Reflections on Slow Living.
I love that the self-care movement has grown so popular. It’s illustrated several different ways to approach life and health. There’s minimalism, essential oils, holistic remedies, and more. One concept I was recently introduced to for self-care – and have learned to love – is the philosophy of slow living.
Slow living is defined as: “The wisdom of life, a state of mind of being, a reflective approach, and a methodical process to everyday life.” I love this for many reasons – mainly because it encompasses mindfulness and emphasizes living for the moment. For me, being present is one area that involves continuous self-improvement.
When I choose to live slowly, I’m honoring the moment. This means being grateful for what the day brings – good or bad – and embracing it in its entirety. I’ve found this to be truly freeing.
Here’s how I’ve started living slowly:
Avoid Being Busy:
The core philosophy of slow living is busyness, ultimately, is a choice. As someone who has a career, side hustles, and a personal life dictated by Google Calendar, I recently took time to reflect on this.
Now, I’ve come to my own understanding:
Yes, busyness is a choice. What I choose to fill my life with is dependent on what I deem as important. In some areas, a lot of my “busyness” is noise – and can easily be dismissed. The best part? In the absence of busyness, slow living gives you permission to have moments of idleness. I’ve started to befriend idleness and enjoy having moments of nothing. It’s helped me give myself permission to rest, reset, and relax.
Turn Everyday Routines into Rituals:
Almost daily, I do things that are repetitive in nature. One thing, in particular, is my morning yoga routine. I’ve now made yoga a sacred ritual and commit to cultivating mindfulness in every pose. Even as my day becomes incredibly busy, doing one thing to slow down has tremendous benefits for my mental health.
Experience (and Embrace) Boredom:
As Thich Nhat Hanh says in his book Planting Seeds, “Not doing anything, just enjoying ourselves and whatever is around us, is a very deep practice, because we all have an energy within us that constantly pushes us to do this or that. We cannot sit or lie still and enjoy ourselves or enjoy the beautiful sky. If we aren’t doing something, we can’t stand it.”
I completely agree with Hanh. Boredom is a difficult thing to sit with, partially because it’s associated with laziness. However, slow living grants permission to embrace and experience boredom. The next time I find myself restless when being stagnant, I’ll choose to enjoy the stillness and observe my surroundings – the blue sky, the trees, and the taste of my hot tea. It really unlocks a unique perspective for everyday life.
Choose Less Noise:
There’s a lot of power in silence. As someone who enjoys stillness, this was easy to implement into my routine. Frequently, I turn my phone off so I’m not burdened with notifications. It’s an effortless way to stay present. The less noise I have around me, the clearer my mind becomes.
I’ve also taken this concept with me into the office. It’s been game-changing to single-task and focus on one thing, rather than push myself to get multiple things done at once. As a result, the quality of my work has improved and been more consistent.
Cheers to having peace of mind.