A few months back, I was scrolling through Tiktok, and I started seeing this trend popping up more and more often about living the soft life (#softlife). And this is the reason why I love that app so much! It opened my eyes to this new perspective that wasn’t too common in our capitalistic world. We could’ve guessed this soft life movement was coming after the quit quitting that was all over social media.
As a first-generation immigrant, millennial, and corporate girlie, I see the appeal of this movement! I was raised to put my happiness on hold for a better future. I was told that it’s okay to suffer a bit now while I’m young, to retire happy. I was taught that I should get somewhere important to justify my parent’s sacrifices. That it is such a privilege to live in a western country that I should aim for the top but work 3 times harder because I start at a disadvantage.
And the idea that I could live my life blissfully, without running around like a headless chicken trying to get ahead, can seem very odd.
Don’t get me wrong, the idea that people have of the soft life is often very misleading and unrealistic, so today, I would love to get to the bottom of it to see what it is like to live a soft life and how we can get there and still have a good quality of life.
What does a soft life mean?
The soft life is subjective to each person. Some focus on the luxurious aspect of it (flying first class, upscale vacations, cars…) others prefer to focus on self-care (affirmations, setting boundaries at work…). Urban dictionary describes it as “the act of simply living a life with less stress, worry, and concerns. Making better decisions that benefit your overall well-being. You don’t prioritize fitting in, following trends, you’re just here to live your divine purpose.”
This means the ultimate goal is not anti-work, hard labor, or pushing through the hard times. The ultimate goal is to prioritize your happiness, setting boundaries when needed with work, friends, and family; so your overall life is joyful. It could be that what brings you joy is a new Mercedes, and that is fine. It could be traveling the world and that is also fine. It doesn’t even have to be this big. It could be taking a yoga class or shutting down your phone. Self-care is an important part of your soft life era.
The movement, for me, promotes balance, self-awareness, and intentionality.
And there are concrete steps you can take to get that life.
Make time for rest, and do not feel bad about it.
My therapist once told me that it is not considered rest if I’m guilting myself for not being productive. Rest is productive. The two are not mutually exclusive. Rest supports your productivity, mental health, immune system, and much more. Actually, resting is the optimal action you can take in self-care in this capitalistic world because you are taking a stand against everything that society teaches you. It’s also a great way to reconnect with yourself. Reclaim your time and be radical in your pursuit of happiness.
You have to know your budget perfectly to afford a soft life. You need to pinpoint where your money goes and if that brings you peace and joy. Where can you make cuts to make your life more pleasant? There are different types of budgets, so choose the one that works for you better and stick to it for a few months to see if there is progress. Keep in mind this is your only way to see how you can accommodate your soft living, so it is primordial to focus your energy on this for a few months at least; even if it is the least fun step.
Live your life intentionally.
If you know me, you know I usually promote having a routine. Planning your day and not letting it go to chance. I want to be able to account for each minute of my day, so I can accomplish more. But what is the point to accomplish more, and what am I trying to reach? Living the life I want is not an end goal. It is an everyday goal. It requires my full attention. We need to decide what matters to us and what we want from life. What are our values? and then work towards that every day.
You do not need to be filthy rich to do so, but you need to learn new skills that will help you get there. We see people exiling themself in Bali for their soft life, and if that’s what you want, learn about passive income or re-visit your relationship with money. If there is a will, there is a way. You just need to be intentional and clear with what you want and how you will get it.
Ask for help when needed.
One key component of the soft way of living that is glamourized on social media is the hassle-free life. And to attain that and live your life as peacefully and stress-free as possible, you have to be able to be vulnerable and ask for help when needed. If you have too much on your plate at certain times, it’s okay to ask for help. If there is a way to accomplish your goal faster with someone’s help, take it.
This takes a lot more effort on your part, but it consists of forgetting your preconceived notion of how your life should look like. Maybe owning a house is not the right way to go. Maybe owning a car is not necessary. Do you really want to get married? We live in a digital era where it’s becoming easier to have flexibility in life. Maybe corporate life is not your path. Think outside of the box!
On the flip side of the coin, people see this trend as being dangerous and unrealistic. Not understanding how we can live in society without stress and worry. That it promotes laziness and lack of character. In reality, everyone sees soft living differently. And just because we don’t see the behind-the-scenes of how someone lives their life, doesn’t mean they haven’t struggled to get there or are not actively working to maintain their life. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a plan. And if anything, their character is a lot stronger than any of us because they had to fight against everyone’s beliefs about how they should live.
At the end of the day, if we didn’t find a way to make a soft life happen for us and make it profitable for the lifestyle we want, it simply means we have failed where other people found a way. It means maybe we should rethink our approach instead of downplaying the success of other people. Because it isn’t easy and it’s not given to us freely.
I hope you enjoyed this article and maybe would like to try this movement for yourself! If you do, let me know! I would love to know your thoughts and know how is it going for you!
Until next time,