Summer means days filled with sunshine and time. The days are longer, the daylight seems to never fade, and the beautiful twilight lingers on until the wee hours of the night. All this means that time is there – but it’s precious.
Soon summer will bring autumn, and autumn will bring the long winter days. Why not make this precious time of the year more enjoyable by living slowly?
What is “Slow Living”?
It’s not an art form and anyone can be a “slow” living person. Slow living simply means you are taking time to enjoy every moment of the day and brining more nature, simplicity, and minimalism into your life through actions and environment.
Essentially slow living is being more present in your day so that it is more fulfilling and purpose filled.
Why is Slow Living Helpful?
Slow living is helpful because it allows you to reduce everyday stressors that commonly contribute to the feeling of overwhelm and anxiety. Everyday our phones, jobs, and domestic situations can contribute to stress and fast living: you know, feeling like “where did the day go??” right as you come home from work.
That feeling of “But I only just woke up 3 hours ago!” hits you hard when life is living too fast for you. It’s too fast because you aren’t noticing the little joys in life. It’s suddenly not pleasurable to wake up and start your day. Going home is a relief and often you’ll spend the rest of your day dreading about tomorrow.
That my friend, is a fast life. Busyness can be destructive for not only our bodies, but our minds.
I once was someone who was too busy…too fast. If I had a task, I treated it with such importance that everything else in my life was pushed aside. I lived for busyness and I regret not spending more time with my senses now that one of them is greatly diminished.
The prescription? A slower pace of life. And here’s how to do it
Living slower is not being more boring. That is not the goal here. The goal is to make sure that your day is more purposeful and fulfilling. It’s a state of mind and a state of your body: how you approach your day to create more peace, tranquility, and purpose.
Here’s a few ways to have a slow life:
Wake up earlier and enjoy your breakfast: Go to bed earlier (there’s no need to stay up watching Netflix). The earlier you go to bed, the easier you can wake up and start your day off slower. By really taking the time to enjoy the first meal of the day, you are setting a standard for the rest of your day. Think about it this way: if you rush first thing in the morning, you’ll feel rushed for the whole day. Start your day with intention and purpose of taking it slow.
Put down the phone and computer unless you need to work: Sure, go ahead and check your emails, but constantly being on your phone at the top of every hour leads to distractions and frequent hand and eye strain. Dedicate specific times to check your phone and computer: maybe you do work from 9-11 each morning. But constantly using your phone after those dedicated times will lead to fast living. Slow down by leaving the phone at the counter as you sit and enjoy a meal or read a book outdoors.
Engineer more mindless movement into your life: By walking and sending often, you can engineer more movement into your life. For example, instead of doing a grocery run every week, only buy a little at a time and walk to the grocery store like Europeans do! In your home, create a standing desk so you can move a bit while you work. If you need to turn on the lights or change the temperature, instead of shouting at Alexa to do it for you, walk to it. Movement helps you live slower and longer.
5 Books To Read On Slow Living
- Destination Simple: Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life
Be more organic and sustainable with your food: Growing your own food (if possible) can help teach you patience and also, it tastes good! You are in control of how your food is grown. Having a garden will allow you to approach your meals with more purpose: you have to use what you grow. In a way, it’s respecting your time and the timing of mother nature. If you can’t grow your own food, taking the time to research, meal plan, and buy more organic food will be nourishing for your body. Also not wasting food helps you be more deliberate about your day. You’ll find yourself more appreciative for all you have.
Taking time to connect with friends and family: Part of slow living is making sure that your physical and emotional connections with others are strengthened. Do this not by texting someone, but by calling or visiting face to face. There’s a beauty in connecting with someone who is in the same room. You will find yourself more at ease and developing friendships and relationships outside of the standard texting culture of today.
Detoxing your home: There’s a few whispers out there that all that technology in our home isn’t the healthiest for us. EMF radiation from 5g networks, bluetooth, and wifi is causing people stress, headaches, and mood disorders, among other concerns. Here’s the thing: in the long run, faster is not always better. Take some time to not only clean your house, but also detox it. Put away electronics you don’t use frequently. Unplug. Get rid of Alexa and Google Voice. Take the TV out of the bedroom. Simple changes like these will have your home feeling much more serene.
Get the calendar and block your time: Stop just aimlessly doing chores and start blocking your time. You will save your own time by doing this even though it is a bit “fast” one may say. If you schedule all your chores to be done between 9 am and 12 pm for example, then you have the whole afternoon to devote to living slower. Instead of just staring into a screen, doing the same task over and over, and losing time, make sure you are blinking time to do these things.
Although I am a blogger and social media strategist and this is part of my job, I use slow living principles to lead a happier and healthier life than I used to have. I usually write most of my posts on paper while sitting outdoors with a cup of tea. I then transcribe them
Slow living isn’t for everyone, But it is something that many people are starting to do because they too are realizing that our life here is short lived. We can’t let it fly by and we must enjoy every moment. I hope you start thinking about what your life is looking like right now and how much more time you can have by implementing these steps.
Will you start a slow living journey too? What are your thoughts on some of these principles