It feels as though we’ve all suddenly been forced to slow down our lives and press pause. This gives us a great opportunity to practice Slow Living.
And, although the circumstances around it are a bit scary and out of our control, embracing slow living may help us cope with the current situation.
What is Slow Living
So what is Slow Living?
Slow living is a lifestyle emphasising slower approaches to aspects of everyday life. The concept of slow lifestyles started with the slow food movement, which emphasizes more traditional food production processes as a reaction to fast food emerged in Italy during the 1980s and 1990s. Slow food and slow living are frequently, but not always, proposed as solutions to what the green movement describes as problems in materialistic and industrial lifestyles.
People every day are constantly living at a fast pace which is making them feel like their lives are chaotic – but with slow living they end up taking a step back and start enjoying life being conscious of sensory profusion. Slow living also incorporates slow food, slow money, and slow cities.
With today’s fast paced way off life we’re often rushing around ticking things off our “To Do” lists that we don’t have the time or mental capacity to actually enjoy.
The fundamental principles of SLOW living are designed to help us slow down consciously and physically and find the time to enjoy and savour things around us.
The core values are:
S = Sustainable
L = Local
O = Organic
W = Whole
Slow living and Zero Waste also fit nicely together as they both encourage us to consume less and live a less materialistic lifestyle.
How to start a slow living lifestyle
I’m not suggesting we should all drop off the grid and start living off the land. But there are some changes that we can make just to slow down our hectic lives and take time to live in the moment and enjoy the things we have and do.
Start with making small changes :
1. Slow down your morning routine
If you’re anything like me my morning routine used to consist of getting up, getting dressed and rushing out of the house to catch a train to London with my reusable coffee cup in my hand.
This really isn’t a good start to the day. So, even if it means getting up a little earlier or starting work a little later why not incorporate a slower start to your morning. Take the time to make yourself an proper breakfast and sit down to eat it with your partner or family.
3. Organise your housework
We all want to live in a nice clean tidy home but we don’t need to spend all our time doing it. If you take the time to plan a cleaning routine that works for you it will help free up time for other things.
You can find lots of useful resources in my Home Cleaning and organising section to help you get started.
4. Do one thing at a time
I know we may pride ourselves on multi tasking but slow down and focus on one thing at a time.
If you’re browsing on the Internet switch the TV off. Make sure you focus on the task in hand, however mundane it may be.
5. Take a walk
Spend time outside and go for a walk, taking time to enjoy what’s around you. Switch off your phone so you’re not distracted and really listen to what’s around you.
6. Cook a meal
Take the time to cook a meal from scratch. Try to source your ingredients locally and look for new places to shop, exploring local Farm Shops and markets.
When your meal is ready sit down to eat at the table, taking your time to savour the meal.
7. Connect with Friends and Family
Make sure you take time to really connect with Friends and Family. Rather than trying to cram everything in and spread yourself out.
8. Read a book
Switch off the TV and read a book. And, if you have a local book group why not join that.
9. Say no to Fast Fashion
Buy clothes that will last or even better buy secondhand
10. Practice Mindfulness
It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.
An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.
It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.
Professor Mark Williams
There are lots of great resources out there to help you get started with Mindful being one of them.
I hope you find your own way through this current situation 🙂