“Choosing not to suffer”: Why young people don’t want to work hard.
Young Australians are adopting a new way of life, but they don’t agree with people who say it’s “lazy” or “selfish.”
More and more young people are joining the “soft life” movement and turning away from “The Grind” in favor of a path that is easy and doesn’t cause stress.
Denee Tamia, who makes videos for TikTok, says that living a “soft life” means putting your peace and mental health first.
“It means making decisions that reduce stress and make everyday life more fun. It means that you have to romanticize every little thing in your life.”
As usual, we can look to Urban Dictionary to find out what a soft life means in culture: “The opposite of a hard life. Where you make choices that make you feel less stressed and raise your vibration.
Even Urban Dictionary agrees that having money helps keep this wellness trend going, but it’s not as important as “making good choices.”
The soft life is similar to the cottagecore movement of 2018, which is a style that encourages people to enjoy the simple things in life again, like making jam and growing flowers. It encourages people to make decisions that make their lives more relaxing.
It’s a wellness movement that started in the US and is spreading to Australia. It’s being led by black women who make content, which is a change from the “white” wellness space. Even though it’s not just for women, a lot of attention is paid to what people are calling “feminine energy.”
Tamia says, “The point of having this mindset is to be able to soak up feminine energy, which leads to creativity, flow, and stillness.”
As a businesswoman herself, Tamia thinks that it’s not only possible to live a soft life, but that it’s better for your work.
“There is a lot of “hustle harder” talk in the business world: get up at 5 a.m., take a cold shower, and never stop working. Even though I’ve joined the “hustle culture” and shared some of this information, I always start by saying, “Balance is important.”
“You’ll make the best decisions when you’re in a calm state of mind that lets you go with the flow.”
From where did it come?
This year, a Substack email service called 8Ball (made famous by The Cut) sent the Western world into a tizzy when it announced a change in the mood after the lockdown.
Many people were worried about the rumored change, but it turned out that it was just the result of a global pandemic that made us appreciate the here and now. To want the everyday and enjoy real life more than carefully crafted ideals.
Then came the Great Resignation, because life is, and now, arguably, this era of “soft life” is where it all comes together. But many people say that this change started before 2020.
Tamia says, “I wanted to share my view of this movement on social media because I’ve always been a part of it but didn’t have the right words to explain it.”
Fiona Fairbairn, who also makes content, agrees that the trend just gave a name to a way of life she was already trying to live.
“I realized that all I was saying was that I liked to live a soft life. She told news.com.au, “I’ve always been a part of it, and I wanted to spread the word about how I live in a gentle way.”
It’s not the same thing as being lazy.
As a society, we’re so used to this “hustle culture” that anyone who doesn’t do it will always be called lazy, but that’s missing the point.
“I think that living a “soft life” is the opposite of being lazy,” Tamia says.
“From my point of view, it helps you organize your time and work more effectively. It’s not about never doing anything; it’s about making a life where you put your all into what’s important to you.”
Fairbairn agrees, saying that making life easier doesn’t mean not working hard; it just means making the hard work count.
She said, “It’s not about being lazy. It’s about doing things that make your life easier and choosing not to suffer if you don’t have to.”
“I’ve learned that a lot of people can’t live this way because they are too independent or like to please other people. To get around this, they call the soft life “lazy” or “selfish”
“It’s self-centered, but in the best way.”
What do professionals say?
Veronica West, a psychologist at Lysn, says that it’s a natural reaction, especially after the anxiety-inducing uncertainty of the last few years.
“In my job, I’ve seen a rise in mental health problems like anxiety and depression among people who have never had them before,” she said.
“I do think that ideas from the “slow life movement” can help us find a better balance in our everyday lives.”
“The pandemic has not only shown us that we can do things like work from home, but it has also shown us that life is short and that there are things we can’t control or predict.”
She does think that the slow life movement can help people who need it, but she also says that it’s fine that some people “thrive in a busy environment.”
In either case, she thinks the movement can help you figure out and align yourself with your “personal needs and values” instead of living a certain way because you think that’s what society wants.
How do you lead a soft life?
In a nutshell, it’s about making your life easier and putting your happiness first.
“Making choices every day that make your life easier is what it means to live a soft life,” said Fairbairn.
“Putting yourself first, taking care of yourself, loving yourself, and being able to chill out as much as possible. Taking care of yourself first. Putting money into things that will make life more fun and less stressful.”
West says there are several ways to slow down without having a lot of money in the bank.
“The’slow movement’ isn’t about ignoring your financial and safety needs and throwing away all your responsibilities,” she says.
“The lesson here isn’t that you should change everything about your life. Instead, it’s that you should check in with yourself and make changes to slow down and change gears where it makes sense for you to do so.”
Check in with yourself about what’s important to you. What do you care about most in your heart? How do you want to spend your time here on Earth? What are you doing right now that makes you feel stuck or takes up a lot of your time or energy? What would you do all day if you didn’t have to worry about money?”
When you know the answers to these questions, you can make a plan to add these slow things to your life.