In this day and age, next to nothing moves at a glacial pace. There’s a pressure and focus on moving a mile a minute, all heightened by the emphasis on hustle culture. With a fast-paced lifestyle at the forefront of pop culture, the idea of “slow living” may seem like a foreign concept. Slow living makes mindfulness a priority over convenience, as a way to reject wasteful practices that are common in our society.
What is “slow living” exactly?
Slow living is as it sounds: a lifestyle that embraces and encourages us to take a slower approach to each aspect of our day-to-day lives. When we take the opportunity to graze through life at an easy pace, it gives us the chance to be more present and conscious of what we are doing and how we are feeling. In a world that often pulls us through a slew of madness and is deeply enveloped in technology, by opting to adopt a slow living lifestyle, we are actively choosing to be more aware.
By gravitating toward slow living as a lifestyle, we can have a chance to make our lives feel more balanced by taking a step back and creating a moment where we can just enjoy life. Through these slower approaches in our normal modern daily activities, we truly are giving back to ourselves by honoring our connection to our environment and making conscious decisions on how to move through our days in a more meaningful way.
What are some ways to practice slow living?
Making actionable changes in our lives doesn’t have to come all at once. Instead, we can approach each change one by one, taking our time to focus on each activity so we can truly embrace the way it makes us feel in our mind, body, and soul. There are countless changes we can make as we go through our days to continue down a path of slow living.
Cook your own meals — and make time to enjoy them
Mealtime offers multiple ways that we can approach slow living. First and foremost, try to make your own meals to feel better connected to the food that you’re consuming and carve out a moment. When you bypass takeout, you’re creating a moment for yourself where your full focus is pulled into the process of making your meal, versus anything else. When it comes time to consume the dinner you made for yourself, it’s important to continue the slow living process. Take your time while you’re eating and find a comfortable area in your home to do so where you have the space. Don’t sit down in front of the TV or lay down in bedsit at your kitchen table or at your counter and enjoy the meal for what it is. No phones, no distractions — just you and the incredible meal that you made with your own two hands.
Find time to go outside
We know the effects nature can have on us, especially when it comes to practicing mindfulness and feeling more grounded and centered. Nature has a large impact on our thoughts and behaviors, allowing us to reap its positive effects when we spend time on the outside. We may not all have a green thumb, but taking up gardening is a fantastic way to embrace the slow living lifestyle as an outside activity that doesn’t center around physical activity. Being outside, in general, can play a positive role when embracing slow living in your day-to-day life. Allow yourself outside time in order to reconnect with the world around you.
Drop your multitasking
In the world of multitasking, monotask instead. We’re expected, by the people around us and ourselves, to get the absolute most done at any given moment of the day. But when we’re multitasking, we’re rushing to the finish line on multiple projects versus taking the time to hone in on the task at hand to do it well, sans the unnecessary stress we put on ourselves to tackle a multitude of action items.
Disconnect, when needed
If we want to start slow living, we have to be open to taking time to disconnect and just be present. It requires a certain balance from us in our lives and trusting ourselves to set those boundaries. When it comes to technology, it’s not something we need to get rid of entirely, but just know when and when not to indulge. We have to learn the word “no,” not only for our own personal choices we make with ourselves but even for the people around us. Our time is sacred and slow living forces us to think more in-depth about how we want to spend it.