Slow Living – What does it really mean?
It seems like the word slow is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. But what exactly is ‘slow living’ and why is it so big right now?
Modernity and the Speed of Life
Capitalism, technology, and globalisation have all played a part in speeding up the pace of life. Aeroplanes allow people to go to sleep in one continent and wake up in another. Emails can send information instantly, and with the boom of social Apps, it seems like we are more ‘connected’ to each other than ever before.
But are we really connected? In the hustle and grind of modern life, are we really living for now, or chasing something else?
The Pendulum Swings Back to Slow
The Slow Movement, in its various forms, is a response to the fast-paced life of modern society. It challenges the notion that we must feel busy to feel productive, the need for constant stimulation and the expectation of instant gratification. Instead, it advocates slowing down. Literally.
The ‘slow’ movement is about being present and returning to the slower-paced life of our ancestors. It is about being mindful, and about taking time to think before you act. It isn’t a fight against technology or modernity, but it is a human call to raise self-awareness of our actions, and reflect on our decisions. Slow down to understand why things happen, and how. Slow down to better understand your actions, and the consequences they have. Slow down to stay connected to the things that matter most, and slow down to live a thoughtful life that doesn’t run through our planet’s resources.
There is no rulebook for slow living. Instead, it is a personal philosophy that helps guides our daily lives. While ‘slow’ can apply to everything from food to fashion, here are a few general tips to embrace the movement.
Tips for Embracing a Slower Lifestyle
1. Be Present. Be Conscious.
This is the fundamental concept of ‘slow living’. Take time to think twice before taking actions, weigh the pros and cons, and value your ability to be an autonomous decision-maker.
2. Limit Your Time on the Grid.
How many times have you checked your phone without even receiving a notification? The accessibility of technology can also be consuming you! Try to be present both physically and mentally in your daily life.
3. Cook Your Own Food, and Know Where Your Ingredients Come From.
Cooking is a great way to unwind and relax at the end of your evening. It also helps us to better understand the connection between the food we eat, how it is processed, and where it comes from. Make an effort to get to know your ingredients, and the various impacts they have on our bodies and the environment. It is all connected.
4. Buy Less, Choose Well.
The iconic words of Vivien Westwood certainly apply here. Move away from excessive and mindless consumerism, and only buy things that truly bring value into your life.
5. Spend Time In Nature.
Go outside and spend some time getting lost in nature. This will help you disconnect from the busy modern world, and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us. Acknowledge the importance of preserving nature for future generations.
6. Have a Conversation.
Have a conversation. A real one. In-person. Maybe with a great friend, or maybe with a complete stranger. Take the time to listen, share and connect with the people around you.
7. Appreciate The Little Things.
Revel in the small daily joys of life. Life is only made up of small moments, so don’t let the good ones pass by unnoticed. Slow down, and appreciate the little things.