There are many terms for “slow living”. Maybe you call it “simple living”, “mindful living”, “intentional living”.
Whatever you choose to call it, it all encompasses the same thing. Stepping back from the whirlwind that is life and taking it all a bit more slowly.
When I used to think of “slow living” I’d always picture something like little house on the prairie. That easy going, calm life.
And while it can look like that, it can look however you want really, it doesn’t always.
You can live slowly in the city, on the countryside, in your parents basement. Whatever your situation, you can truly change it by choosing to live more slowly and simply.
But how can we adopt a “slow” lifestyle when life is in fact, a whirlwind that just keeps going? Things happens, things come up, things out of our control and it always feels like we’re just bouncing around from place to place, event to event.
Slow living is being aligned with our bodies, mind, spirit and with nature.
Slow living is living a more well balanced life with the notion to approach everyday things more slowly.
It’s about being mindful, aware and intentional with the things we put onto and into our bodies.
It’s about being conscious of what we purchase, what we use and what we leave behind.
It’s about using the things of the earth that have been provided for us and not taking them from granted.
Slow living may sound complicated but if we shift our perspective and really learn all that this lifestyle has to give, you’ll see that it’s quite the opposite. Slow living is meant to take us back to a time when things we’re simpler.
How you can live slower:
1. Live seasonally
We often get so busy planning and worrying about what’s coming next that we forget to live in the moments and in the seasons.
One of my favorite bible passages comes from Ecclesiastes 3 in which God talk about there being a season for everything.
“…. a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”
This can be a great reminder for us to realign with the changing seasons both literally and with the seasons in our lives. Focus on where you are in your life and live in that. Don’t plan for winter or summer yet, live in this current season.
To translate this literally: embrace seasonal activities, embrace the weather, don’t spend your time wishing it was colder or warmer. Enjoy where you are. Eat seasonally. Eating seasonally is a fantastic way to reconnect with nature.
2. Be mindful of the things you purchase
This is a broad one. I’m talking about clothing, food, beauty items, the things we need vs the things we don’t.
Clutter: I for one, am sick and tired of clutter and useless object crowding my space and my mind.
Read: 29 things I quite buying
Our homes should be a place of sanctuary where we can rest, rejuvenate and reconnect with ourselves. A place of safety. The moment our place of solitude becomes overwhelmingly cluttered we tend to lose the ability to relax.
Slow living is cutting out the unnecessary things and coming back to the necessities.
Food: Our bodies are our homes. Even more so than our houses. Because houses can change but you’ll only ever have the one body. We need to be taking the utmost care of them.
Though I’ll admit I used to always turn my nose up at those people who only ate exclusively organic. And I’ll be the first to say that that attitude came from a place of ignorance.
I’m always trying to educate myself and to put it frankly, most of the food we buy and consume is full of garbage. Chemicals, additives and more.
Slow living is being conscious of what we put into our bodies. I’m not here to tell you to become vegan or vegetarian or anything. Only you know what works for your body.
But I do believe we’ve been given everything we need to survive right here on this earth. Buy organic where you can. Especially fruits. Strawberries are one of the most heavily sprayed products out there.
If you do eat meat, try to buy locally and/or sustainably sourced meats.
Try to skip conventional food from a box or bag and make your own foods like bread. That way you have control over the ingredients and you’re not eating processed foods.
Slow living is eating off the planet in a conscious, mindful way. Being grateful for what is provided.
Clothing: Buying organic doesn’t have to stop with our foods. Textiles like cotton are often heavily polluted as well. We put that on our bodies, we breathe it in and then when we’re done with it, it pollutes landfills.
Try buying ethically and sustainably made clothing that’s built to last. Go for the organic if you can. It’s better for you and for the planet.
Also remember to simply purchase less clothing. We don’t need as much as we think we do.
Read: How to transition to slow fashion
if you’re thinking ethical fashion might be a little to much for you, considering buying secondhand or vintage pieces.
Slow living isn’t about being perfect it’s about being mindful.
Beauty products: Anything you’re putting ONTO your body has repercussions as well. Makeup, skin care, hair products are all often filled with chemicals and garbage too.
Our skin in our largest organ and it only takes a few seconds for products to soak into our bodies.
Living slowly is going back to nature, our roots and using, like I said, the things provided for us. Not slathering on a man made concoction filled with words we can’t pronounce.
Read: The beginners guide to clean beauty
3. Be conscious of your footprint
Like our bodies and our homes, this planet is also our home. Yet with each passing day we are polluting and damaging our homes more and more.
While this planet is our home, it is not ours. It housed those before us and it will house those after us. It’s our job to look after it while we are here.
You can do this in a number of ways. Stop using straws or purchase a reusable one, bring a reusable water bottle and coffee cup with you, bring reusable shopping bags, skip produce bags, buy in bulk. Basically, break up with plastic.
While caring for the planet goes far beyond just not using plastic, there is an overwhelming amount of plastic waste on the planet and it’s a great place to start.
Read: Changes you can make to produce less waste
It’s important to remember that slow living isn’t a perfect science. It’s not a destination. It’s a lifelong journey.
I don’t think there’s ever a point in one’s life that they truly have reached that “slow life” and that’s ok.
It’s about striving and reaching to live a more meaningful life, taking a step back from the whirlwind and living slowly.
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