Slow Living – What is Slow Living & 10 ways to get started
For me, the term slow living is relatively new. I probably first heard it a couple of years ago and frankly I love it. I’m conscious that I use it a lot in stories, posts and on the website but not everyone knows what it means. So if you’re thinking ‘What is Slow Living’, hopefully this blog will explain it more clearly and give you a guide on where to start with living your best slow life.
Slow Living is a way of connecting to what is important to you, removing the noise as it were. Thinking about how you can connect to nature, your body, soul & concentrate on things you love. Personally for me its about living a more simple life and being happy within it. Savouring days and moments rather than wishing them away. Slow Living is about consuming less, not shopping for the latest trends or over purchasing on goods you don’t really need.
Generally it’s about leading a more sustainable & conscious life. That is what I’m striving for anyway, ‘less stuff, more meaning’ I think is the quote I’m looking for. Below I’ve listed a few of the ways you could start implementing Slow Living into your daily life, FYI even I don’t do all of these all of the time. Some may resonate more with you than others. Remember it’s more important to find what you’re comfortable with in your own time than feel you need to be ticking all of these off straight away.
‘The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something’
There are quite a few variations on what mindfulness looks like, I think it depends what you’re comfortable with & what you can commit to. You could practice mindful meditation every day or you could try mindful eating, a mindful morning routine or simply a mindful pause in your day – 5 minutes to yourself being present. There are plenty of options & my biggest suggestion would be to start small & sustainable.
2. Write a journal
Taking time as some point in your day to journal your is a great way to gather your thoughts and reflect on your emotions & actions. It doesn’t have to be an essay, if starting off with two sentences is what you feel you can manage then do it. Everything to do with living slow needs to be sustainable so don’t feel pushed to do it all at once. You can write about your day, your achievements or your goals for the day ahead. Whatever you chose keep it simple and make sure you’re somewhere quiet without distraction.
3. Shopping Consciously
This is one I’ve definitely become better at in the last few months. Make plans & be organised about what you need to shop for, don’t leave things until the last minute. I won’t leave the house now without a list and I also take a moment to think about the best places to go to get what I need. If you’re purchasing clothing, there are plenty of great options to buy pre-owned, rent & swap now. Just because you’re purchasing off e-bay doesn’t mean the item isn’t brand new either – I recently purchased brand new Veja trainers for £30 off the retail price!
4. Purchase fruit & veg that’s in season
Plan your meals for the week based around fruit and veg that is in season in the UK. So when you go to the market to get your veg you aren’t disappointed that the ingredients you need aren’t there. The items will be fresher because they haven’t travelled halfway across the world to get to you, which leads me nicely into the next point…
5. Be conscious of your footprint
It might not be the first thing you think of but it’s all part of leading a more mindful life. To be clear as well I’m not only talking about how much you fly around the world or drive your car. When you become more conscious about your footprint you’ll think about turning the lights off when you walk out the room, not let the tap run when brushing your teeth, make sure you always set the dishwasher to eco mode.
That bike you’ve been thinking about getting…. It could be time!
6. Enjoy your exercise
Don’t exercise because you have to, do it because you enjoy it. Exercise doesn’t always have to be about getting to your max heart rate to feel like you’ve done something. A brisk hour-long walk everyday might be your medicine. Find what you like and can sustain regularly and keep doing it. If you add to it from time to time then that’s a bonus.
7. Avoid the hustle & grind
Anyone who told you that if you aren’t working all hours under the sun you’re not going to ‘make it’ definitely isn’t doing it right! As someone who recently went self-employed, (although it’s a bit scary!) I can tell you that I work less hours now for the same and sometimes more money and this is only the beginning. I plan to actually work less hours as I earn more, it’s about finding people who value your work and you knowing your worth. Find what you love doing and go do it. I’m fully aware that there will be some months I don’t earn much at all, and that holidays will be trickier but I love my work life balance and I wouldn’t change it now.
8. Breath deeply
Simple but fantastic, take a moment to yourself, somewhere quiet, in nature and breathe it all in and back out. Just a few minutes with your eyes closed can do wonders. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget to take good quality breaths especially in moments of stress, I can’t tell you how beneficial this new habit could be for you.
9. Awareness of how you spend your time & who with
OK, this one is potentially a bit brutal but be prepared and brave enough to cut down the time you spend with people who aren’t your people. Don’t feel that you have to continue connections with people who don’t enrich your life or who add stress and angst to your day. Spend your time with friends and loved ones who build you up, have your back and hold space for you when you need it. Obviously this goes both ways!
10. Less screen time more connection to people & nature
I always say I’d love to spend less time on my screen and often I don’t follow it up. Hence I’ve left it until the end, I did say I’m not necessarily great at all of these ideas! Lowering your blue screen time can be hugely beneficial to your mental health. We have all ended up in a black hole of instagram whilst our emotional state plummets. Set your screen time limit on your phone, plan time without a screen, go for a walk, run, dinner without your phone. Go on, I dare you!
What is Slow Living to you?
There is so much to the term Slow Living and you can dive a lot deeper into the philosophical origins too but I hope you’ve found it helpful. Even if some of these seem obvious and you’re doing a few there are plenty of things you can add to (or delete from!) your life that can enrich it.
Here at Inka I believe our brand values tie in really well to the Slow Life by supporting sustainable and ethical brands that hand make their products. You can read more about my brand values here.
I thought I would recommend a few sites to get you started on your journey towards a Slow Life too, have a look below:
Calm App – great for meditation & better sleep
Dee Mcqueen Yoga – for all the yogis out there
Flipd – a productivity app to keep you off your phone