This week on the journal we felt inspired to share a few simple ways you can pause, unwind and reset this Easter long weekend. The world has felt heavy of late so this is a gentle reminder to live intentionally this weekend and practise slowing down and being here in the present moment.
1. Switch off
One of the easiest ways to embrace a more mindful and present life is to switch off your devices over the weekend. We constantly find ourselves reaching for our phones and scrolling mindlessly — put them in another room or in a drawer to remove temptation.
"Disconnect to reconnect with ourselves and what matters most. Create community in real life." — Natalie Walton, Still: The Slow Home
2. Ground yourself in nature
One of the simplest ways to pause and tap into the present moment is to spend time in nature. Go for a long walk on the beach or in your local park, get your hands dirty by sewing seeds for your winter vegetable garden or simply have your morning coffee outside instead of inside at the table — sometimes it's the simplest things that can make us feel calm and more connected.
3. Make a fire (or light a candle)
If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace within your home, use it this weekend on one of the cooler autumn evenings. If you don't have a fire, light a sweet smelling candle to create a warm soft glow within your home. It has been scientifically proven that looking at a naked flame can reduce stress and anxiety by making us feel warm and comforted both physically and mentally.
4. Cook something from scratch
Easter long weekend is a great time to slow down and cook something from scratch and share a meal with loved ones (whether that be friends or family) when we wouldn't normally have the time. We know not everyone celebrates Easter but it is still a great time of year to connect with the people we love most. Feeling connected to one another lowers stress levels and create a positive feedback loop of emotional and physical well-being. So bake something sweet instead of gifting chocolate eggs (healthier and less wasteful). Cooking from scratch doesn't have to be complicated, try this recipe for a pear and strawberry crumble chef Amy Chaplin shared with us.
5. Create something
Another way to unwind and practise mindfulness is to create something and Easter is an opportunity to get crafting. Try dyeing or painting Easter eggs — a great activity to do with kids. If eggs aren't your thing, do some water-colour painting, gardening, start a DIY project you've been meaning to do or even declutter one part of your home. Doing something creative can move you into a flow state which in turn increases happiness, reduces anxiety and even slows your heart rate.
6. Begin a self-care ritual
When it comes to resetting your mind and body, creating a self-care ritual that you can do everyday morning or evening truly will improve your life and your well-being. This could mean simply drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning alongside a gentle stretch or switching off all screens 2 hours before bed and having a warming bath or hot herbal tea. Whatever it is, do something you enjoy and make it a habit.