How to practice slow living in a fast-paced world

It's time to hit the breaks!

23 February, 2024
How to practice slow living in a fast-paced world

We’ve often been taught that endlessly long to-do lists and the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities are signs of productivity and success. But the truth is that hustling from one task to another without a break is a recipe for burnout. We have to dismantle the belief that living a fast-paced life is better. It’s not!

Running at the speed of light to keep up with everything and everyone is exhausting, not to mention emotionally and mentally draining. We have to understand that just because our life is full, it doesn’t mean we're living a full life. In fact, we aren’t living it at all; we're simply going through the motions. And if you agree with us, then this is your sign to slow down. 

Slow living is a philosophy that encourages a slower approach to life in order to enjoy the little things. It emphasises self-care, mindfulness, and conscious consumption for a more balanced and intentional way of living. The concept comes from the 'Slow Movement', started in Italy in the '80s by Carlo Petrini and a group of activists who were campaigning to prevent the opening of a McDonald’s in the iconic Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

Slow living is not about cutting down on aspects of your life, but rather prioritising and restructuring it in a way that allows you to focus on yourself, what you’re consuming (this includes food, content, and so on), and your overall well-being. It's more of a lifestyle makeover than a trend. But we get it—easier said than done, right? That's why we're here to help. All you need is dedication, consistency, and the ability to fight the urge to check your phone every five minutes. It’s tough but not impossible. We’ve rounded up a few ways you can get started.

Go on nature walks

'Stop and smell the flowers' is a cliche, but when was the last time you walked around in the grass? Being in nature is a humbling experience, even if it's only for an hour. Listen to the birds chirp, observe the vibrant colours of flowers, and feel a gush of fresh air. This not only helps you calm down but also allows you to reflect on your life and contemplate hitting the brakes once in a while. 

Practice quality over quantity in all aspects of your life   

Take some time to reflect on the people and things that truly bring you joy. For example, instead of surrounding yourself with a dozen people you know aren’t your true friends, prioritise the ones that will stick by you through anything. The same goes for food and fashion. Ask yourself if that particular thing adds value to your life. If not, do away with it. You will find that you have more energy and time to focus on yourself.

Start your day slowly  

We're all guilty of snoozing our alarms or lying around, mindlessly scrolling through social media, causing us to rush through our morning in a frenzy. Whether we realise it or not, this has a ripple effect; it makes our entire day feel drab. It fills us with chaotic energy because of which we're always on edge, impatient, and hurrying our way through to-do lists rather than actually enjoying our day. So instead of running around like a headless chicken in the morning, try waking up a little earlier, going for a walk, and enjoying a soothing cup of tea or coffee with a hearty breakfast without looking at your phone. Make this a practice, and you'll see how having a slow morning fills you with energy and gives you the mental bandwidth to focus on important tasks.

Go offline for an hour every day   

There is no denying that social media has its perks, but it also comes with a host of concerns. The amount of content we consume in a day is enough to keep us in a constant state of sensory overload. Another downside is the constant and incessant buzzing of notifications, which keeps us from focusing on anything other than our screens. Not to mention, social media is a constant source of anxiety for most people. 

But it’s an unavoidable part of our lives, so there is no doing away with it completely. However, disconnecting for just an hour a day (more if you can afford it) can make a massive difference, helping you prioritise yourself, the people closest to you, and your hobbies and passions. If you feel like an hour is a lot, start with a few minutes and build up to it gradually.  

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