Let’s start with the most important thing.
What is slow living?
Slow living is a type of lifestyle in which you approach every day in a reflective manner. You slow down to appreciate every detail around you. Life is pretty chaotic. Whether it is work, errands, chores, and other obligations, we are constantly moving at a fast pace, and in doing so we miss out on some amazing moments and details and have less appreciation for the things around us. It’s not our fault. Our lives are structured that way from a society normative, at least in the States.
Have you ever been made to feel guilty for calling off work, even though you have vacation time? I have. Have you ever skipped a meal because you forgot to eat throughout your busy day? I have. Have you ever wondered what it’s all for if you never have time to appreciate all of your hard work? I have.
Slow living is a way of taking control of your time, taking control of how you view the world and everything around you.
Why did I choose to live slowly?
My journey to slow living was led by my chronic pain and anxiety. I was constantly anxious. At one point I was having panic attacks every day. I never felt like I was doing good enough. I was constantly struggling to keep up with everything I put on my plate. I wouldn’t take a second to hug my husband because I would be in the middle of a task and felt like I didn’t have enough time. I would spend my evening in bed worrying about everything I did or said during the day and everything I had to do the next day.
When my pain became more severe I was unable to do a lot during the day, and the guilt and uneasiness of that started eating me alive. I knew then that my way of living was just not working for me any longer. I needed to change, so without putting too much thought into it, I got my journal and started making notes on what I wanted to change, and from there I became happier.
I also felt more connected to every aspect of my life. I was seeing and experiencing the world in a different way, and it was beautiful.
How to start living a slower life?
- Write out what bothers you about your daily life. Do you not have any time for yourself? Do you wish that you could focus more on your favorite hobby? What do you want to change?
- Now do less. It sounds simple and it is, but it can be difficult to transition from busy bee to slow bee. Do all of these things really have to be done today? Is there a way to make these tasks easier for me to complete?
- Focus on the details. When you cook dinner, really appreciate the colors, scents, and textures of your ingredients. Take a minute out of your day to sit and observe all of the sounds around you. When you are in a moment of calm, focus on why you feel that way?
- Find how to be cozy and calm. I have structured my whole life around being cozy and calm. It’s the most important thing for my health. Find what makes you feel cozy and calm. Is it taking a bath with the candles lit and jazz music playing? Is it reading by the window with a cozy blanket and perhaps a cat on your legs? Whatever it may be, cultivate these things into your life.
- Disconnect. I find that too much time taking in from the outside world, whether that is from social media, or friends, or family, can be stressful. Sunday is a day when I disconnect from social media and the outside world. I don’t make plans and I don’t run errands. I take the whole day to spend time doing exactly what I want to do. Usually, I sleep in a little, meditate, make a good breakfast, and spend the rest of the day cuddling, reading, and watching tv. I will take a hot bath after dinner, and then do some yoga.