Slow Living. You hear it more and more. It is a lifestyle that provides more balance in this fast-paced time of hard work, internet and social media. We get the news faster than ever and are supposed to be ‘on’ 24/7. We cram our free hours completely full with appointments or a second job. There is hardly any time to get inspired or to be creative. This has an impact on our quality of life. More and more people therefore need a different way of life. To Slow Living. But what is Slow Living and how can you get started?
What is Slow Living?
But what is slow living right now exactly? It is now a trend because many people have a need for it, but what does it stand for? Slow living has been around for centuries and becoming means more awareness and reflecting on what is most important to you in your life. So your values. To live your values and organize your time in such a way that you can do more of it. That you really take the time for yourself, the things you find valuable and the people (and animals) around you.
It also means that faster is not always better. Instead of always being busy and doing things quickly and in a hurry, you can also do less with attention. And therefore better. For me it means a quieter life and that makes me happy. And what I schedule in a day is really valuable to me. It does not mean that it only applies to people who work little or do not work, have no family or no responsibilities. Many people who are super busy often need this very much. This could be a really good switch for them. It gives energy, because you do less, really do what you want to do and therefore enjoy what you do more.
So you really don’t have to go super slow to do your daily things. But don’t rush them anymore. Because rushing gives stress and stress is very unhealthy and throws you off balance. You save time by doing less at the right pace and no longer rushing.
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5 tips to start slow living
If the above appeals to you and you don’t know how to start slow living, I have 5 tips for you:
Tip 1. Learn to say ‘no’
If you want to do things you like, you won’t succeed with a packed agenda. So you’ll need to take firm control of your schedule and learn to say ‘no’. People often like it even if you say no. Because then you are clear and people who really love you also want you to enjoy the things you like in this life.
Tip 2. Get to know yourself
Make a top 10 of your most important values in life. That can really be anything. Example: I like spending time with my husband and cat. How important is that to me? That’s in my top 3. So I make sure I make a lot of time for that in a week.
What are my goals in life? Example: I no longer want a job in the hectic and hard corporate world. I want a job that gives satisfaction and has real meaning, can help people. So I make sure that I apply to companies that also have those values.
Think carefully about your values and your goals and get to know yourself. Because that makes you happy!
Tip 3. Selfcare and me-time
It’s wonderful to spend time with yourself and take good care of yourself. People who go out on their own are still looked at strangely and it is often labeled as ‘pathetic’. This society is completely geared towards men/women and two-earners. Don’t mind that. Go to a concert, spa, restaurant or the beach alone if it makes you happy and enjoy your me-time! Also pay attention to yourself sometimes: how is my breathing, am I calm or tense? Listen to your body’s signals and divide your time according to your need for relaxation.
Tip 4. Do everything with attention
When you consciously think about what you find important and what makes you happy in life (your values) and are consciously busy making more time for it, it reduces stress. If you do everything with attention, and have compassion for yourself and others, it is good for your mind and can lower mental stress. Because then you are aware of the beautiful and small things in life. And then you really make a connection with yourself and with others. We live in a hectic, high-demanding tech era (which is also great at times), but keep the focus on you, your goals, and what matters to you.
Tip 5. Grab your rest moments one day
Do you sometimes go through your breaks at work? Do you sometimes suddenly feel unwell, but do you continue to clean the house? Do not! Take short rest moments in a day. Enjoy your breaks at work and plan your work so that you can really finish when it’s lunchtime. The breaks are there for a reason. And if you work from home or take care of your family at home, it’s also important to take breaks. Lie down, take lunch breaks, take care of yourself. Every day again. At a relaxed and unhurried pace. Happy Slow Living!
Which tip appeals to you the most?
Photography: by Charlotte Thomas via Unsplash.