Search Results for: great outdoors

A Listener Chat with Xan Holyoak

A Listener Chat with Xan Holyoak - S2 E2 of The Slow Home Podcast

One of the (many) things I love about slow living, is that it looks different to everyone. It’s not about following a set of rules or embracing a particular way of living, it’s about figuring out what is important to us as individuals and gradually letting go of things that aren’t that.

Back in 2016 and 2017 I did a series of interviews with listeners, where I was able to dig deep in to what it looks like to live a slower, simpler life in circumstances different to my own, and they were nothing short of a delight.

I loved the opportunity to examine the real-life realities of slow living, away from what can sometimes feel like the commoditisation of the whole movement, and this past year, as we travelled and tilted heavily in to a different way of living, I realised I missed those conversation. So, when I was putting together the new season of the podcast, I knew that I wanted to make space for listener chats again.

This week I’m thrilled to welcome back the listener chat, as I sit down to talk with Xan Holyoak. Xan is a listener of the show, a writer, a single parent and a slow living and nature loving woman.

We first hit it off when Xan emailed me after last year’s Great Outdoors Slow Experiment, and immediately bonded over our shared love of wild places, journalling and digging in to the sometimes messy business of living with intention. As we exchanged emails back and forth and Xan shared more of her story, I knew I wanted to have her on the show to share her own hard-fought wisdom with all of us. So here we go!

In today’s episode we talk about the genesis of Xan’s own slow living journey, why she started writing about it on her blog, how her life changed after her husband passed away in 2015 and how she lives slowly now as a single, working parent. There’s a wonderful thread throughout the conversation of the importance of values, journalling and developing boundaries, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. Where did your journey to slow living/simplifying start?
  2. Why did you start your blog?
  3. How did your efforts to live a slower, simpler life change when you unexpectedly lost your husband in 2015?
  4. How do you make life work now, as a single parent, working mum and someone who still values time in nature and a slower paced life?
  5. How do you use journalling as a self-care practice?

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As always, thank you for listening!

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Florence Williams on the importance of getting our nature fix

Hello, and welcome to the Slow Home Summer Series (AKA Winter Warmies!) For all of January we’ll be revisiting some of our favourite episodes from 2018, so we can walk the walk and slow down during the New Year break. Also it turns out podcasts, just like fine wine, really do get better with age. Whether you missed them the first time around, or are having another listen, we hope you enjoy these poggies as much as we did and that they keep you company on the beach (or the slopes!) 

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We’re kicking off the Summer Series by heading back to my absolute favourite experiment of 2018, and an episode that came just after it: my chat with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix. In this episode Florence shares why time in nature is so important, tips for how to make it happen and some of the mind-blowing benefits she’s found in her research. This conversation only further convinced me of the importance of spending time in nature – let us know if it made you feel the same way! Head over to Instagram and share your thoughts. To read the full blog post and for a full list of all the links and resources mentioned, head over here.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Finally! An hostful update from the road

Welcome to this week’s fast’n’loose hostful poggie (yes, it has been a while between our Q&A episodes – thank you for noticing!) In this week’s show we get through what must be a record number of your questions, on everything from slow living in fast cities to travelling on a budget. A big thank you to everyone who submitted their thoughtful questions – knowing what you’re struggling with, what you need more of (and what you need less of) is so important because it helps us to create a show that helps and that speaks to the real challenges you’re facing. It’s not necessarily easy to ask questions and I just wanted to let you know that we appreciate it. A lot. Today’s episode kicks off with a question from a listener who lives in Mumbai, who asks how they can preserve their energy while living in such a fast-paced place. I talk about the power of mindful micro-moments throughout the day to help you step out of the chaos and into the tiny details, while Ben talks about the replenishing effects of spending time in green spaces in cities, harking back to the nature Slow Experiment earlier this year. In a similar vein, the next question is about ways to get out of your head (not that I’d know anything about that of course *cough cough*) other than meditation. As someone who relates very well with this question I share two of my favourite strategies for this: brain dumping and the body scan. Later in the episode I also share what resources I use to meditate, for anyone searching for an app to use. Then it’s on to a bunch of travel-related questions. We talk about what we’re cooking and eating on the road (spoiler alert: their meals are “not setting the world on fire”, according to Ben), the oven foods they miss the most (strong contender for question of the episode), how the kids are going with school and being on the move so much and how to travel when you’re on a budget. We move on to a super dorky throwback to answer the question of how we met, and finish up by answering a couple more cracking questions about dealing with waste and what we’re currently learning about. We both answer these ones completely honestly, sharing some of the challenges we’re facing as we travel, as well as the juicy topics that are sparking our interest right now. I guess the takeaway from this entire episode is that life is rich and varied and ever-changing. And that you guys ask the best questions. Thank you for making us think and learn and improve. We love you.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Florence Williams on the importance of getting your nature fix

“We don’t have to think of nature as being pristine, we don’t have to think of it as being a wilderness area. That just makes it kind of unattainable in terms of our daily connection. I think that we can find nature where we are – we have to find it where we are.” – Florence Williams
In the perfect follow-up to March’s Great Outdoors Slow Experiment, today I chat with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix. Whether you’ve been reading the book or have never heard of it, you’re in for a treat. Florence is an epic researcher and communicator, and the studies and anecdotes she shares today are both informative and inspiring. Kicking off, Florence shares her favourite definition of nature: Oscar Wilde’s generous statement that it is “a place where birds fly around uncooked”. She believes nature doesn’t have to be wild or pristine to have an impact, which makes it so much more accessible, especially to urban dwellers. She and I talk about the importance of prioritising and valuing time spent in nature, as well as sharing some concrete tips for engaging in nature once we get there. Then we dive into the benefits. Florence shares what she found while researching and writing the book, from the way spending time in nature makes us feel more connected and be more civic-minded, to the impact on creativity, productivity and mood. She also touches on the relationship between nature and technology, encouraging kids to get outside, how she gets her own nature fix, research on the minimum recommended dose of outside time and so much more. This conversation only further convinced me of the importance of spending time in nature – it’s not a ‘nice-to-do’, more a ‘need-to-do’. And as I discovered during last month’s Great Outdoors experiment, I truly believe there are so many positive changes to be made simply by spending more time in nature, encouraging others to do the same, and raising a generation of kids who grow up both knowing and loving time outside. Enjoy!

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Love Slow? Support the show!

Get Outside and in to Nature – A Slow Experiment

In March 2018 we brought back the popular Slow Experiments, and the first one was a cracker. We spent 30 days prioritising time outdoors, in nature.

Why? Because we know from personal experience that time spent in nature makes us feel better emotionally, mentally and physically, and now the science is here to back it up. But the problem lies in the fact that as soon as life gets busy, deadlines loom, the weather is less than ideal, we stay inside.

This experiment was all about prioritising time outside regardless of what obstacles come up, even if it’s as simple as a ten-minute stroll around a tiny park in your lunch break. The key was simply to make it a priority and, over the period of 30 days, see if we felt any change.

And while we committed to 60 minutes a day, there’s no need for your own experiment to be as hefty, and you certainly don’t need to climb a mountain every morning.

If you’re after some motivation or suggestions on how to incorporate outdoors time in to your daily rhythm, download a free copy of our Slow Experiment Scavenger Hunt below and see how many you check off over the next 30 days.

The experiment officially ended on March 31 2018, but you can begin any time, knowing that we’ll be there right alongside you (turns out, time in nature is addictive and we haven’t given it up yet!)

Listen in to the episodes below, where we track our experience throughout the experiment, and dive in to some of the science behind our discoveries:

Feel free to use #slowexperiment over on Instagram, and share your experience with us.

Download the Slow Experiment Scavenger Hunt checklist below: