Slow living in Kent: How to get a slice of the slow life
- Credit: Jovan Vasiljević / Unsplash
If this pandemic has taught us anything, taking a step back and slowing down is sometimes exactly what is needed to reconnect us with our life's purpose or with one another. Here are some ideas to get you on your way to becoming a 'slow living' guru
Social distancing has made us all crave togetherness, and lockdowns have turned some of us into master bakers or budding entrepreneurs.
Either way, we have all had a long year to reflect on what matters to us, and for some, that has even been moving away from cities and into the countryside for a slice of the slow life.
The Slow Living movement is all about intentional living and being present in the moment. It's about focusing on the what and why of things and making sure each hour or minute of the day is regarded as something precious.
Bake some traditional Kentish treats
Connect with your Kentish roots and rustle up some of these delicious traditional recipes like Gypsy Tart, Kent Lent Pie and Canterbury Tart, to name but a few. These delightful bakes could also be the perfect treats to wrap up and take with you on an afternoon picnic in the sun.
Perhaps you're starting a post-lockdown health kick; if that's the case, try these tasty recipes instead, and save the Gypsy Tart for a cheat treat.
If you have always loved to paint, craft jewellery or write poetry, make time for it. Pursuing a creative hobby is a great way to express yourself and perhaps find similar minds.
There are plenty of workshops and creative communities all around Kent, such as Creative Folkstone's Folkstone Creative Quarter, an artist commune or an urban village of designers, musicians, web developers and artists in the heart of Folkstone. The aim of this visionary arts charity is to make Folkstone a thriving hub of creativity that drives togetherness and positive progress.
Likewise, there are also independent community-based shops like Made in Ashford that sell local creatives' work all under one roof. It's a small sustainable shop that has had a massive impact on the local area and has brought together so many people since it first opened as a pop-up shop in 2015, safe to say it's a permanent addition to the Ashford high street now.
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Take a walk
Whether you want to hunt down the most glorious blankets of bluebells, fill your lungs with the fresh air of the coast, or have a romantic stroll with your partner, we have a walk for you to enjoy this spring.
Have a scrumptious homemade picnic
With summer firmly on the horizon and the weather warming up (for the most part), it's time to enjoy a picnic with a friend or with family. These pretty picnic locations make the perfect backdrop for an afternoon eating and drinking in the great outdoors.
Visit a second-hand bookshop
Reading in itself is a slow yet gratifying form of entertainment; whether you delve into a fantasy world filled with elves and wizards or read a self-help book to inspire you to overhaul your life or declutter your home, it's truly up to you.
To be more intentional with your reading, why not visit one of these second-hand book shops in Kent and grab a pre-loved book, that way you're also helping out a small local business and being sustainable at the same time.
Community is key to finding purpose, and a great way to give back to your local area is to help preserve its beauty. In an ideal world, everyone would put their litter into a bin or hold onto it and take it with them if one isn't available; however, this is not often the case.
Why not set up a socially distanced community litter picking session either once a week or fortnightly? This will allow you to feel close to your fellow neighbours and help keep your local beauty spots looking beautiful and safe for wildlife and children alike.
Plant wildflowers to encourage biodiversity
It is no news to anyone that bees are struggling; this is the same for much of Britain's wildlife. So it feels important to do anything to help, even if that is simply installing a bird box or a bee house or maybe turning a corner of your garden into a wildflower patch.
Many experts assert that gardening is a fantastic way to boost mental wellbeing. Connecting with nature and nurturing plants helps fight depression and anxiety; it also fosters concentration and contemplation.
Try a slow sport
Not all sports have to be fast-paced and sweat-inducing; getting active without getting breathless is completely possible. Sports such as bowls have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, and there are plenty of bowls clubs to check out across Kent.
If you're up for something slightly more adventurous, then perhaps canoeing or paddleboarding is worth a try. Canoe Wild is based in Fordwich just outside of Canterbury and offers a range of guided tours, or you can hire a canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard instead.