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Here are a few suggestions on ways to live a slower life, and how the idea of slow living can be put into practice every day. The concept of slow living began back in the 1980s with the slow food movement. Originally the word slow wasn’t used for literal meaning but as an acronym for sustainable, local, organic and whole. The slow food movement still has its focus growing, rearing and consuming food in a way that’s good for the planet, for us and for all living beings. But in recent years, slow living has also become an all-encompassing approach to life rather than just one area of it.
1) Slow Technology
Loosen your grip on your digital devices by taking steps to spend less time on screen. Leave your phone at home when you go for a walk, have a digital device curfew, or collect social media apps into a folder on your last home screen to make scrolling through the apps less automatic. Here are some great ideas on how to reconnect and live an authentic life by taking the slow road.
2) Slow Food
If food shopping and preparation is a source of stress, reconnect with the food you eat by growing some yourself, even just one ingredient. With minimal space and time you can grow salad leaves, herbs or tomatoes. If preparing meals from scratch feels too daunting try one dish for starters. Here are 10 outstanding reasons to love your Instapot for slow cooking gut nourishing foods.
3) Slow Home
Having a home full of stuff can create an oppressive air and literally slow you down as it takes longer to wade through drawers, shelves and cupboards to find what you’re looking for. Take one room or item type at a time and have a clear out. Whatever doesn’t have a use, or you don’t love, can go to charity, to be recycled, into the bin or sold.
4) Slow Travel
Trying to get to where you need to be as quickly as possible can mean you’re missing out on hidden treasures in unexplored routes. Leave the car at home and take a walk, ride a bike or travel on public transport to get to your destination, where practical. Make the extra journey time part of the experience and look for what you might have been missing from your car seat.
5) Slow Activities
Find satisfaction in a creative pursuit, such as drawing, paper cutting, origami, crocheting, model building or simply reading a book, that asks you to slow down and take your time. Take a stroll through a local park or bushland and notice the colors of the flowers, the insects living around them, the different species of trees, the sun (or rain) coming through the canopy, the sound of birdsong and the smell of nature.
6) Slow Days
Clear a weekend of plans and do what takes your fancy when you wake up. Check the weather forecast, see how you feel and consider what you don’t usually get to do because you’ve already made plans. Resist any urge to fill the time with chores and instead think about what you could do just for the joy of it.
Perhaps that’s taking a picnic to the local park, playing a board game, watching a classic movie, baking a cake or exploring an unknown area of your neighborhood. Treat your face to the organic goodness of homemade face masks which look and smell good enough to eat!
7) Slow Family
Create times in the day and week when you connect with each other as a family. Eat dinner together at the table, greet and leave each other in person with hugs rather than yelling hellos and goodbyes, or take part in a family activity or sport.
8) Slow Together
Gather together a handful of friends to share a meal and a few relaxed hours. Keep the food simple, perhaps suggest everyone brings a potluck dish, and don’t stress about how pristine your home is. The focus is on spending time talking to people you care about and enjoying being with rather than where you are, how much the wine costs or the complexity of the menu.
9) Slow Holidays
Consider how you can best make use of taking time away from everyday life to recharge. The urge can be to include as many experiences as possible and while this may be enjoyable you may return home feeling the need for a rest to get over the holiday. Schedule time to sit and people watch, to reflect on where you visited or what you did each day, or just stay in one place and take a slower mode of transport.
10) Slow Moments
Even in the middle of a hectic day you can take a slow living moment. Focus your attention on your breath and where you feel it most clearly – in your abdomen, chest, nose – for a few breaths. Then scan your body from your feet to your head noticing how it feels without judging or changing it. Move your attention slowly to take in what you can hear, what you can smell and what you can see. Come back to your breath for a few seconds more and then carry on with your day. Know that any time you feel the need, you can bring your attention back to your breath for a few moments of calm. You’ll love how easy it is to slow down with our 9 ways to relax, heal and restore tips and ideas.
From food to holidays, the urge to take life down a notch is growing…
As a term, slow living is quite broad and open to individual interpretation. It doesn’t necessarily mean living life at half speed compared to the rest of the population, but it does embrace a more considered, thoughtful approach to how you live which, in turn, can result in a slightly slower pace of life.
While the world becomes more digitized and reliance on technology increases, slow living is a move towards a move to a more analogue way of being. It doesn’t mean ditching your smartphone or laptop, but taking a more mindful attitude towards how you use them. It’s no accident that slow living mindfulness are both gaining in popularity as they have a lot in common.
Slow Living Is Letting Go
Essentially, the movement is about letting go of the need to be busy, to be always moving on to the next task, to trying to do or have everything. Instead being purposeful in what you do, paying attention to what’s happening now and experiencing life as it is. There can be a lot of self-expectation as well as the feeling that you have to live up to a certain ideal for others . Slow living suggests you drop those pressures.
By being mindful of how you compare yourself to other people, the standards to which you hold yourself, and how you honor your boundaries, you can recognize when life has become a treadmill that you want to step off. Slow living is the antidote to life on auto-pilot.
Slow Down And Embrace Being Connected To Life- Not Technology
At the heart of the movement is connection. It can be this feeling of connectedness to other people and to your own life that is lost when you live at top speed. When the calendar is full of meetings, events and after-school activities, when your work days are getting longer, when you find it difficult to say no or to admit you need help, when there are apps and box-sets to occupy any spare time and virtual Joneses in social media, as well as those in real life to keep up with, you can feel disconnected from your life. Your life may feel as if it’s taken on a momentum of its own and you’re carried along with little say in the matter.
How Can You Live A Slower Life Today?
Slow living suggests that you hop off life’s merry-go-round to see how else you could go about your life. To find out if your current timetable is providing you with the quality of life you want. It may be that some aspects would benefit from being taken down a notch or two while there are other areas where you’re happy with the pace and feel no need to change. Considering how connected you feel to your partner, children, friends, family, even yourself, can help you work out if you would benefit from a little more slow living…
What do you think?