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Photo by Amy Treasure on Unsplash Shortly after Easter this year I got a very bad concussion that left me on full bed rest for three weeks and semi bed rest for another 3 weeks. For the first three weeks after the diagnosis I was not allowed to use a computer or a phone. I could not even watch TV. I was only allowed to sleep or take a walk if I felt good. The first couple of weeks were hard. The following weeks were better as I learned how to pace myself. I realized that my body was quite adept at letting me know when it had had enough. And so I listened to me and surprisingly, I learned a lot about myself.  For the first time in my life I was able to rest without guilt and it was wonderful. I unplugged and reconnected with nature and it made me incredibly happy. This enabled me to see ME for the first time in what seemed like forever and I started to understand what was missing in my life, what I needed and what I no longer needed.  For a very long time I have equated

My quest for slow living

This year I decided to really start my "Slow Living" journey. It seems like I have been on a treadmill of constant activity for the last twenty years and now I feel like it's time for me to slow down and enjoy life. Take the time to actually feel things and smell the proverbial flowers.

This is not going to be easy for me given that I am the Editorial Manager for a host of magazines under one publisher and also run my small design business, but I am determined that the time I spend away from my desk is going to matter. 

So what exactly is "Slow Living"?

The term "Slow" is used as an acronym that corresponds to a more sustainable way of life. A life that I have been slowly putting into practice over the last few years. I started with food and have been slowly implementing it in as many areas of my life as I can. 

S = Sustainable – not having an impact on the environment 
L = Local – shop locally thus supporting local vendors and reducing your carbon footprint
O = Organic – hand made 
W = Whole – not processed
In this world of constant movement and interaction, there must be moments of stillness and quiet. Times without phones and computers. 

I resonate with the stillness in life. I can no longer function within chaos. Given that I work in a fast paced environment one of the easiest ways I can tune out the noise is by listening to some meditative music while I work. This is one of my favorites:

If this is too relaxing for you while you are working you should try it at home or when you are agitated. You will see that you will automatically become relaxed when you hear the music once you have made yourself accustomed to hearing it. Your brain will associate it with peace and so you will feel peaceful. 

Taking time to meditate is key. It has been proven time and again that meditation can help you find peace. Take at least 10 minutes a day to start and then work your way up to 30. I guarantee that you will feel refreshed and recharged afterwards. 

Spending time in nature is another big one. A recent study indicated that spending time in treed areas leads to a better emotional outlook and a healthier constitution. So if you live in the city try to make the most of the local parks. If you have a car, take a nice drive in the country. 

In the summer I try to go somewhere beautiful every weekend. I sit by a lake and listen to the sound of the waves lapping the shore or I go to Mount Royal which is filled with trees. We will often drive to the country and spend time visiting farms and buying local produce. You'd be surprised at how many farms are open to the public and it's really worth picking your own fruit. The difference in taste is unbelievable. I make my own jam and everyone loves it (even more than I do).

For my strawberry jam recipe click here

Entertaining is also a good time to reconnect with friends that you haven't seen in a while. I am not fond of cooking but I love breakfast foods so I do brunch. Every few weeks or so I throw a brunch and we all get together and eat french toast with fresh maple syrup, strawberries and whipped cream, and some egg dish I've decided on while catching up. Quite often the brunch will go from 11:30 until 5:00 or later and we all enjoy it so much it's become a regular event. During the summer you can also snazz up the brunch a bit by making mimosa's.

I hope you find some slow time in your life and if you have some great ways of slowing down please feel free to share in the comments. 

xo Tracey


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