What is the „Soft Life Era“? Explanation, Meaning, Definition

The social developments of the past decades have increasingly led to people being conditioned to a high workload. Work and the associated creation of value are considered a high commodity, especially in Western cultures. The main job, the second job, further training, self-employment and entrepreneurship are therefore currently particularly hyped areas in which people are trying to outdo each other or spur each other on to greater performance.

This is in complete contrast to the so-called „Soft Life Era“. This is a concept – actually originating from the early 1960s – which is currently gaining more and more popularity again. It represents an antithetical approach to the „hustle culture“ mentioned above. Instead of devoting oneself to more and more obligations and complex activities, the „Soft Life Era“ preaches a down-to-earth, contented as well as modest lifestyle based on one’s own needs.

Calmness, ease and a moderate workload are the focus of the „Soft Life Era“, which will therefore be the subject of the following article due to its increasing popularity. Here the term „Soft Life Era“ is to be explained once fully. In addition, its history and the various forms of expression will be discussed.

Definition of the term „Soft Life Era“

The term „Soft Life Era“ is made up of the three English words „Soft“ (meaning „easy“ or „uncomplicated“), „Life“ (meaning „life“ or „lifestyle“) and „Era“ (meaning „era“ or „period of time“). In combination, „Soft Life Era“ can therefore be translated as „a period of life or an era of easy and uncomplicated living“. Thus, the concept of the „Soft Life Era“ refers to a lifestyle that is pleasant, stress-free and uncomplicated, free of fears, worries and hardships.

What is meant by this is an alternative concept of life that suggests tranquility, relaxation and freedom from stress. These are supposed to be beneficial to the individual health and thus help to lead a more conscious and pleasant life. The concept of the „Soft Life Era“ is thus in direct contrast to the more widespread meritocracy. This tries to achieve ever better, more effective and higher work results, which often goes at the expense of the personal well-being, or the individual development.

The „Soft Life Era,“ which is currently being hyped on the social network TikTok, is an indirect protest movement against today’s meritocracy and proposes alternative life concepts.

Where does the concept behind the „Soft Life Era“ come from?

The term „Soft Life Era“ dates back to the 1960s, where it was significantly coined in the USA. It was originally an indicator of the cultural mood of Western countries. It was primarily intended to measure a change in social values. As soon as the tendencies of a national community shifted more in the direction of the „Soft Life Era,“ there was talk of a high standard of living made possible by an economic boom situation.

However, the use of the term „Soft Life Era“ has since changed. Instead, „Soft Life Era“ is now used primarily in academic literature, by journalists, columnists, and cultural critics and younger people. In part, this serves as a coined word for a protest movement directed against the status quo.

How is the „Soft Life Era“ being put into practice?

The ideas and the values behind the concept of the „Soft Life Era“ are implemented in various ways. Particularly in terms of lifestyle, fashion and art, there are widely divergent styles. However, the following subsections will focus on the following core elements of the „Soft Life Era“:

  • Allowing for recovery time
  • Stress management
  • Pointing out limits
  • Living consciously
  • Allowing time for rest

Only those who allow themselves rest can actually work productively. In addition to individual obligations at work, in the family as well as in the household, the „Soft Life Era“ also preaches allowing oneself enough time for muse, relaxation and (especially spiritual) regeneration. At the same time, the body must also be given a rest period now and then to ensure that it remains sustainably efficient and healthy.

Stress management

Individual stress management is another core element of the „Soft Life Era“. Here, reference is made to various stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation and massages. These are intended to lower the individual stress level and thus enable more balance, satisfaction and equilibrium. So instead of focusing on purely physical regeneration, „Soft Life Era“ also targets spiritual and mental regeneration by consistently reducing excessive stress.

Identifying limits

„Limits“ refers to the limits of one’s ability to sustain a certain workload or stress level. According to „Soft Life Era“ proponents, each person has an individual tolerance level for stress and capacity. This should be recognized and then continuously observed or integrated into one’s own concept of life. Those who approach their own limits should not presumably exceed them, but should be able to say „No!“ more often.

Living consciously

Instead of living only in routines, according to the „Soft Life Era“ individuals should also take time for life in the month and variety. For this, life should be practiced intentionally, he said. Only in this way can a higher form of happiness and self-actualization be achieved. In the process, individuals should also find out what things make them feel good, so that they can then live according to these principles.

Criticism of the „Soft Life Era

Especially among supporters of the meritocracy, the current TikTok trend of the „Soft Life Era“ is meeting with criticism in many places. It is perceived as a protest movement by the younger generations and thus stands in stark contrast to bourgeois values and virtues such as diligence, further development and a willingness to perform. Criticism of the „Soft Life Era“ is also fed in part by the fact that its supporters are in turn very young and still comparatively inexperienced when it comes to work, and in some places would not yet have done any work on a large scale.

Conclusion on the Soft Life Era

In summary, the term „Soft Life Era“ is an indicator that emerged in the 1960s, but today it presents itself in a new guise – in the form of an alternative concept of life among (mostly) younger generations. It has a significant influence on lifestyle, working life and culture, and is currently being hyped above all on social platforms such as TikTok.

Closely related to the concept of the „Soft Life Era“ are, for example, the terms „Counter Culture“ or „Bare Minimum Monday“. Counter culture“ is aimed at a concept of life that is fundamentally opposed (to the mainstream). Bare Minimum Monday“, on the other hand, is an individual performance concept that is preferably applied on Mondays and also aims to reduce the workload and increase well-being.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

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