The slow living movement has certainly become popular as we, as human beings, become more overwhelmed, overworked, and simply stretched too thin. One of the best ways to live a more peaceful, fulfilling life is to transition to focus more on slow living whenever possible. It’s a conscious choice I recently made and am constantly working towards as a business owner and mother of 3 young kids. It’s hard to go slow when life is fast, isn’t it?
But I find that the concept of slow living isn’t something you can just jump into 100%. No, the art of slow living is something that takes a while to fully immerse yourself in. That’s why I wanted to take some time today to share some slow living tips that we can all use in our daily lives with the aim of a slower lifestyle.
Remember, don’t necessarily think of this as a to-do list or another thing to check off. We’re all programmed to constantly be productive. I get that it’s hard not to think of it that way. Instead, take one or two ideas and work them into your life slowly as you make lifestyle changes toward a slower pace of life. These are simple ways to get to a better place to take that first step towards a more intentional life.
Definition of Slow Living
Slow living is a lifestyle that focuses on the importance of taking a step back from the fast-paced, hectic world we live in to focus on the present moment. It’s about being mindful and intentional with your actions and taking the time to appreciate the simple things in life.
At its core, slow living is truly all about finding balance. It’s about balancing work and leisure, technology and nature, and material possessions and experiences.
In the end, slow living is a mindset that encourages you to make a conscious effort to slow down, be present, and enjoy your life rather than racing to the next thing or being caught up in well… everything, and just bask in the aspects of everyday life.
Benefits of Slow Living
There are SO many benefits to slow living, and I can certainly attest to that as I make changes to this way of life where it’s less go go go and more simply being and enjoying. Here are a few:
Increased happiness: Slow living encourages you to find joy in the little things in life. By slowing down and being present in the moment, you will begin to appreciate the beauty in everyday life. It’s much easier to notice the small things that bring you happiness when you move away from fast-paced lifestyles.
More peace and balance: One of the main principles of slow living is balance. By living at a slower pace, you will have more time to focus on the things that matter most to you. You can prioritize your time and energy on activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. This balance will lead to a sense of peace and contentment.
More energy: When you constantly rush from one task to the next, you are draining your energy levels to where you truly need that cup of coffee. Slow living allows you to conserve your energy and recharge your batteries. By taking the time to rest, relax, and recharge, you will have more energy to devote to the things that matter most to you and truly enjoy that cup of coffee if you want it (or not).
Improved wellbeing: Slow living can also be about taking care of yourself physically and mentally. You will have more time to exercise, eat healthy, and practice mindfulness, but in a way that is natural and enjoyed, not rushed to check it off your to do list. This will lead to a healthier body and a clearer mind.
Less stress: One of the biggest benefits of slow living is reducing stress levels. Stress levels are at an all time high, even for children. When you live a more mindful life, you get to take a step back and reduce the amount of stress in your life.
In conclusion, slow living offers numerous benefits that can improve your overall well-being. Slow living means enjoying life’s simple pleasures and avoiding a busy lifestyle that tends to bring stress, and many other negative aspects.
22 Slow Living Tips for a Better Life
The sooner we can embrace perfection, the better. Instead of striving for perfection in every aspect of your life, focus on slow progress and growth. Recognize that mistakes and setbacks are a natural part of life and use them as opportunities to learn and improve. Embracing imperfection can also mean your possessions and your surroundings. Keeping things around longer, even if they aren’t in perfect, pristine condition and just accepting what is.
We could all have a little more gratitude, don’t you think? Practicing gratitude is an important aspect of slow living. Take time each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. This can help you cultivate a positive mindset and appreciate the simple things in life. I personally like to keep a journal and although I don’t write in it daily, when I do I try to remember to jot down a few things I’m grateful for to stay mindful of the good things in my life, no matter what’s going on around me.
Create a Morning Ritual
Many people talk about morning routines, but I find that to be more rigid. With a ritual, you can be intentional about how you begin your day. It could be a few minutes of quiet reflection, deep breathing, or journaling to set a calm and intentional tone for the day.
Let Go of the Need to Always be Productive
In a society that values productivity and busyness, it can be difficult to let go of the need always to be doing something. I’m a recovering productivity addict. If I could multitask and get 100 things done in a day, I would have. But remember that rest and relaxation are just as important as productivity. You’re not made to work work work. It’s ok to have productive moments, but it’s also ok to have moments where you are doing a whole lot of nothing, too. This can help you recharge your batteries and approach life with renewed energy and focus.
Taking care of yourself is crucial to ensure you have the energy and motivation to tackle your daily tasks. Prioritize self-care activities such as slow movement, meditation, or simply taking a break to relax and recharge.
Sometimes living slowly is about saying no. Learn to say no to activities or commitments that do not align with your priorities or values. Set realistic expectations for yourself and others, and communicate your boundaries clearly. This will help you avoid overcommitting and feeling overwhelmed with your schedule so you have padding, or white space, in your days.
Getting outside in the fresh air and taking a walk is a great way to practice slow living. This type of slow movement is great for your body, but also for your mind. It allows you to be more observant, and in the moment as you stroll along your neighborhood or local park. Don’t worry about having a mile goal or time goal, just enjoy your walk.
Simplify Your Schedule
Simplifying your schedule can greatly help reduce stress and create more balance in your life. Especially if you’re a mom and your kids have what seems like a million playdates and activities. Take a critical look at your schedule and identify any activities or commitments that are not essential. Consider delegating tasks or saying no to some commitments. Create a routine that allows you to focus on the most important things and eliminates unnecessary stressors. You, and your kids, don’t need to do every single activity or outing available to you. Sometimes just being home is just as beneficial, or possibly moreso.
If you homeschool, check out my simple homeschool rhythm post.
Establish Digital Boundaries
This could mean that you set limits on your screen time and create tech-free zones in your home, such as the bedroom or dining area, to foster more meaningful connections with loved ones. While it’s totally normal, and often necessary, to use smartphones and computers, creating boundaries around use can help you disconnect and reset.
Doing a digital detox, or signing out of social media and deleting the apps, can be freeing if you find yourself checking in too often. I personally have deleted certain apps for almost a year in the past and am currently not engaging in social media at all. Even after the first week, I noticed I’m much less hurried, irritated, and I feel better about myself without the constant comparison to someone else’s highlight reel.
Having less is a big component of living a slower-paced lifestyle. Decluttering your home regularly is one of the most crucial steps in creating a slow living environment. It helps you eliminate the unnecessary items that only add to the clutter and chaos in your space. Even when you’ve gone through a whole home declutter, new stuff will creep in, so decluttering regularly is so important to keep things peaceful and clutter free. Consider donating, selling, or recycling items in good condition.
Minimalism isn’t for everyone and there are different definitions for it. What minimalism means to you may be different from what it means to me. Really, it’s about owning only what you need and what brings you joy. For some people, that means having a closet full of clothes they absolutely love an wear while for another person, that may mean strictly limiting their wardrobe to 25 intentional pieces. When you embrace minimalism, you’ll have more time, space, and money to focus on the things that matter most to you. Consider adopting a minimalist approach to your home decor, wardrobe, and overall lifestyle.
Create a Calming Space
Small changes, like creating a calming space in your home, can really help move you in the right direction. It’s about creating a space that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation. Consider incorporating the following elements into your space:
- Aesthetic: Choose a color scheme and decor that reflects your personal style and promotes calmness.
- Essentials: Keep only essential items in your space to avoid clutter.
- Simplicity: Choose furniture and decor that are simple and functional.
- Plants: Incorporate plants into your space to promote relaxation and purify the air.
- Silence: Create a space where you can escape the noise and chaos of the outside world.
- Ritual: Incorporate rituals into your daily routine, such as meditation or yoga, to promote relaxation and mindfulness.
Incorporating these elements into your home environment can help you create a space that promotes slow living and relaxation. Remember, slow living is about taking things one step at a time and enjoying the journey.
Cultivate Meaningful Connections
Slow living encourages us to focus on the quality of our relationships rather than the quantity. To cultivate meaningful connections, start by being present in the moment and actively listening to others when you’re around them. Show genuine interest in their lives, and be open and vulnerable with them. This can help build trust and deepen your relationships.
Additionally, make an effort to connect with your family and friends regularly. Whether it’s through a phone call, text message, or in-person visit, maintaining consistent communication can help strengthen your bond.
Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones
In our busy lives, it’s easy to get caught up in work and other obligations and neglect our relationships. Especially with technology, how often are we “with” our loved ones, but totally tuned out? The last thing I want my kids to see when they look at me is the back of my phone. Spending quality time with loved ones is essential for our well-being.
Make an effort to set aside dedicated time for your family and friends. This can be as simple as having a weekly dinner together or even planning a weekend getaway. During this time, focus on being present and enjoying each other’s company.
One of the best parts about slow living? You can allow yourself to sleep! Getting enough sleep is crucial for your overall health and well-being. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can also help you wind down and then you can (and should) allow yourself to sleep until you feel refreshed. If you have kids, that may not be the case, but if you can ditch the alarm clock, that’s great!
Embrace the beauty of doing nothing
Rarely do we get the pleasure, especially as parents, to do nothing. But try to find time to allow yourself to have unstructured time where you can simply be without any specific goals or tasks. Use this time to recharge and find peace in the present moment.
Mindful eating means paying attention to your food and enjoying each bite. When you eat mindfully, you are more likely to make healthier food choices and feel more satisfied after meals. Slow living often focuses on eating whole, nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Learn to Say No
One of the most important things you can do to embrace slow living is to learn to say no. Saying yes to everything can lead to feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and rushed. It’s okay to decline invitations or requests that don’t align with your values or priorities. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing your well-being and taking the time to slow down.
Mindfulness is being present and fully engaged in the current moment and the truth is, most of us are rarely mindful because our mind is constantly going. It can help you feel more grounded, calm, and focused. You can practice mindfulness in many ways, such as meditation, deep breathing, or simply stopping for a few minutes to pay attention to your surroundings. Try incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine to help you slow down and appreciate the small moments in life.
Engage in Meaningful Hobbies
Engaging in meaningful hobbies or creative activities can help you slow down and find joy in the present moment. Explore activities like gardening, knitting, painting, or playing a musical instrument. These pursuits encourage mindfulness, creativity, and a sense of fulfillment. Don’t worry about being perfect or creating something amazing – the process itself should be therapeutic and rewarding.
Distractions can make it difficult to slow down and focus on what’s important. Try minimizing distractions in your environment, such as turning off your phone or closing unnecessary tabs on your computer. Removing visual clutter is a big part of this too. You can also set boundaries with others, such as letting them know when you need quiet time or when you’d like to be left out of the never ending group text.
Challenges to Slow Living (and how to overcome them)
Living a slow lifestyle can be challenging, especially in a society that values busyness and instant gratification. However, it is important to remember that slow living is a lifestyle choice that can help you find depth and meaning in your life. Ket’s look at some of the very real challenges you may face when adopting a slow living lifestyle and some tips on how to overcome them.
Overcoming the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
One of the biggest challenges to slow living is the fear of missing out (FOMO). This is one I struggle with BAD! It can be difficult to slow down and enjoy the present moment in a society that values constant stimulation and activity. But remember that slow living is not about missing out on life, but rather about savoring it.
You can overcome FOMO! Try to focus on the present moment and make an effort to enjoy the simple things in life. Take time to appreciate nature, spend time with loved ones, and engage in activities that bring you joy. You don’t need to take on another class or add anything else to your plate to enjoy life. Remember that slow living is about living in alignment with your values, not about keeping up with societal pressures.
It can be difficult to live a slow lifestyle that prioritizes depth and values in a world that values superficiality and materialism. Especially if you have a lot of friends, acquaintances, or family members who participate in that type of lifestyle. But remember that you can still enjoy people who don’t align with your values without compromising yours.
It can be really helpful to try to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your values. You don’t need to remove old friends or loved ones, just add in more who agree with you. And simply be ok with not conforming to that part of society. Remember that slow living is about reducing stress and finding balance, not about conforming to any specific societal norms.
Balancing Slow Living & Productivity
Finally, finding a balance between slow living and productivity can be a challenge. We still need to get stuff done, but where do you draw the line? But slow living is not about being unproductive, it’s more about finding a balance between work and leisure.
To balance slow living and productivity, try to prioritize your time and focus on the things that matter most to you and remove anything that isn’t (when possible). It’s not always easy at first, but take a look at your priorities and figure out how you can balance your time between productive work and rest.
Slow living has truly changed the way I live and look at life, for the better! Being able to simply enjoy life, whatever situation I’m currently in, is the key to feeling happy, content, and balanced. I hope that these slow living tips have been helpful for you!