serve. Sounds easy, right? It is, yet it’s the process of cooking itself that causes you to slow down and be present. Cooking also represents connection, with your food sources, your family and friends.

Small decisions, big impact

At the end of your life, what will you reflect on? Will it be the things you bought or the meaningful experiences you had? Or the relationships you had to time to nourish?

Life moves quickly and time flies. By making small changes, every day, we can begin to live more mindfully. Your health, your friends and family – and probably your bank balance – will thank you for it!

How do you ‘stop’ time and just breathe? Tell us in the comments below.

  • I reward myself with half an hour sat in the garden with a good book. Time is a precious gift and we have to enjoy it in each and every way we can.

    Reply

  • Great article. A good reminder. Ice been thinking a lot since having kids that time goes by so fast and we can’t get it back. So I’ve been trying to focus on spending my time with the kids because I know I’ll look back and not regret that!

    Reply

  • Time is priceless..

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  • Notice how time seems to stay still when you are waiting for something? I find I lose time when I am doing something I really like, time flies, I love to garden and I will tell myself just half an hour and I can get a bit done, but two hours go so fast.

    Reply

  • Something I definitely need/want to start doing!

    Reply

  • I am learning how to stop and read a book – one chapter at a time. It’s a great thing to do and stops the business.

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  • Great article. Life in the fast lane is draining mentally and physically. Just stop and smell the roses.

    Reply

  • The luxury to be quiet and still is one I crave and never get enough of in my busy life.

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  • I kñow we arent supposed to harbour regrets, but my biggest one is not spending more time with my kids. We did a lot together, but I also remember times I was too busy and I shouldn’t have been. Kids aren’t kids for long, we need to learn and cherish the years they’re growing up because we only get one shot at it, so make it count


    • Yes I wish we are more engaged with our kids when they are wanting our attention, they grow up so fast, I hate seeing parents at the beach for example and while the kids are playing they are looking on their phones, really sad.

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  • love time with family best

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  • really great article and very timely. I am about to commence full time work, run a home based business, deal with a soon to be high schooler, a husband about to transition out of the military and a primary school child, oh and two cats – I will be using my train commute to read and escape reality for 30minutes in a novel as part of my time and enjoying the brisk but satisfying walk to and from the train stations – hope that all my planning and organisation gets me through the first couple of weeks in a new job!

    Reply

  • I also found out that disconnecting from social media, makes my life better. I have a lot more time to do other stuff. So Social media just in the morning. That’s my new rule. Further I always walk between 30 and 45 minutes every morning, and I read at least half an hour every evening. I love the slow food movement, and I’ve actually just borrowed a book from the library called “Slow gardening”. The same principles of slow food, but applied to gardening.

    Reply

  • I like to cook, read, sew and listen to music. I sometimes also like to turn off the tv, get off my phone and sit with my daughter on the floor of the lounge room and give her 100% of my attention by just interacting with her and watching her play on her own and babble away at her toys.

    Reply

  • Yoga is my sanctuary and I feel so grounded and present after practice, a major part for me is the meditation and it has been life changing for me.

    Reply

  • i sit outside in my balcony for 5 mins – just me..looking at the trees, breathing the fresh air. even 5 mins make such a difference.

    Reply

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