Life is a real rat race – we do everything on the run, we rush everywhere and we don’t know where and for what. And in opposition to this omnipresent rush, the slow life movement arose.
The constant rush and stress eventually lead to emotional burnout, nervous breakdown or serious illness, but some people are unable to slow down until they reach the limits of their endurance. Then it’s usually too late. Fortunately, lifestyle trends that promote mindful living, meditation, healthy eating, as well as kicking into a lower gear and simply slowing down, have recently become increasingly popular.
The movement itself has its origins in the culinary sphere. When fast food chains took over the world in the late 1980s, the slow food movement began in Italy in response to the opening of McDonald’s in Rome. Italians rebelled against fast-cooked food and began advocating the preservation of local culinary traditions, taking food slowly and savoring it. Soon, the Italian slow food movement gained international status and later spread to all aspects of human activity.
Of course, proponents of this concept are not promoting life at the pace of a snail or a sloth from the popular animation “Animal Kingdom”. It is mainly about finding peace and quiet, resisting excessive stimuli and freeing ourselves from the ticking clock of endless errands and responsibilities.
Slow living can reduce mental and physical ailments. We rush less and relax more, finding balance between work and family. By slowing down, we learn to enjoy life again – we do not rush through it blindly, but move slowly, not forgetting to savor and fully experience each moment. Moreover, the concept of slow life touches many important aspects and spheres of life, such as: science, media, fashion, sex, city planning, road safety, interpersonal communication, etc.
Don’t try to time everything. Instead, plan as much as you are able to do and include time for yourself and loved ones. Nothing at the expense of your health and relationships. Simply give up some of your responsibilities and relax your schedule.
Control the influx of information. The endless amounts of data and information you receive daily through social media channels, through movies, shows, podcasts, newspapers, radio and television lead to overload. Limit this information noise, unsubscribe to some channels, stop following some social media accounts, don’t engage in discussions, turn off the radio and TV, stay offline for a while.
Be eco and take care of nature. The philosophy of slow life is closely related to the principles of ecological lifestyle in harmony with nature and its rhythm. This helps you find balance and peace. Do not take more than you can use or eat, do not destroy nature, support what is local and individual, not mass.
Take advantage of “free” spaces in the city. These include parks and green areas, public benches, deckchairs and hammocks, but also places with healthy food, local markets and markets, sports and recreational facilities.
Limit your use of gadgets and technology. You don’t have to fall into digital asceticism, but put your phone away when you don’t need it. Opt for live communication with family and loved ones. Spend your free time qualitatively rather than posting more photos on Instagram. And instead of browsing videos online, read a good book.
Travel slowly. It’s strange, but many people, when going on vacation, still rush everywhere. As a result, they don’t relax at all. It is better to plan fewer attractions, but actually enjoy them, soak up the atmosphere of the city and take an active part in its life.
Become a hedonist. Just enjoy life. Surround yourself with things that inspire you, visit beautiful places, eat tasty food and drink good drinks. Pamper yourself sometimes and allow yourself to relax in a spa or sauna.
Slow down at work. If you have the opportunity, don’t take on too much and don’t let others burden you with their responsibilities. Above all, make quality use of your break – eat quietly or go for a short walk, but don’t use it to catch up on work.
Or maybe start with something seemingly simple – try sitting in silence. This is an opportunity to enjoy sweet idleness and aimlessness. Do absolutely nothing – don’t dream about the future, don’t plan for tomorrow, don’t dwell on the past. Just sit. That’s how you’ll best understand the essence of slow life and feel your life truly slow down.
Main photo: Marek RucinskiHire/unsplash.com