Last Updated on May 17, 2022 by Thalia
Life is short.
But that doesn’t mean you should race through it at a hundred miles an hour and miss all the good moments. The moments that allow you to slow down and appreciate the present. The moments that you enjoy and make you truly happy!
I encourage slow living and living in the moment. So here are my top tips on how you can start to slow down and adopt a more mindful 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 5 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.
“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
Table of Contents
- Why I choose slow living
- Embrace slow living in 5 simple steps
- Final Thoughts
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 nights 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 and wince whenever John presses GO on the Nutri-bullet.
I also 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 the 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.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”Ferris Bueller
Embrace slow living in 5 simple steps
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.
So here are a few mindful tips to help you embrace slow living. Or at least allow you to find more peace within your day.
I encourage you to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it whenever you need to.
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 and walking slower, taking your time to cook or bake and getting ready, etc.
Remember when I said I lived in London? Well, I used to be so impatient I rushed around everywhere trying to beat Google maps.
But 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 truly want to embrace living more slowly, then be more mindful of your daily actions and slow them down.
“Slowing down leads to a greater appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.”LEO BABAUTA
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 start your day feeling relaxed and free from stress so you can keep overwhelming thoughts at bay.
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. Sit still, breathe in through your nose and through your mouth.
Pick up a notebook and journal or instead be at one with your thoughts.
Set an intention for the day.
Ask yourself, “how do I want to feel?”
Map out what you need to do for you to feel this way.
And then spend the next 20-30 mins indulging in rituals that make you feel grounded and whole.
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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, be mindful of your capabilities and only do what is manageable.
For me, that’s 3-5 tasks a day. Which I focus on one task at a time. No more of this multi-tasking bullshit.
And leave a little white space in your schedule.
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.
Instead leave gaps in your schedule in case things run over or you just fancy a break.
White space is dedicated time for you to do whatever and is essential in allowing you to pause between tasks, classes, meetings, etc.
So pencil in some white space and take the time to have a break, get some fresh air, reflect, relax and recharge.
Because as I’ve mentioned before, productivity is not being busy 27/7 with zero rest.
Being productive is simply working intentionally towards your goals every day.
So make sure you are spending each day doing exactly this.
4 | Disconnect
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.
Need help getting started?
This 30-day social media detox planner has everything you need to successfully disconnect from the online noise and limit your screen time.
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.
You could probably call yoga my meditation.
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.
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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 to live 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
“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