What Is Slow Living?
Have you ever felt like there’s too much to do and not enough time in the day? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the commitments you have, rushing from one thing to the next? Do you wish you could live slowly instead of running full speed ahead?
That’s fast living, guys, and we all know it’s SUPER overwhelming. Luckily, there’s a different way to do this thing: embrace slow living.
Whether this is the first time you’re hearing about slowing living or “The Power of Slow” by Carl Honoré is your bible, we could all use more tips and tricks on walking out the concept!
Shira discusses how slow living is all about keeping it chill and appreciating every aspect of life. It started with a slow food movement in Italy in the 80s and 90s. Carlo Petrini protested the opening of the first McDonald’s in Rome. With the protest against fast food, he started a movement celebrating the traditions of preparing and enjoying food.
From there, the movement has grown to encompass all of life. Since the pandemic, the concept has gotten SUPER popular, with a YouTube video entitled “Slow Living” receiving 4X the views in 2020 as in 2019.
Slow living is a healthy, happy alternative to rushing around. It allows you to prioritize what matters most—and we are HERE FOR IT. So today, here are the deets on slow living and how you can practice it in your own life:
Slow Living Principles
- + Have slower days, every day
- + Live in the present moment
- + Invest in your community
- + Choose your activities with intention
- + Commit to living with less
- + Follow slow food principles
- + Invest in yourself
Slow Living Benefits
A slow life leaves room for so many opportunities to take better care of your health. Whether it be social health, physical health, or mental health, you can take charge of the areas of your life that need care.
Fast-paced living is all about instant connection and instant gratification. But with such instantaneous contact and a wide breadth of people to love, it’s difficult to get deep with your bestie, your mom, your mentor—really, anyone important to you may take a backseat when you’re living fast.
When you slow down, you can learn to say no to opportunities and relationships that are not serving you. Then, you have a much stronger “OMG, YES!” for those you want to spend time with.
One of the key principles of slow living is a reduced schedule. Gone are the days of jam-packed planners and back-to-back activities. Slow living requires enough time to be bored to reap the benefits.
And really, slow living is about embracing boredom. This time is for you to use intentionally. If you run from boredom, you won’t be able to find the joy that comes from slowing down.
Room for boredom also means room to process the lessons you’ve learned. Moving from one activity to the next without adequate processing time may mean you make the same mistakes again and again. With a slow-living lifestyle, you only have to make that mistake once!
Slow living equals time to lay back and relaaaaaaaax. When you have time for it, you’ll find out what kind of relaxation really recharges you. Rather than wasting your time and energy on being distracted, you’ll be able to fuel up for the challenges life sends your way.
Slow Living Tips
Practice saying “no.”
This is one of the first steps you NEED to take on your journey to practical slow living. If you can’t say no, trimming your schedule is going to be massively difficult.
One of the best ways to practice this concept is to say “no” when it matters less so that it’s easier to say “no” when it matters more.
For more tips on developing boundaries around your time, check out How to Develop Healthy Boundaries with Family & Friends, Have Hard Conversations, & Live Guilt Free from the Him & Her podcast.
Reduce social media usage.
We know, we know—this one’s hard. However social media usage distracts us from deeper connections that could be more beneficial.
We’re connected to everyone allllllllll the time, which wears on us even when we don’t realize it. Dunbar’s number tells us we can only maintain relationships with 150 people at a time. We don’t know about you, but our friends list is a liiiiiittle bigger than that!
Seeing updates from everyone you’ve ever met constantly makes it hard to stay in the loop with your closest friends and fam.
Tone down the social media usage and give yourself some love with the episode of Food Heaven called How to Actually Cut Back the Screentime and the episode of The Balanced Black Girl titled How to Practice Digital Self-Care: Knowing When to Unplug
Be intentional with your relationships.
Now that you’ve got more time, use it to invest in those you want to be close to. You only get 150 relationships, so make them count!
Feeling nervy about how to navigate? Listen to the Ultimate Adult Friendships Episode – ILYSM from Kenzie Elizabeth of ILYSM for direction, or take some time to read our post How to Make Friends in Your Twenties!
Find your free time passion.
Do you remember hobbies? Those things we used to do as kids before everything got too crazy and busy?
Yeah, turns out those are for adults, too. If you forgot to build free time into your sched for years and now you don’t know what you like to do, don’t sweat it. You’re not alone!
It takes time to find your passion, but it is such an important part of life. Don’t just take our word for it—the episode of the Balanced Black Girl called Why We Need Hobbies for Self-Care by the Balanced Black Girl tells you all about the importance of hobbies in your life.
Reduce your consumption.
This one might seem unrelated, but always needing to have the latest and greatest requires you to keep up with the fast pace of trends. Not only that, but the “more, more, more” feeling of scarcity can keep you distracted from what you want to prioritize.
Like it or not, having too much stuff in your space can stop your battery from getting recharged. You don’t want to feel drained when you’re trying to relax!
Plus, overconsumption requires more decisions which can lead to decision fatigue. The more fatigued we are, the harder it is to take part in slow living. You require faster options when you’re tired. So here’s How to Live More with Less from Food Heaven to help you get the concept!
Declutter your space.
It’s easy to feel drained by clutter. It can be HARD to convince yourself cleaning is worth your time. But we know that decluttering can have tons of benefits for your mental health.
If you’re working on reducing your consumption, decluttering and resetting your space will get easier and easier. Soon, you might find you enjoy the reset!
Cook your own food.
Alright, we’ll admit it—we love to indulge in a super quick meal from Mickey D’s every once in a while. But slow living celebrates its roots, and its roots celebrate the tradition of cooking your own food.
Cooking your own food can benefit your health. Plus, you get to enjoy the product of your own hard work!
Wanna slow down even more and embrace that Instagram homestead vibe? Pursuit of Wellness has a great ep on How To Start Your Own Farm And Raising Chickens with Farmer Paul Greive of PastureBird.
Spend time with yourself.
You know, you’re pretty fun to hang out with. But to know that, and believe that—you gotta be willing to spend time with yourself.
And you deserve to feel good when you spend time alone. We know it can be scary—especially if you’re not used to it—but you’ve got this, babe. Trust us.
Is slow living for you?
We’re feeling a little starry-eyed at the thought of having time to take a breath of fresh air. And we reallyyyyyyy wanna know right now what you’re thinking, but we’ll practice waiting patiently to hear if you’re digging it the way we are. Don’t leave us hanging too long, though!
Want more ideas on living a less stressful life? Here are some stress management techniques you can try at home and don’t forget to come back and hang out with all of us at Dear Media for more pro-life tips and killer podcast recs. And, as you work on creating those #lifegoals, honor the process with The Balanced Blonde crewneck that says “Create a Life You Love.”
That’s what we’re all aiming for here! Let’s fricken do it!