Slow Living Challenge Week 4: Spaces

Over the last few years, our home spaces have changed dramatically, with living spaces doubling as offices or home-schooling stations. As we saw food scarcity and other shortages, many people added home gardens and livestock to their backyards, and herbal remedies to their pantries. Looking at our homes today, they may look quite different than they did before 2020. This week, we question how we can cultivate surroundings in our home or work space that nurture our health and well-being.

At Lady Farmer, we talk a lot about how as a human culture, we’ve lost so much of our connection to the sources of our daily needs – our food, our clothing, our shelters and tools for everyday living. Until quite recently in human history, people planned and built their own shelter and its contents from what was around them. Fast forward to 2023, and much of our living space is relegated by commerce and marketing industries. We fill our spaces with objects we’re led to believe we need, knowing little about where the materials to make these items come from. 

Simple shifts in our environment and buying behaviors can bring more peace and tranquility to our home or office spaces, and make a positive impact on the environment. This week we're questioning we really want in our surroundings, and what comprises a space that facilitates comfort, ease, and restoration

This week, we challenge ourselves to reimagine and recreate our spaces by using the following steps as guidelines. We would love to follow you on your journey this week. 

  1. Practice tuning in to how your surroundings might be affecting your feelings. Are there areas in your living space where you feel irritated or ill- at -ease in some way?  On the other hand, are there spaces where you can go to feel more relaxed and peaceful? Your challenge is to bring awareness to these situations and notice what is contributing to your experience, whatever the case. Notice the furnishings, the objects and the availability of natural light. 
  2. Pick an area of your home or work space where you’d like to increase a sense of ease. See if you can make a few simple adjustments that will shift the feeling. This could be a whole room, or just a bookshelf, a side table, your desktop, or any space.  For example, a few minutes of decluttering, dusting, rearranging, or careful placement of visually pleasing objects can transform your experience. Consider adding plants, natural materials and pleasant aromas such as flowers or pure essential oils. Any of these factors can have a significant impact on your thoughts and mood. 
  3. Once you’ve accomplished these adjustments in one small space, move to another. See how many areas in your home you can recreate and  “elevate” this week. Continue moving forward and notice how these changes in your surroundings have affected your feelings or mood.

Listen to experts on The Good Dirt podcast discuss how we can create less waste and clutter in our spaces in return for more ease and peace of mind

Often, when we’re feeling out of sorts, we assume it’s due to some outer circumstances in our lives. It’s immensely helpful to discover that we can sometimes create feelings of peace and well-being despite our situation, by shifting our physical environment in ways that allow us emotional space, rest and healing.  

“The very first step in affecting change in our lives pursuant to our spaces is to recognize that our immediate surroundings influence us greatly in both conscious and unconscious ways. When we develop enough self awareness to notice our own ill feelings in a situation, be it discomfort, agitation or anxiety, instead of blaming ourselves or our lives for our general malaise we can perhaps look around and realize what in our surroundings is not supporting our well being.  Conversely, when we feel lighthearted, comfortable, relaxed and peaceful—it’s useful to notice where we are and assess how our environment is lifting our spirits.”

The Lady Farmer Guide to Slow Living

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Join Mary, Emma, and the Lady Farmer community inside The ALMANAC this month to participate in group forums, weekly meet-ups, and advanced resources to take The Slow Living Challenge to the next level.

We would love to hear from you about your slow food week! Share your experiences, questions, tips and recipes with the Lady Farmer community on Instagram and use the hashtag #SlowLivingChallenge.