We are 2 weeks into the third national lockdown here in the UK and it feels like we’ve all suddenly been forced to slow down our lives and press pause, this has given us a great opportunity to practice Slow Living. And, although the circumstances around it are rather uncertain and out of our control, embracing slow living may help us cope with the current situation.
So what is Slow Living anyway?
It’s simply a lifestyle emphasising slower approaches to aspects of everyday life. The concept of slow lifestyles started with the slow food movement.
With today’s fast-paced way of life, we’re often rushing around ticking things off our “To Do” lists (myself included) that we don’t have the time or mental capacity to actually enjoy.
The fundamental principles of SLOW living are designed to help us slow down consciously and physically and find the time to enjoy and savour things around us and do those things that matter the most to us – aligned with our values.
The core values are:
S = Sustainable
L = Local
O = Organic
W = Whole
Slow living goes hand in hand with the concept of zero waste – they fit nicely together as they both encourage us to consume less and live a less materialistic lifestyle.
How to start a Slow Living Lifestyle
1. Slow down your morning routine
If you’re anything like me my morning routine used to consist of getting up, getting dressed and rushing out of the house to drop my daughter off at school, run errands / go to work. Now (a few years after), I wake up when I feel rested, make myself a cup of tea, grab my journal, out on something inspirational (these days I enjoy ‘The Minimalists Podcast’).
INSPIRED ACTION >>> Take the time to make yourself a proper breakfast and sit down to eat it with your partner or family.
Having more space around you and less clutter at home really works and you’ll find you’ll feel so much better for it.
3. Organise your housework
We all want to live in a nice clean tidy home but we don’t need to spend all our time doing it. If you take the time to plan a cleaning routine that works for you it will help free up time for other things.
4. Do one thing at a time
5. Go for a walk
Spend time outside and go for a walk, taking time to enjoy what’s around you. Switch off your phone so you’re not distracted and really listen to what’s around you.
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6. Cook a nourishing meal
I love cooking and find it very therapeutic, it helps me destress, so I highly recommend you take the time to cook a meal from scratch. Try to use seasonal produce – source your ingredients locally and look for new places to shop, exploring local Farm Shops and markets. I loving visiting local Farmers’ Markets.
7. Connect with Friends and Family
Make sure you take time to really connect with Friends and Family. Rather than trying to cram everything in and spread yourself out.
9. Say no to Fast Fashion
Invest in quality over quantity or even better, buy secondhand. Downsize your closet – opt for a capsule wardrobe.
10. Practice Mindfulness
It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.
An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a bannister as we walk upstairs.
Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen from moment to moment.
It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.