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Slow Living May's To-Do List

Slow Living in May: Embrace Mindfulness and Joy

 

Slow Living in May: Embrace Mindfulness and Joy

The month of May is a perfect time to embrace slow seasonal living. As the cold days of Winter are now a distant memory and the English countryside starts hinting about the coming Summer, this month is perfect to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. The days are longer, evenings warm and pleasant, the world around us is green and abundant again, and you can see signs of new life everywhere you look – wildflowers blooming in meadows, trees covered in young leaves, lambs and ponies frolicking in the fields, and birdsong filling the air.

In our fast-paced, modern world, we're encouraged to be faster, more productive, hyper-focused, constantly rushing from one task to the next, but how long can you live like this until it starts affecting your body and mind? Creating balance and finding time in your day to quiet the mind and nervous system is crucial to your health and overall happiness. Thankfully, there is a growing movement that encourages us to take a step back and live more mindfully and intentionally. This movement is known as slow living.

Slow living is about finding balance and harmony in our busy world. It reminds us about the importance of enjoying life’s simple pleasures and creating a meaningful, intentional life. Slow living is about being present and fully engaging with each moment, making the most of each passing day.

For me, slow living began when I realised that the true source of happiness lies in the everyday, ordinary moments that I let pass me by for many years of my life, always chasing the next thing. By embracing a slower pace, I allowed myself to connect deeply with myself and the world around me.

Check out previous months' slow living to-do lists
March - April - May - June

Here’s my Slow Living May to-do list to help you transition smoothly into a season of sunshine, growth, and slow living.


1. Reflect and Plan Ahead for a Fresh Start in May

Winter is behind us, and in May everything feels new and inspiring, bringing a fresh start. Take some time to reflect on the past few months. What went well? What could be improved? Use these reflections to set gentle intentions for the coming seasons. Planning ahead doesn't mean scheduling every minute; instead, think about what you'd like to experience in the coming months and achieve. By "achieve" I don't mean only hitting some big goals but also allowing room for rest, connecting with nature, and yourself.

Journaling or creating a simple list can be a helpful process. Write down your thoughts, plans, and dreams. Reflect on your goals and set intentions that align with your values. This practice not only will give clarity but also sets a positive tone for the months ahead. Consider setting aside a specific time each week (e.g., Sunday evening) to review your list or journal and make adjustments as needed. This regular practice can help me stay grounded and focused.


2. Embrace the Outdoors: Connect with Nature

If you know me a little, you knew this would be one of the main points on this month's list – because I'm a huge advocate of spending time in nature all year round, and with the beauty that May offers, there is really no excuse. With the warmer weather, it’s time to get outside and soak up the sunshine. Nature has a wonderful way of calming the mind and uplifting our spirit. Whether it’s a leisurely walk in the park, a hike in the woods, or simply sitting in your garden with a cup of tea, make it your goal to spend more time outdoors. Notice the budding flowers, the singing birds, and the gentle breeze.

Personally, nature fills me with peace and inspiration; practically all our Spring & Summer candle collection is inspired by the scents of the English countryside: bluebellslavendermintgrass, and flowers.

My favorite May wild plant is cow parsley (also known as Queen Anne's lace, official name Anthriscus sylvestris). It blooms in delicate white flowers from May until June, and for me, it's a gateway to Summer. When the verges of the roads and forest edges get thick with cow parsley, I know that Summer is well on its way. It makes my heart very happy to notice it everywhere I go these days.

If you haven't started yet, it's not too late to start a garden, even if it’s just a few potted plants on your balcony or kitchen windowsill. Gardening is an incredibly therapeutic activity that connects us to the earth and the changing seasons. Not only will you enjoy the process of growing your own herbs or flowers, but you'll also benefit from a peaceful Summer activity that regulates our nervous system and calms our mind.

3. Refresh Your Living Space for Summer

As Summer approaches, it’s time to refresh your living space to reflect the new season. Start with a gentle declutter; we did this already at the beginning of Spring, but life goes on and we all accumulate items in our homes as time goes by. Yet again it's time to let go of items that no longer serve you. Once you've cleared the space, bring in elements that evoke the essence of early Summer. What makes you think of Summer and brings this happy, fulfilled energy to your home?


For me, it's fresh flowers, light linens and blankets, and perhaps a new piece of thrifted art or teacup. Small changes, like new pillows or a rug in a seasonal colour, can make a big difference in how a room feels. A clean, refreshed house always boosts my mood and makes me house-proud. A tip: clean windows and open curtains wide to let in as much natural light as possible; sunlight can dramatically improve the atmosphere of your home.

Our Spring and Summer candle collection is inspired by the tranquility and scents of the English countryside. These candles not only brighten your home but also bring a beautiful aroma your living space. SHOP HERE

English countryside slow living candles UK

4. Update Your Wardrobe with Light, Airy Clothes

Spring is also a great time to refresh your wardrobe. It's time to put away the heavy winter clothes and bring out lighter clothes. My goal for the next couple of months is to add feminine, romantic dresses to my collection. Floral prints, soft pastels, and flowing fabrics sound romantic and elegant. Dressing in light, airy clothes can lift your mood and make you feel more connected to the vibrant energy of the Summer.


May is also a great opportunity to organise your closet, perhaps even creating a capsule wardrobe that reflects your personal style while being functional and easy to manage. By simplifying your wardrobe, you can make getting dressed each day a more enjoyable and stress-free experience. Look for versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down, and invest in quality over quantity. Consider donating items you no longer wear to charity.

5. Celebrate Seasonal Foods for a Healthier Life

Eating seasonally is a wonderful way to connect with the rhythms of nature. Early Summer brings lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Visit your local farm shop and pick up seasonal, locally grown produce. Not only will your meals be more nutritious and flavourful, but you'll also be supporting local farmers and sustainable practices.

Consider trying out new recipes. Cooking and eating mindfully can turn meals into a nourishing and enjoyable experience. Perhaps plan a weekly meal that celebrates the season, e.g., a fresh salad with spring greens or a fruit tart with summer berries. Cooking for your family is one of the oldest and simplest ways to show love and care to those you love.

6. Cultivate Mindfulness and Unplug Daily

Mindfulness is the heart of slow living. It’s about being present and fully engaging with whatever you’re doing. Start incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine. This could be as simple as taking a few moments to appreciate the present moment. By slowing down and paying attention, you can find joy and satisfaction in the everyday, ordinary moments that we so often take for granted. The key is consistency; even a few minutes each day can make a significant difference.

Set aside time each day to disconnect from screens and reconnect with yourself and those around you. This might be through reading a book, having a phone-free meal with family, or spending an evening without electronic distractions. Slowing down and unplugging helps to recharge your mind and body, fostering a sense of calm.

Create screen-free zones in your home, such as the dining room or bedroom, to encourage more meaningful interactions. Set boundaries for your screen time, like turning off notifications during certain hours or having tech-free mornings. These small changes can significantly improve your mental well-being and help you feel more present in your daily life.

7.  Explore New Local Places This May

Exploring new places doesn’t have to mean travelling far. Use Google, Pinterest, or Instagram and look for hidden gems in your local area. This could be a new, cosy café, a nature walk you haven’t visited, or a nearby town you’ve never explored.


May is such a beautiful time to explore the world around us. Plan a weekend trip to a nearby nature reserve or historical site. Whether it’s a quiet museum, a botanical garden in bloom, or a scenic hiking trail, visiting new places can teach you about local history and make you appreciate your area even more.

8. Indulge in Self-Care and Move Your Body

Self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. May is a perfect time to indulge in activities that nurture your body and soul. This could be a warm bath with your favourite YR studio candle, a gentle and relaxing yoga session, or simply sitting quietly with a cup of tea. Listen to your body’s needs, because deep down you know exactly what you need and remember to treat yourself with kindness and compassion.


One thing that you could start in May is to establish a self-care routine that includes regular exercise a couple of times a week (I train twice a week at the gym plus a few yoga sessions in the evening at home). Moving your body is essential for your overall well-being, especially if you have a job that requires many hours of sitting at the desk or driving every day. Remember that physical activity is not only good for our body but also our mind, helping you feel at your best.

Regular self-care days, prioritising rest and mindfulness, will help you maintain a healthy balance and prevent burnout.

9. Embrace Sustainable Living Practices

Living slowly goes hand-in-hand with sustainable living. Make conscious choices that reduce your environmental impact. Our candles are a perfect example of this, being sustainable and made from UK-produced ingredients. Consider how you can make other aspects of your life more eco-friendly, whether it’s through reducing waste, recycling, or on occasions walking, instead of driving.

Some of the easy sustainable steps you can take are composting, using reusable bags, and supporting local artisans and farmers. Every small step towards sustainability contributes to a healthier planet. By making mindful choices, we can all contribute to a better future.

10. Romanticise Your Life and Appreciate the Little Things

May is the perfect month to romanticise our life and learn to appreciate the little things in life. Often, it’s the small moments that bring the most joy. Take a moment each day to notice and enjoy these moments. It could be the taste of your morning coffee, the sound of rain on the roof, or a kind word from a friend. By focusing on these small joys, you cultivate a sense of gratitude and contentment.

A lovely idea is to start a gratitude journal or simply spend a few minutes every morning or evening to think about three things you’re thankful for each day. This simple practice helped me to shift my mindset and see the beauty in everyday life. Slowing down and really noticing the world around us, from the changing seasons to the smiles of strangers, really makes a difference in how we feel on the inside. By appreciating the little things, we enrich our life and foster a deeper sense of happiness.

Conclusion

Slow living is about finding balance and harmony in our always busy world. Whether we like it or not, the reality is that our life will never slow down unless we intentionally work on it. There's always more to do, whether it's another deadline at work or a pile of laundry in our home, the to-do list is ever-expanding. Slow living is about savouring life’s simple pleasures and creating a meaningful, intentional life, and I hope this month's to-do list encourages you to embrace a slower, mindful way of living, looking for moments of calm and quiet whenever possible.

Slow living teaches us to embrace the changing seasons, connect with nature, and prioritise our well-being. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can create a life filled with joy, peace, and fulfilment.

Adriana x

Slow Living in May: Embrace Mindfulness and Joy

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