Slow Living Ideas For A Winter Weekend

It can be very difficult to find the time in our busy lives to live as slowly as we'd like to, but moments of slow can be found to live a more quiet, intentional and gentle way.  Lots of people work at the weekend or have housework to catch up on, the weekly grocery shop to do, kids taken to parties and swimming lessons and so on - I've had to do all of these things too over the years, so I know that downtime is super important to family life and my own well being more than anything.  This weekend is going to be cold, wet and possibly snowy for some of us in the UK. So it's time to wrap up warm, get exploring outdoors before hunkering down and getting cozy inside. Here are some ways to enjoy life slowly on a winter weekend and even if you can only fit in one, enjoy it, embrace it, be mindful while you do it and you'll feel much better for the coming week. 

Go Slow Outdoors - Go for a long walk. We like to use the AA site to find walks close to our home. You simply enter your postcode or town and it will find lots of great suggestions for places you probably didn't even know existed. We discovered so many off the beaten track walks in the city that I am looking forward to exploring more this year. It can also search specifically for walks for abilities, so perfect if you have kids.  Wrap up warm. Fill a flask of coffee, tea or hot chocolate to take with you. Bring some snacks. Look for signs of Spring and do a bit of bird watching. Matt Sewell's bird books are perfect to take along with you too - The Spotting and Jotting Guide is a particular favourite of mine and perfect for adults and children. 

Cook Slow - Stick on some music, I like the Spotify app for this and I'm really enjoying their playlists to match your mood. I'm currently listening to the Winter Accoustic one and discovering a whole lot of great new artists including the gorgeous voice of Dermot Kennedy. And if it does snow, watch it fall and listen to Lisa Hannigan's beautiful song 'Snow'. I love the line 'watching the city lose colour and sound' - simple words to describe the beauty of snowfall.

Pour a glass of wine. Take the time to prepare your ingredients. Enjoy the scents of herbs and spices. Be mindful of the process. Make meals that comfort, nourish and warm. Embrace the seasonal produce and cook hearty stews, casseroles, pies and one pot meals. 

Saturday night is always curry night in our house. This weekend we are cooking Aloo Gobi and we make this one and it's definitely our favourite curry ever. Served with rice, naan and poppadums, it's a dish that soothes the soul. And a new recipe we've been planning to cook for a couple of weeks - Parsnip, Blue Cheese and Thyme Risotto. 

This winter pilaf sounds and looks delicious. As do these kale and potato cakes. I'm going to make this purple sprouting broccoli and pasta soup this weekend too. 

 Make a simple pudding - Use Yorkshire forced rhubarb to bake a pie or a crumble, we're doing the latter and adding some ginger and pears to the mix, served with a big jug of custard. Or why not try one of my previous rhubarb recipes - Rhubarb Bakewell Tart or Danish Rhubarb, Cardamom and Custard Cake. 

Indulge Slow - Buy some good quality bubble bath or bath oils and take a long soak. I've been using this one from The Future Kept and it makes my skin feel loved again. Light some candles and just lie back and enjoy the quiet. Go for coffee or lunch with a friend and keep your phone in your bag or pocket. Really talk and listen, ignore the notifications, you are there to engage with an actual person, not technology. Treat yourself to Breathe Magazine, it's a lovely gentle read with plenty of creative ideas for life, home and escaping. 

Go Slow Indoors -  Turn off the phone. The world won't end if you can't see what's happening on Facebook. Listen to your kids, listen to your partner. If you are constantly thinking about your phone and your social media apps you are missing out on all the real people in front of you. Stay in bed a little longer. Have a cup of coffee and dip a biscuit in it, enjoying every single bite of that glorious infused coffee flavour.  Seriously, isn't a rich tea biscuit dunked in a cuppa one of life's simplest pleasures?  Enjoy a long , lazy breakfast. Curl up on the sofa with a good book for an hour. I'm currently reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler which I luckily found in my local library. Listen to a Podcast. I'm rather liking Live Immediately with Mike Campbell and my favourite The Slow Home Podcast. Both have great ideas for living a life of intention. Buy some fresh hyacinths to scent your home as they are in season now. Admire their beauty and their intoxicating aroma. Light candles when it gets dark and enjoy the glow and warmth it gives the room. 

I hope you all enjoy a lovely slow winter weekend. x