Search Results for: screen free bedroom

5 Steps to Creating a Simple Bedroom – Slow Home Essentials

slow bedroom 5

I’ve stayed in some pretty terrible accommodation over the years.

There was the blood-spotted linen of a bedbug-infested hostel in Rome. The Thai bungalow where our toilet emptied directly onto the ground below the bed. Not to mention the leaky Dodge van named Esme that we slept in for a month in the Floridian summer. Rancid pillows. Mouldy floors. Amorous hostel room-mates. You name it, we’ve seen it, which is perfect for a life on the road.

But at home? Notsomuch.

The bedroom is supposed to be a haven of calm, a place to rest and relax, a space of comfort. Which is funny, because our bedroom is often all about piles of folded laundry, random toys, empty glasses and four in a bed.

Creating a simple bedroom is one of the essentials of having a slow home, as it provides you with room to relax, space to disconnect and the quiet to rest.

Here’s 5 ways you can turn your bedroom into the haven you need:

1. Declutter.

Again with the decluttering? Yes! It’s the single best way to promote calm, clear out dust and give a breath of fresh air to your space.

2. Go Small

The smaller the space, the better your chances of really simplifying. If you have a large bedroom with tonnes of furniture, shelving and wardrobe space, you’re simply likely to fill it with stuff. Sparky and I now share one small wardrobe. We know it’s time to organise and cull when that space gets cramped.

If your bedroom is large, consider moving to a smaller room or designating half the space for chilling out. No furniture aside from a couch or chair to encourage reading, quiet time or early-morning meditation.

3. Get Rid of the Gadgets

No TV, no phones, no laptops and no smartphones. No kidding. (I admit I have been guilty of the phone-next-to-the-bed sin. But I definitely sleep better and drift off faster with some tech-free time before I bed.)

While I do read Kindle books on my iPad at night, I find it sometimes impacts on my ability to get to sleep. Ideally a (real!) book is the best option, but there are also e-readers that don’t use the blue backlight of an iPad. These are a better option for night-reading, but so not in our budget right now. (So I try to limit the amount of screen reading I do in bed, to various levels of success.)

4. Light and Airy

You want good natural light, fresh air, effective window coverings that keep the room private but allow the daylight in, as well a lamp next to the bed. Reading, dressing, loving – you want the room to be comfortable for all its intended purposes.

5. Somewhere to Sit (other than the bed)

A bench at the end of the bed is your best option – it gives you somewhere to sit while putting on your shoes and somewhere to lay out the clothes for the next day. Avoid using it as a dumping ground for laundry, dirty clothes and handbags – this will just return the clutter you’re trying to clear out. And if you don’t think you can avoid it, then consider a smaller chair instead.

simple bedroom - via sothebys

slow bedroom 4

 

Obviously, everyone’s idea of a dream bedroom is different and what works for me may not work for you. But if you’re looking to slow down and simplify and are low on time, creating a simple bedroom gives you a big return on your investment.

These tips also work for kids rooms, although the ages of your kids will impact how much of it they actually apply. Start with your own room first and show them how nice it is to have a private space where you can chill out, and who knows, maybe they will follow your lead? (Or maybe not.)

Not Convinced? Give it a Trial Run

  • Leave the technology out of the bedroom for a week and see how it makes you feel.
  • Clear everything off your bedside tables – with the exception of a book, lamp and glass of water. See the serenity some empty space brings.
  • Make an effort to open the curtains and windows every morning.
  • Try making your bed every morning – first thing. Sounds silly, but it starts your day with a small achievement and makes your bedroom into the haven you deserve.

Try these changes for one week and take note of any differences you feel. Do you feel less stressed? Is it easier to get to sleep at night? Is your quality of sleep improving?

While creating a simple bedroom won’t fix all your stresses and worries, it will give you a safe, relaxed space to return to every evening. Why not try it out and let us know how you feel?

 

Disconnect to reconnect

Aaron Burden

Technology is an inevitable part of even the slowest of modern lives. This podcast, news sites, social media, blogs, forums, videos… even if you’re being intentional it can (and will) be overwhelming at times.

This week Ben and I talk about what we stand to gain by disconnecting regularly and why it’s so important to reconnect with what matters, without the distracting blare of notifications and devices vying for our attention.

In SLOW I write:

Modern connection technology has delivered us a paradox. We have more connection and less humanity. We’re hyper-engaged and increasingly isolated. We have more information and less critical thought. We see more tragedy and have less empathy. We enjoy more privilege but are less satisfied. We are sensitive to personal offence and desensitised to the suffering of others.

The connected world offers us so much – so much to learn, to see, to share, to do. But hyperconnection brings with it a steep downside.

Slow living provides an opportunity to step back, pay attention and question the ways we use technology, to recalibrate our relationship with the constantly switched-on, logged-in world. It offers us an opportunity to disconnect, in order to reconnect.

The biggest question is how?

Firstly, it’s important to keep in mind what we stand to gain by having more in-person connection:

  • more time – connection technology steals minutes and hours a day, and we barely notice
  • more humanity – screens can create a sense of distance between us and others, and the internet can harden us
  • more action – when we waste time procrasti-scrolling we not only lose those minutes but we also lose the opportunity to do something with those minutes. Just because we’re doing something doesn’t mean we’re being productive
  • more peace and quiet – the stimulus and noise is incessant when we’re connected constantly
  • more ability to think and reflect – when we let the noise abate and learn to sit in the silence we give ourselves the ability to think more deeply, and it’s in these moments that some of our best ideas come forward

And then it’s a matter of establishing some boundaries and sticking to them, knowing what’s at stake if we don’t.

Some of the simple boundaries we have in our home include:

  • screen-free bedrooms
  • no screens at the table
  • pockets of screen-free time every day (the first and last hours of the day, for example)
  • we try to find places where there is no wifi and revel in the peace it brings

It’s an evolving set of boundaries that continue to expand as we find the joy in disconnection, and if ever I find myself slipping back in to those old patterns of overconsumption or hyperconnection all I have to do is look up and see what I stand to gain by switching off.

How do you manage connection technology in your home? What boundaries or rules work for you? And what do you find challenging? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook.

Enjoy!

——

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!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2.9 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs. You’ll also be able to join our monthly live video calls where we answer questions and give a behind the scenes look at life.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Rituals: Unplugging

Rituals: Unplugging - Episode 134 of The Slow Home Podcast

Last year an Australian study found that we spend more than 46 hours per week on a screen, and just 6 hours with family and friends over the same period. Another study revealed that Brits will spend over 3 years of their adult lives updating social media – only marginally less than the three years, two months they spend on holidays. Americans, meanwhile, spend more than 10 hours a day attached to a screen of some description – a full one hour more every day than was revealed in a similar study a year earlier.

All this to say – we spend a lot of time attached to a device of connection. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, video games… we’re constantly being beeped at, notified of or vibrated at and it’s taking its toll.

While much of our online life is necessary and part of the modern workplace, we also allow it to impose on our downtime, with many hours spent watching TV, scrolling social media and falling down endless internet rabbitholes. Not only does it stop us from doing other things with our time, but the blue light of smartphones and tablets also impacts our ability to go to sleep – and stay asleep – meaning we’re more tired and more wired than ever.

In today’s episode Ben and I look at a very simple daily ritual that can help you break the habit of constant connection. Learning to unplug regularly not only breaks the social media/procrastination loop, but it also turns our attention elsewhere – to the people nearby, the conversations, the trees, the light, the breeze, the feelings, the sensations. It can also help us sleep more soundly, wake up more refreshed and minimise the lost moments in the morning where we accidentally check every news website and email account before jumping in the shower.

We talk about the benefits of having a screen-free bedroom, as well as how you can actually harness technology to help you become more mindful and to schedule in pockets of disconnection throughout the day.

This week’s action is to set an alarm each evening for 30 minutes before bed time, and use it as a reminder to disconnect from the phone, the computer, the TV. Try to use this time to unwind from the day and prepare yourself for a good night’s rest, and simply see if it has an impact on your sleep after doing it for a week. It’s simple, I promise!

Hit me up on Instagram or Facebook and let us know how you go after a week of ritual unplugging. In the meantime, enjoy your week!

——

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!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 1.7 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!