Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the term “soft life” somewhere. It seems to be a great societal shift taking place and personally, I’m here for it. But, what does living a soft life mean, exactly?
Before we dive into that, let’s rewind a bit. Many of us are still trying to bounce back and pick up the pieces of the last two and a half years. One thing that the god-awful pandemic (or panorama as I like to call it) showed us, is that there is much more to life than being overworked, unhappy, and undervalued. We, collectively as a society, but ESPECIALLY black women, decided that we are TIRED. So, many of us have decided to get off the hamster wheel and reprogram our mindsets about not only what success looks like but also what it feels like. Truthfully speaking, I love that for us, I really do!
This shift is very dear to me because I was that girl on the hamster wheel. I cringe at the thought of waking up to start my work day at 6 am every day! Like girl, WHAT? Yes, I used to do that, even during the first year of the COVID lockdown. I was so wired and hustle culture really sucked me in even though I tried my best to fight it. Crazy right? Thank goodness for change. Now, I spend my mornings taking my time, practicing more mindfulness connecting with myself and my needs before diving into my workload for the day. We’re all about living that soft life over here.
what is a soft life?
So, back to why you’re probably reading this post. What is a soft life? I believe that this coined term can mean different things to different people. Some call it luxury living while others may tie it into embracing their femininity or ‘softer’ side. That said, I believe Urban Dictionary did it best with their definition of this year’s buzzword.
The act of simply living a life with less stress, worry, and concern. Making better decisions that benefit your overall well-being. You don’t prioritize fitting in, following trends, your just here to live your divine purpose.Urban dictionary, 2022
There are a ton of gems in this simple definition and as I said, I love seeing so many of us claiming and speaking more of this in our daily lives. However, I know that we’re all getting cozy and embracing a softer and calmer life but don’t get it confused. Living a soft life does not mean being lazy or neglecting your responsibilities.
Here’s the truth about Living a soft life
One thing that annoys me about this day and age is that we over-romanticize everything, especially for the sake of trends and fitting in. The soft life movement is not excluded from this particular annoyance of mine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the soft life, okay? After suffering from burnout and depression I’ve been actively working on bringing more peace into my daily life. But the problem with glamorizing anything is that people will be attracted to such things for all the wrong reasons. Like I said earlier … trends. As a result, you have many people displaying and talking about living a soft life, but not truly being about that lifestyle. All fluff and no substance if you ask me.
don’t believe all the hype
Okay, hear me out.
Most of us were not born with a silver spoon in our mouths. In order to cultivate and live the life of our dreams, we’re going to have to make an effort, put in some work, and take action. After all, you’ve still got responsibilities, and I’d advise against completely neglecting them because you’ll only be hurting yourself in the end.
This is the hard truth. In order to live a comfortable life and afford yourself all the luxuries you not only desire but deserve, you need money boo. In fact, with inflation showing her ass and this economy, we all need money to survive. That is a fact. And unless you have a trust fund, sugar daddy (no judgment from me), or have a tree that grows money for you, you have to work.
Living a soft life is so much more than curating an aesthetically pleasing life, taking pilates classes (but no shade, cause I LOVE me some pilates), laying out on a yacht, getting the luxury shoes, and saying screw your responsibilities all in the name of self-care. That’s not self-care sis, that’s self-destruction.
Yes, living a softer life is mainly about doing more of what makes you happy and less of what doesn’t. But it’s deeper than that. Living a soft life requires things like self-awareness and accountability.
Your future best self is still counting on you
So do the things that will help, here and now. The key isn’t to throw up your hands and say eff everything and everyone. It’s about leaning into this new space that you’re in but doing so in a way that’s realistic. That way, you can sustain the newfound peace that you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Think about it. Working is not any of our first choices… whether it is a job or a business. I think we’d all love to just wake up with a ton of money in the bank and the world at our feet. But that’s not realistic. Neglecting putting in the work will only jeopardize your ability to earn an income that affords you the means to live your life comfortably. You’re actually contradicting what living a soft life truly means. We’re striving for less stress, remember?
Instead, be the girl that knows how to get her bag, without comprising her values, happiness, or peace.
Point, blank, period.
The key to a soft life is sustainability
We all have different ideas of what a soft life means to us as individuals. I’m not saying that there is a right or wrong way, I’m just asking you to dig a little deeper. What does living a softer life really mean to you? And how can you maintain this life?
None of us want to struggle, feel that they pour all their energy and power into everything and everyone but themselves, or be stressed all the time. In order to live a softer life, it requires a level of intuition and self-awareness that will help you know when to hit pause, reset, and then get back to it. We’re going to encounter many seasons in our lifetimes, the key is to know how to adjust and flow in a way that prevents you from losing yourself.
How to Live a soft life
Okay, now that I got all of that out of the way, here is how you can start to live a softer life.
Slowing down is the foundation of living a softer life. Find ways to rest your mind, body, and spirit. This is how you’ll be able to sustain a soft livelihood.
We can’t always be on go, go, go. We’re not robots! It’s so easy to get caught up in the world around us that we often sacrifice and neglect ourselves and our happiness. You’re allowed to hit pause, take a break and give yourself some reprieve. Find ways to incorporate “me-time” into your schedule so that you can adequately prioritize pouring into yourself and your own cup.
Take yourself on a date.
Take a class you’ve always wanted to try.
Schedule a period of time (whether it’s a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks) to do nothing, if you can.
We all stand to benefit from taking time to recharge.
take the cape off sis
Once upon a time, my therapist once told me, “Monique, at some point you’ve got to stop taking on other people’s shit.”
Before then I hadn’t truly realized how quick I was to do that. I would take on the stresses, burdens, and responsibilities of those around me. (Hello, my name is Monique and I am an empath.)
I was addicted to finding solutions, getting things done, and always being someone others could count on. Deep down, I was so depleted. I didn’t realize that I tied my worth and value to what I could do, accomplish, fix or produce. Feeling the need to constantly save the day and be everything to everyone stressed me out and also made me very angry. Whew, just thinking about it makes me want to take a nap. I know that I’m not alone in this.
If you’re a woman of color, especially if you’re a black woman, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We have been programmed to take on other people’s shit for so long. To always exude strength, be uber-independent, be the world’s punching bag, do all the things, be all the things and be ok with that. It’s not your job to be everyone’s sanctuary, crisis manager, therapist, or anything.
Take the cape off and stop taking on other people’s shit. Start saying no when you feel called to do so, and start asking for help.
Taking your cape off will require setting some boundaries. Does that sound scary to you? Don’t worry, that’s normal. But what if I told you that setting healthy boundaries is one of the best ways you can teach others how to treat you? Well, it is. Establish some boundaries, and watch your stress decrease.
What does that look like exactly?
Having set work hours. If your workday ends at 6 pm, end it at 6 pm. The end.
Stop overcommitting yourself and saying yes to things that you really don’t want to do.
Say no to people and things that are not in alignment with your goals or values.
Protect your peace by setting boundaries and stop apologizing when you do. You have a right to set boundaries in your life. Need help setting boundaries? I highly recommend this book written by Nedra Glover Tawwab. But I also included some other goodies. Check them out below.
Build daily habits & routines that are in alignment w/ Your peace
Sustainable change is not an overnight thing. It takes time, effort, and commitment. The best way to cultivate a softer life is to build habits and routines that incorporate more of what gives you peace. Routines and habits are great and definitely help us stay on track towards our goals. But be mindful. A routine that is too rigid will likely add to your stress. So give yourself room to be flexible.
Here are some daily habits that I’ve incorporated into my routine along with how I make room for flexibility:
Read daily – I like to start my morning reading. But depending on the day, time, etc. I may only have time to read one page while on other days I can read a full chapter in one sitting. The point here is that I showed up to read and I’m still committed.
Workout 3x a week – I hate working out, but I want to be healthy now and in the future. So I find ways to ensure that I meet my goal. Instead of going to a gym to lift weights (I hate it but have learned to tolerate it), I have found activities that I truly enjoy but also help me meet my fitness goals. Currently, I do a mixture of pole dancing, pilates, indoor cycling, and walking. This works for me right now, but it can and likely will change. Then I’ll find another activity I enjoy that helps me stay on track.
Get my drift?
This is one I had to mention. When you lack intention, it can come off as carelessness. Buying luxury items gives you peace? Treat yourself, sis. I just recommend being intentional. Will this purchase help you or hurt you? What’s making you want to feel like you need that bag right now? Is it fear of missing out (FOMO), feeling the need to keep up with the Joneses, or are you afraid that it will mean something different if you don’t?
I encourage you to get to the root of these questions. Emotional spending is real and although it may feel great at the moment, you may end up worse and more stressed than when you started. So before you hit purchase take a moment to ensure that it’s in alignment with your spirit and goals. If it is, do you!
before I leave
When it comes to living a softer more fulfilling life, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Navigating what’s best for us and doing things that are in alignment with our goals, dreams, and aspirations is a very personal job and it will differ from person to person. And while I don’t know which path is best for you to take, I DO know that we’re done operating from a place of exhaustion, burnout, and low self-worth. Those days are over.
So take that lunch break. Book the trip. Go for that walk. Take a nap. Buy the shoes. Or, just do nothing because that’s what your spirit currently calls you to do. And then, get back to pursuing your dreams. You got this boo!