Slow living is something that wasn’t really on my radar until last year. I kind of associated it with a vegan diet, owning about three items of clothing and not shaving your legs. It was making your own jam and knitting a jumper in your free evenings, which when I think about it now is kind of hilarious. Since last summer, I’ve been trying to make a few changes in my day to day life to align with a slower pace. I think slow living is different for everyone, and it can be as big or as small as you make it. Really, any changes we can make to slow down are positive, so in case you’re looking for inspiration for a slow life, here’s what slow living means to me.
Prioritising my health & happiness above all.
It’s so easy in life to get caught up in the should dos and the could dos. I felt like I was saying yes to things, not because I wanted or needed to do them, but because I felt like I should. Nowadays, I say no to a LOT, and I prioritise the things I know I need to be happy and healthy. Make a list of what you need in a day, and plan your day around it. For me, that means time outside, meaningful connection with people, creative pursuits and time spent doing something restful. Sure, there are things I need to do in a day, work and home chores, but I try and strike a better balance between everything.
Practising mindfulness daily.
Until my sessions with a Psychologist last year, I didn’t really realise how much time I spent worrying about the past or the future. I’m working hard these days to be more present in everything I do, not only because it reduces my general anxiety levels a lot, but also because it helps me appreciate the good in everyday, the little lovely moments & I remember them all more.
Asking myself ‘do I really need this’.
I’m never going to be a minimalist, I’ve accepted that. I like things too much, a minimal home feels sparse to me, I like to be surrounded by cosy clutter. I am however, trying hard to reduce my needless spending. I’m definitely an emotional shopper, if I’m feeling sad or fed up I turn to retail therapy, and I’m quite easily caught up in ‘this is new, I must have it fever’ too. I’m trying to shop a bit more consciously now, I’m trying to stay away from shops unless I need something, I’ve unsubscribed from emails and unfollowed brand instagrams, and I’ve started making a wish list, and only buying things if they’ve been on there for six weeks or so (unless it’s a necessity). I also trying to be a little bit more aware of things like plastic packaging in the supermarket, taking my reusable coffee cup to my favourite independent cafe, and carrying my Chilly bottle with me when I’m out and about.
Obviously 2019 has so far me been a bit overshadowed by my treatment & the horrendous diet that comes with it. Thankfully, I’m on the upswing now and I’ve been able to start introducing some new foods. With that in mind as as the diet ends, I want to go back to intuitively eating, diets have never really worked for me, I don’t do well being told no (ha), but listening to my body, what it likes, what it doesn’t and what I need on any given day. It’s about eating seasonally, cooking fresh hearty decisions and making the best food decisions I can at the time. And yes, having the occasional treat too.
Slow living is different for everyone, for me it’s about trying to do a little less, and doing it consciously.
What does slow living mean to you?