Slow living is a lifestyle with many facets. It doesn't literally mean doing everything at a slow pace, but is rather a philosophy of living a more conscious, intentional, and balanced life.
In today's fast-paced and efficiency-oriented society, we tend to overlook our mental health’s needs and fail to appreciate what is happening around us. Our attention has become fragmented in a time where multitasking is largely praised and appreciated. However, efficiency and practicality shouldn't influence all aspects of our lives. Here are some tips to start a slow living lifestyle that’s retaliating against the rat race while still getting things done:
Prioritize your day
Value your time and energy by creating a clear schedule, listing out tasks for the day that add value to your life and work. List out all the things that needed to be done, and prioritize them in chronological order. Also, be careful not to be over-achieving. If your list is too long and impossible to complete in a day, you’ll feel depleted which defeats the purpose. Keep it short and do-able. The philosophy of slow living is to live more mindfully and balanced - don’t overwhelm yourself.
Include a walk in your daily routine
We have all been staying inside for way longer than usual since last year. This somewhat blurs our lives' boundaries as we eat, work, and rest in the same space all day long. It is highly recommended to get out a little bit to stretch your body and clear your mind. Being out and reconnecting to nature has various health benefits! Studies show that exercise boosts your cognitive abilities, and exposure to sunlight helps us gain Vitamin D, which can help with fatigue symptoms. We know that when you have a lot of work to do, the thought of getting outside might seem counterproductive and even a waste of time, but don't be convinced by what your brain tells you. When you have brain fog, try to get out for a walk, it could raise your motivation levels and overall productivity.
Try a recipe
In a typical office day setting, we grab takeout coffee and premade sandwiches from stores because we are forever busy and eager to get as much done as possible. Some of us may bring leftovers from home that we reheat in the office microwave. Given that we are spending more time at home nowadays anyways, it’s an excellent time to re-evaluate our eating habits and get creative in the kitchen! Your body really is a temple that is nourished from the inside out. This is the time to take the time to eat, try new things and get healthy and creative!
Unplug and enjoy the moments
We are ingrained with a powerful short-term reward system. We often get distracted by notifications and end up playing on our phones for hours on end, entertaining (or distracting?) ourselves easily and filling time gaps through internet rabbit holes.
Come up with things you enjoy doing that don't require the Internet so you won't be distracted by notifications. Create some cozy moments and unplug from all the social media. Perhaps consider making a cup of tea, reading, or meditating. You will find that thoughts occupying our minds are not that important, and being present helps to find a deeper inner peace. This exercise brings sparks of inspiration and makes slowing down more enjoyable than you could ever imagine.
Talk to someone you love
In the time of Covid-19, a lot of us have been spending time away from our loved ones. Thanks to technology, keeping in touch with our families has become easier than ever! It takes efforts to maintain all types of relationships, and we usually overlook our closest friendships in an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality. We need human connection more than ever, and so do our loved ones. Be spontaneous and pick up the phone to call them. Schedule a video group call if you prefer. Take the time to ask them how they are doing, to hear their voices. Don’t be afraid to deepen your connection with your circle whenever and wherever. They most likely have been craving it as much as you do.
Our lives are so different and diverse that there is no answer to all of our problems and needs. Slow living is for everyone, and you can do it anywhere, no matter whether you live in a busy city or in a tiny cabin in the forest. We can all find our own version of slow living and apply these principles to our lives. When we find the right pace in our own lives, our body and mind become calmer and less stressed. We become more focused and present and experience our days through a different lens. Ask yourself what are the most essential things in your life and make them the center of your days!