Slow living is for the city girls and island gyals, we promise. Slow living is the concept that moving through life with as much ease and stillness is the way to go. Think about granting yourself guilt-free, timeless, uninterrupted permission to move through your life slowly. This is what it feels like to live life a little slower than, maybe, you were raised to. A phrase I often hear during yoga classes and recite to myself during daily life is ‘I’m going as fast as I can’. As you can imagine, peaceful and unhurried is the essence of this saying. The question is, how achievable is it in a world stuck on moving at dizzying speeds?
Why is everyone suddenly talking about ‘slow living’?
Slow living burst onto the scene in recent years and truly took a new shape during the global lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world eased out of lockdown life, many remained connected to their slower ways of living. Be it continuing to work remotely from the comfort of home, or maintaining wellness routines that championed healthier life choices, we all saw it. In a world that promotes hyper-connectivity, over-production and celebrates quick and immediate wins, it seems impossible to choose slowness every day. The decision is even harder when your slow lifestyle choices aren’t reflected by those in your immediate community. There is no doubt that the racy lifestyle that dominates the minds of society at large is a mood killer for those of us trying to enjoy our 3-hour slow morning routine in peace.
So, if you’re looking at maintaining a sustainably slow life, you find yourself in good company. The point of slow living is you get to pay closer attention to yourself and live fuller. The slow approach is one which refuses to overwork so to maintain optimal physical and mental health; prioritizes slowness to really notice the things about life that are often overlooked; regularly detox mind, body, and online spaces; and resists busyness as a normalized state of adulthood. If you’re ready to create space for rest and walk, not run, towards a slower-lived life, there are some simple habits you can start with.
Four essential slow living habits:
Keeping a journal is an effective way to live life slowly. There is nothing more wholesome than making time to speak with yourself on the page each day. A great recommendation for newbie and well-seasoned journalers is Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ journal prompt book. Each prompt encourages you to intentionally slow down to think about your response.
Meditation / Breath-work
Dropping into meditation and noticing your breath is a guaranteed way to control the pace of your day. Check out this simple and effective breath-work exercise to drop into throughout your day.
Indulge in an entire morning without checking your phone. Set your phone on do-not-disturb during your (many) self-care evenings and/or simply enjoy a phone-less Sunday where work and everything else that seems to demand your attention ceases to exist. Phone-less periods are great because they encourage you to embrace a more sensory world, uninterested in constant notifications and distractions for a short while. Consider it a soft life retreat back in time.
Consciously choose tasks that require slowness and your full-attention
Choose tasks that require your full attention to ensure that you’re not multi-tasking or operating on auto-pilot. While sometimes useful to be able to focus on many tasks at once, the trick to slow living is presence. Maintaining a still and under-stimulated mind promotes more inner peace, which is something we’re all trying to reach for. Prepare dinner fresh each night with all your attention. Go to the grocery store and pay attention to what you choose to buy rather than shopping out of rushed habit. Another task that requires time and attention is reading. Nurture your inner bookworm and allow yourself space to forget about time by reading about another world. Jesmyn Ward writes some of the best stories to indulge in some escapism.
Our editors love finding you the best products and offers! If you purchase something by clicking on one of the affiliate links on our website, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.