Slow living. It’s a term you’ve probably heard before as the movement has rapidly grown in popularity in the past few years.
In this blog post, I explain what it is all about and guide you so that you can start embracing this life-changing lifestyle.
The idea of living slowly and the aesthetic of this movement are very dreamy.
We imagine ourselves walking barefoot in beautiful flower fields, or reading an inspiring novel in a tiny cabin in the woods while it’s raining outside.
However, no matter how desirable these visions are, they make slow living unrealistic and unattainable for the majority of people.
The reality is that most of us are constantly busy.
We have many commitments in our lives, most of which we cannot eliminate.
We have jobs that take up most of our days, spouses and kids we live with, friends and family we want to stay in contact with, chores to do in and around the house, hobbies we want to dedicate time to, and so on.
The world seems to be moving faster and faster.
Productivity has become a religion in our modern world, and we are pushed to be more and more efficient.
So, how can we embrace slow living in this chaotic, fast-paced world?
What is the concept of slow living?
Slow living is about not rushing through life and taking the time to savor the simple joys.
It’s about going at our own pace and embracing that.
When we start living slowly, we make intentional choices about the way we want to live our lives and spend our days.
Slow living is understanding that living is more about being than doing, and taking action accordingly.
When we embrace this lifestyle, we make the conscious choice to step back from this fast-paced, modern society.
We choose to stay away from overstimulation and chaos.
Here are a few words that I think describe slow living perfectly:
- Being present
- Peace of mind
- Slow pace
No matter how we define slow living, the most important thing is that it helps us live a life we love.
Is it OK to live a slow life?
Embracing slow living is taking an active stand against the hustle culture.
Society has normalized being busy and doing things quickly all the time.
As a result, it may seem that going against the norm and wanting to go slow is bad.
But believe me, it’s perfectly fine to want to live a slow life and take action to do so.
It has nothing to do with laziness and unproductiveness.
Life is too short to be filling every minute of our schedules with productive things and always rushing from one task to the next.
Doing so is also incredibly overwhelming!
It’s not that “fast” and “busy” are necessarily bad.
Most of us don’t like wasting time: who wants to spend hours stuck in traffic or waiting in line?
But fast is not always better.
We should not be rushing all the time.
Life is not about that.
Once, I heard someone say “Where are we rushing to anyway?”.
It stuck with me.
Because it is so true!
Oftentimes, we are so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to live and take care of ourselves and what is important.
And soon enough, we won’t be here anymore to enjoy the magic that life has to offer.
Is slow living good?
Slow living has so many benefits!
The main one I’ve experienced since slowing down my pace is that it reduces stress and anxiety.
Since we are not rushing constantly and living chaotic, busy lives, we feel calmer and less overwhelmed.
We also have more time to take care of ourselves, rest, and do what matters to us, which helps create more balance.
Slow living also contributes to living a happy, fulfilling life.
As we make intentional choices and focus on the things that are important to us, we are happier and more aligned with our values.
It might be counterintuitive, but I’ve also found that I am more productive since practicing slow living.
I am a lot less distracted and have fewer commitments, meaning that I can give my full attention to what I am doing.
What’s more, slow living frees up more time in our lives, which can lead to many other benefits.
We finally have the time to strengthen our relationships, try new things, and focus on our health.
There are so many other benefits you can experience from living a slow life.
Let’s discover them by embracing slow living today!
How to start slow living?
Every person and family can practice slow living in multiple different ways.
Here are some ideas you can try to slow down today.
1. Live seasonally
At the beginning of my slow living lifestyle, I started living in tune with the seasons.
It means that I now focus more on indoor hobbies when it is cold outside.
I make sure to eat seasonally as well.
I try to buy produce that’s in season as much as I can, so my meals vary widely from one season to the next.
Living seasonally is also about noticing the seasons changing, day after day, and enjoying the constant evolution of nature throughout the year.
We can make the most of each season instead of constantly wishing for the next.
Living seasonally helps me be present, and it allows me to appreciate what I have now and realize that it will not be here forever.
And that’s okay.
2. Become a conscious consumer
A great way to embrace slow living is to be a slow consumer.
Make sure you do not overconsume in your daily life.
Take the time to use up the things you have before buying new things.
You don’t have to constantly be on the lookout for the next best thing, the next best gadgets or fashion trends.
Consume slowly and intentionally.
Choose quality over quantity.
Not only is it a lot more sustainable, but it will also teach you to appreciate what you have and be content.
3. Schedule time to rest
Today’s modern society makes us think that it is normal to sacrifice sleep and rest to achieve our goals and complete our to-do lists.
To embrace slow living, we need to learn to prioritize our well-being, which means that we have to find the time to rest.
Start listening to your body, and take a nap if you need to.
Also, try to sleep at least eight hours a night, and schedule regular breaks during your work days.
We need to give our bodies and minds a break so that they can function properly and we can feel good and energized.
4. Prioritize what is important to you
Take a piece of paper and list all the things that you value and are important in your life.
Then, make sure to prioritize those!
For instance, if you wrote “family”, schedule family game nights several times a week instead of spending your evenings scrolling on your phone.
If volunteering is important to you, research where you could volunteer in your local area and replace activities you don’t like with this one.
5. Remove the excess from your home
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you probably already know how minimalism has changed my life!
My home feels calmer and I spend a lot less time cleaning and organizing stuff.
It has helped me slow down, clear the clutter, and lighten my load.
If you too want to eliminate unnecessary things from your life, here are my best decluttering tips and ideas:
- 11 decluttering hacks for minimalist living
- 70 things to get rid of in your home today
- 18 areas most people forget to declutter
- 8 common mistakes to avoid when decluttering
- The best decluttering questions to ask yourself
6. Spend time in nature every day
Try to go on a walk in nature every day, whether that’s in a nearby forest, in your garden, or a park in the city.
No matter where it is, spending time in nature resets our bodies and minds back to a slower, normal pace.
It heals and grounds us.
When we look around, we see that trees, flowers, and animals do not rush.
They live their lives at their own pace.
And it reminds us to do the same.
7. Avoid multitasking
If you want to practice slow living, try to avoid multitasking as much as you can.
Doing several things at once can be overwhelming and it prevents us from being in the present moment.
Our mind focuses on different things all at once, so it cannot be here and now.
On the contrary, doing only one thing at a time means we can give it our full attention.
We can be present and aware of what we are doing.
8. Limit the number of things on your to-do list
One of the reasons we constantly feel rushed, overwhelmed, and busy is that we always tend to cram as many things on our to-do lists as possible.
However, we need to remember that we are humans, not robots.
We cannot always complete every task we have planned for the day.
We should only have a few things scheduled for each day, with time set aside to do nothing productive.
That way, our schedules are not overbooked.
We have the time to work on our most important tasks and have dedicated chunks of time we can use to rest or do what we love.
Another great way to limit the number of things on our to-do lists is to say no to unnecessary commitments.
For instance, if you don’t want to go to that party you are invited to, politely decline.
I’ve found that every time I feel like time is running away from me is when I spend a lot of time on screens.
So whenever I need to slow down my pace, I make sure to unplug and stay away from screens and the internet for a while.
It could be a weekend, a day, or even an hour.
It always leaves me feeling more present.
That is also why I decided to only have phone calls and text messages on my phone.
I don’t want to spend my time online, especially when I’m outside.
It might not be feasible for everyone but try to reduce your screen time as much as you can.
It will help you slow down!
10. Notice the little things around you
One of the best ways to embrace slow living every day is to pay attention to the little things around you.
Notice how beautiful the flowers are in your neighborhood.
Look at how the leaves move on a nearby tree.
Pay attention to the magic that is all around you.
It doesn’t have to be something impressive.
When we slow down and start noticing what is around us, we are living in the present moment and time seems to go by at a normal pace.
We see that things are not rushed, yet they are happening anyway.
11. Stop rushing
Make the conscious choice to stop rushing through your days.
Stop focusing on achieving things quickly, and realize that it is okay to be unproductive and inefficient at times.
For instance, read a book, but not because you set the goal to read 50 pages per day.
Read it just to enjoy the story, no matter how many pages it ends up being.
You don’t have to do things quickly.
You can do them slowly, and this is your permission to do so.
12. Cook your own meals
A great mindful activity that helps us live more slowly is cooking our own meals.
When you prepare your food, it takes time to get what you want.
There are many steps involved in cooking and baking, so you learn to be patient and present, and do one thing at a time.
The meals are also usually a lot healthier and less wasteful.
So next time you are tempted to buy takeouts or reheat a ready-made meal, pause and consider making your own meal instead.
13. Read more or do other screen-free hobbies
Starting a slow living lifestyle means that we spend our time doing simpler, slower hobbies.
One of my favorites is reading books!
I find that whenever I read a book, time passes at a normal pace and I feel calm.
Getting lost in a good book helps us slow down and not think about all the chaos around us.
It reduces stress and makes us escape to another world.
Other mindful, screen-free hobbies you can choose to do are drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, or gardening.
You may also love DIYing things, mountain biking, swimming, meditating, or doing yoga.
Final thoughts on what slow living is
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about what slow living is and that you’ve found all the tips helpful!
Slow living does not have to be complicated.
Embracing this lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to move to the woods or the countryside.
You can even live slowly in a big city.
All you have to do is make the intentional choice of slowing down, not rushing through your days, and being okay with not always doing what society tells you to do.
It’s okay to live a slow life!
You will experience many benefits in your daily life from taking a step back!
You will finally start doing what is important to you instead of what others tell you is important.
For more slow living inspiration, read my blog post with 45 inspiring quotes that will make you want to slow down!
What does slow living mean to you?
What are your favorite slow living activities and tips?
Please, share them with us in the comments!
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends to help them embrace slow living today!