If the last couple of months have been superbusy amongst work, journeys and social events, Christmas is now looming on the horizon filling my diary with appointments. The last few weeks have been a total rollercoaster and I have been feeling quite tired, but Christmas is my favourite time of the year and there’s no way I’m missing a bit of it (I’ve already been to the first Christmas exhibition, ehm ehm).
However, as the day pass by I have been making lists and lists of chores to do, stuff to buy, pictures to take and things to write about, and the roll could go on forever. So found myself a little frustrated, thinking I am not getting on top of enough stuff and the more I plan to fill up my free time, the more I feel tired and less inclined to do so. Hence, I’ve decided to slow down a moment: life is too short to stress out for Things-I-Need-To-Do that really only feel like a stretch!
And while I’m writing this post as a personal memo to be indulgent and allow myself to let things go if I can’t do in this exact moment, I still want to share with you my magical November 5 Good Vibes for a Slow-Life kind of approach.
So, here’s we go – follow me!
1) ENJOY READING
As a foreign literature student at Uni, I’ve always been a book-eater who couldn’t get enough of the thousand universes I was getting in touch with through fiction. While attending my masters and later working in events though, the whole fantastic world of creativity called marketing got me so much in I hardly found the time to sit down and focus on a literary page. Truth is now, life is so much poorer without books and even if I’m nothing like the reader I used to be a couple of years ago, I’ve started again enjoying filling the shelves at home with books.
So November is to me the month where I’m committing time to reading every day – even the tiniest moment is fine. It isn’t a matter of a whole afternoon or just five small minutes, it’s all about being able to momentarily freeze anything else going on around me and just be totally immersed in the story. Truly feel the atmosphere, live with the characters and really see the world that is shielded amongst those pages.
This November I’m committing to switch off from the tens of thoughts and ideas that constantly crowd my mind and allow myself some time off from my everyday life. And fly, and dream and visit the most remote corners in this world. Honestly one of the best therapies I know against stress (other than a hug and chocolate!).
2) BULLET JOURNALLING
I know, everybody has been doing it since ages except me right?! As one of the most shared lifestyle trends, I’ve always watched all the beautiful images on Pinterest and craved to have the time / patience and creativity but never really thought I could do so. And then a friend on Instagram told me to give it a try and just go for a simple and linear design and magic! I fell for it.
I always thought it would be stressful to constantly have to set the layout from scratch while having a normal diary felt just much easier. I’ve had a Filofax for years and being able to choose different page layout online based on my needs truly saved me before an event but now it feels too big to carry around. So I went for a Mr Wonderful and, nothing, I don’t feel it works great for me. Its layout is the cutest thing ever, but it just doesn’t fit my needs for flexible pages and themes. There’s no room for my ideas and week-end days are relegated at the bottom of each week while I get most of my things done right at week ends.
So I got a notepad at Tiger and gave it a try and boys, I like it! It is like drawing, so I can easily do it in the evening or in front of Netflix and once the main things are done (Index, Keys, Future Log), it’s all just about deciding what you want for your Bu-Jo that month/week. So there might be weeks were I’ll need pages in between for lists or weeks where I’ll need to feel inspired and copy quotes amongst chores – I don’t know! What I like is the idea of being able to shape it based on my needs and with a simple, plain and quick design. I’ll keep you posted on this!
3) GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS
Some weeks ago, while changing my summer wardrobe over for winter I realised I had quite a lot of things I still liked but didn’t really felt good wearing them. Specifically I found out I’m full of jeans and sweaters – comfortable and cute is the keyword here – but I owe very little things such as dresses and nice shoes that make me feel girly in winter. So my purpose this month and this whole season is to start and wear more dresses and skirts and last but not least find some nice pair of shoes that move away from my usual and beloved Converse. This is going to be the challenge, in fact, as while I find loads of shoes I like in summer, I’m hit by a big shortage of alternatives in winter. Wish me good luck
4) ENJOY THE GYM
If you asked me if I’d ever think I’d say something like this a year ago my answer would have been “gosh, no way”. Going to the gym was a complete grind. But this year, with the best intentions in mind I’ve actually started going regularly (summer has been a little roller coast, ehm ehm) and now this hour and a half works for me as the golden hour, the moment when I’m allowed to be the one and only centre of my own attention.
I’ve really decided to take it as my moment of black out from any duty and social commitment, the opportunity to switch off my phone and focus on allowing my body to feel better through exercise. In fact, if you are anything like me and suffer from bad migraines going to the gym works as a lifeline that really helps loosen stiff muscles. I’ve truly gone from experiencing headache almost every day to just a subtle discomfort every now and then and mainly when I miss a session. And if you want to know about what we Italians have as an habit in terms of being sick, you need to read this article by Dany Mitzman for the BBC – it’s brilliant!
5) GET RID OF EMOTIONAL CLUTTER
This is by far the most difficult for me and I feel it’s gonna be a long way before a manage and success. But I really want to try. I’ve got to a point where, decluttering my wardrobe and old boxes, I have piled up a number of memories I used to love back in the days and some other things coming from my loved ones I actually don’t like. Now, with the contributing factor of some flicking through “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, I feel the need to get rid of things that don’t make me feel good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about spreading my whole belongings on the floor and thank each one while throwing them in the bin. But I see the perks of having a tidy house and stop bumping into things that constantly get me thinking “oh that thing, where should I stock it?” or “oh this old present.. It breaks my heart not being able to use it properly”.
The truth is, memories don’t necessarily need material belongings to be special and live in our heart. And I’m pretty sure my loved ones wanted me to be happy when they gave me that present. So, even if there’s no need to be drastic, there might be quite a bunch of cases where guilt is just an emotional constraint rather than a true signal I shouldn’t get rid of something. Instead of procrastinating and storing old things away over and over again, I’m trying to repeat myself the mantra and only keep important things. Hey, I’m still indulgent though, for example I would never prevent myself from treasures such as old letters, little notes my flat mates and I used to write each other at Uni, or lived-in Christmas cards recalling the words of people that used to mean [and still do!] the world to me.