Life is short. But that doesn’t mean we should race through it at a hundred miles an hour and miss all the good moments. The moments that allow us to slow down and appreciate the present. The moments that we enjoy and make us truly happy!
I’m all about slow living and enjoying the moment. So here are my top tips on how you can also slow down and start to adopt a slower approach to life.
I don’t want to keep sounding like a broken record, but I hate feeling stressed out.
Since quitting my job and leaving London to go travelling, I have been making a conscious effort to slow down.
That’s nearly been 4 whole years of taking it easy, not overloading my to-do list or schedule and allowing myself the time to truly take care of my mind, body & soul.
And I must admit, I’ve found slowing down rather rewarding.
“Slowing down… leads to a greater appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.”LEO BABAUTA
Why I choose slow living
I know that life is short. For this reason, I spent the majority of my twenties filling up my calendar with meaningless night’s out and boozy brunches so I was never not doing something.
Because the thought of not doing something as a twenty-something was scary.
And sitting alone in my room with just my thoughts was even scarier.
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised that spending every waking hour doing something to stop me from doing nothing is actually not a good use of my time.
So, after many years of living right in the hustle and bustle of a capital city, I have finally started to value calm, peaceful moments.
To the point where I actually hate loud noises.
I avoid hoovering (thank god I have a cleaner) and wince whenever my partner starts using the nutri-bullet.
I now thrive in quiet places.
My mum currently lives in the countryside and every time I visit her, I wake up to the sound of birds singing and the trees moving in the wind. And that’s it.
Nothing else – no traffic, no beeping, no voices, no loud noises.
Ok, maybe the occasional sound of the dogs barking and my mum telling them to “be quiet” but apart from that, it’s peaceful.
Slow living has given me this space to find calm.
I have a new attitude towards how I want to spend every day of my life.
I no longer see the meaning in filling up my calendar with pointless shit if it’s actually not what I want to be doing. And because I’m not constantly thinking about what I’ve got to do next, I can now take the time to do things that I enjoy and cherish every moment.
5 simple steps for a slower approach to life
It’s also not always as easy as it might seem. Especially if you’re used to running around doing a million things at once.
Lockdown made slow living relatively easy for most of us.
We had nowhere to go or plans to make so rushing around became a thing of the past.
We were finally able to be present.
But with more restrictions starting to ease, it’s vital to keep in mind the things you can do to help you slow down, focus on what’s important and reconnect you to the present.
“Life moves at such a fast pace that it seems to pass us by before we can really enjoy it. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s rebel against a hectic lifestyle and slow down to enjoy life.”LEO BABAUTA
1. slow down your actions
This is probably the most obvious tip on this list, but slowing down your actions in everything you do can really help improve the quality of your life.
I’m talking about eating slower, driving & walking slower, taking your time to cook or bake and getting ready, etc.
Remember when I lived in London and I was so impatient I used to rush around everywhere trying to beat Google maps?
Well, now I actually appreciate my walks and time in nature.
I still walk at a good pace but it’s slow enough that I’m able to look around and take in my surroundings. I’m not constantly dodging around people or thinking about how long it will take me to get from A to B.
So if you want to start living a bit more slowly, then be more mindful of your daily actions and slow them down.
2. create a mindful morning routine
Slow mornings are how I like to start my day. You won’t see me waking up at half 6 every day and running a 5k, but rather mindfully ignoring my alarm, practising gratitude, reading and stretching.
And I encourage anyone who is wanting a slower approach to life to do the same.
A mindful morning not only sets you up for the day but it allows you to feel relaxed and stress-free at the same time.
So once you open your eyes, instead of jumping out of bed and getting a head start on the morning, just take a moment to pause, breathe and set your intention for the day.
3. do less
Out of every tip on this list, doing less is probably the hardest.
As humans living in a fast-paced world, we are all conditioned to live busy lives.
We jam-pack our schedules with meetings, social get-togethers, make to-do lists the size of Mount Fuji and we never allow ourselves the time to rest.
But if you are willing, you can change that narrative.
You just need to do less.
Stop overloading your to-do list with 10-20 tasks a day and then beating yourself up when you don’t complete each task.
Instead, do only what is manageable.
For me, that’s 3-5 tasks a day.
And I focus on one task at a time. No more of this multi-tasking bullshit.
Don’t fill up every moment of every day so you’re constantly rushing around. You’ll probably find that the majority of it is pointless anyway.
As I’ve mentioned before, being productive is not waking up at 5 am every morning, working 18-hours a day and having no time to rest.
So make sure you are spending each day doing exactly this.
The best way to be present is by disconnecting from the online noise and switching off your devices.
We all know I’m a sucker for a social media detox and if you haven’t yet done one then you are seriously missing out!
Detoxing from social media has encouraged me to live more in the moment and actually spend quality time with friends or loved ones.
With no distraction from a mobile phone, you are able to have deeper, more meaningful conversations with people as in that moment you have nothing to hide behind.
So give it a go. Unplug and feel the freedom of not being constantly glued to your phone.
My 30-day social media detox planner is the perfect companion to help you get started:
5. practice mindfulness
Practising mindfulness helps you to focus on your thoughts and become aware of your feelings.
By doing yoga every morning, I have found the time to pause and reflect.
Yoga has also taught me to block out the noise.
Whereas before, I would find myself getting irritated by the smallest of noises, I am now getting very good at just focusing on my breath, my movement and Yoga by Kassandra.
So the next time you find yourself feeling stressed out, rushed off your feet or irritated by the sound of a lawnmower, then pause.
Take a moment to sit somewhere comfy. Close your eyes. Breathe in. Breathe out. And focus on your breath for 10 seconds or longer.
This will help you to re-centre, and bring you back to the present.
“Living slowly allows us to gain more time for the things that are most important to us. When we define what is most important to our own wellbeing, and say no to activities and behaviours which are not, our lifestyle becomes more enriching.”calm moment magazine
Slow living has allowed me to really focus on what’s important and prioritise my goals. I now find myself doing a lot less, but feel a lot more fulfilled in the process.
It’s so easy to follow the crowd and do things because others are doing them, for fear of missing out or simply for the sake of being busy.
But I’ve finally learnt that I can live how I want and not how others want me to live. I’ve also started to spend my day the way I would want to spend it when I’m travelling again.
Slow mornings, long lunches, productive afternoons and relaxing evenings.
My desired future reality is to live on a remote beach somewhere tropical or even in Greece, so starting to embrace a slower, more relaxed pace in life just makes sense.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx