18 things everyone should start making time for again

In line with my thoughts last week on not owning a smartphone, I stumbled across this list-icle on Thought Catalog this week: 18 Things Everyone Should Start Making Time for Again. I’ve read quite a few of these, but this list and the habits it suggests we adopt for a better life really touched me. A lot of these ideas are things I try to integrate in my own life, as I firmly believe that simplifying our existence and find pleasure in the simple things is the best way to experience life. Gadgets and shortcuts, lights and noise – they’re fun, but it’s only when you slow down that you notice life for all that it is.

I don’t want to copy the entire post, but there’s so many things here I love:

1. Writing things by hand. Letters to friends, lists for the store, goals for the week, notes for lovers, thank you cards and memos to coworkers. Digital communication is easy and convenient but ask anybody: there’s a huge difference between texting someone to say that you love them and hope they have a great day and writing it on a note and leaving it next to their bed.

2. Savoring time to do nothing. Taking a cue from pre-industrialized society and cultures that enjoy siestas and long, drawn-out, sit-down teas that serve no other purpose than to spend time enjoying the time you have.

4. Cooking a nice meal just for the sake of doing so. It really trains you to defy your need for instant gratification and of course puts you in touch with something that’s very human and can be lovely if done right.

6. Books. Actual hard copy books that you can scribble notes in and mark off sections of and smell ink through and hear the sound of turning pages and bending spines while you read.

8. Disconnecting from technology frequently enough that we won’t be anxious and feeling like we’re missing something when we try to do so for an extended period of time.

10. Cleaning because it’s satisfying and doing things like painting walls or getting fresh flowers just because it’s therapeutic.

14. Just sitting and listening to music. We’ve made music background noise in our everyday lives, but now and again we should just sit and enjoy it like people used to.

16. Putting personal health and well-being first, as it often falls to the wayside in importance. This means, aside from the obvious, taking those personal days and using them to just relax. We’ve made such a quirky commodity out of enjoying napping and relaxing, as though doing so makes us boring and old. It doesn’t, it’s healthy.

17. Planning something, especially with someone else, as simple as dinner or as grandiose as a long vacation next year. You always need something to look forward to.

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