The never-ending notifications, the constant pressure to produce, the relentless pursuit of success – sound familiar?
A few years ago, the more I tried to keep up with the demands of work, social commitments, ironman training, and endless to-do lists, the more I felt like I was losing touch with the ‘real me’.
I want to share my personal experiences and offer y’all some tips that helped me along the way… I’m not perfect, but I sure have learned a lot and am here to share learning to embrace slow living… ☺️
Understanding Slow Living: Basic Principles
First things first – what’s slow living? At its core, slow living is about embracing a slower, quieter, and more intentional approach to life.
What does that look like? I’m glad you asked…
Consciousness and Mindfulness
One of the fundamental principles of slow living is consciousness – meaning we’re aware of our actions, thoughts, and the impact they have on ourselves and others. Slow living encourages us to be more mindful – to pause, reflect, basically – be where our feet are!
Living in the Present Moment
Speaking of living in the moment, by embracing the “here and now,” we can let go of anxieties about the future and regrets from the past, and allow ourselves to experience the beauty and joy of the present…
Slow living also prompts us to reflect on our values and priorities, helping us align our actions with what truly matters to us.
It encourages us to step back from the pursuit of societal expectations and focus on meaningful relationships, personal growth, and life balance.
Appreciation for Nature
There’s nothing more serene and peaceful than being out and nature… By slowing down, we can appreciate the beauty and tranquility that surrounds us.
Slow Living and Health & Wellness
Think about it – in our fast-paced society, stress is as common as coffee at a Starbucks! We’re constantly rushing from one task to another, always connected and bombarded with information.
I know firsthand how this constant state of busyness can take a toll on our minds and bodies. And it’s not surprising that research suggests stress can contribute to the development or exacerbation of various health conditions.
Try different health and wellness practices like mindful eating, exercise, and restorative activities to find your own little calm amid the chaos.
For me, I love walking in nature – it clears my head and lifts my spirits. It gives me dedicated time to pray, think, and step away from everything for a little while.
Slow Living Starts at Home
When it comes to slow living, creating a nurturing and peaceful environment at home is a great first step.
Take a look around your space – do you really need all those items that are collecting dust? Decluttering not only frees up physical space but also declutters your mind, allowing you to focus on what truly matters.
Yes, embrace your inner Marie Kondo!
Taking a more minimalist approach doesn’t mean your home needs to be sparse or have NO family photos, trinkets, or personal touches. It’s about intentionally ensuring your belongings have value and a purpose in your world.
As I started to declutter, I began to realize just how much stuff I had been holding onto out of habit or obligation. Letting go of these items was like lifting a weight from my shoulders, creating space for new opportunities and experiences to come into my life.
Slow Living & Mindfulness
You hear it all the time, mindset is everything… and it’s not just a fun meme on Instagram, there’s so much truth behind those words.
With a healthy mind, we can bring greater awareness and intention to all aspects of our lives– from our everyday routines to our relationships and personal growth.
Even just a few minutes of meditation, journaling, or quiet time each day can help to clear your mind and promote a greater sense of calm and freedom.
Personally, I got started by incorporating dedicated quiet time into my morning routine. I found that even just five minutes of quiet reflection doing my daily devotional helped me to start my day with a greater sense of intention and focus.
Slow Living and Spirituality
Slow living and spirituality go hand in hand, both helping us live mindfully and find deeper meaning in our lives.
When we take moments to pause and reflect, we gain clarity, insight, and a stronger connection to ourselves and to God.
In Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” we are reminded of the importance of stillness and reflection in our relationship with God. By quieting our minds and being still, we can better hear His voice and experience His presence in our lives.
It can be as simple as finding a quiet spot in nature, taking a deep breath, or letting our thoughts settle while out on a run (my personal favorite!).
Image via: bible.com
Slow Living = Intentional Living
Living intentionally isn’t just a fancy concept or a new trend – it’s about being mindful and making conscious choices that reflect our deepest desires and beliefs.
Do you really know what’s REALLY important to you? That’s a great place to start…
For me, I’m working to be more fully present and engaged in my relationships – there are people in my life who deserve more of me, the best of me. I had been disengaged and distant for years while battling chronic illness, which helped me get my priorities straight.
But here’s the thing. Intentional living is not about striving for some kind of perfect state. I’ll be the first to tell you it’s a journey! Go easy on yourself… one step in the right direction is still one step forward.
Slow Living Tips to Get Started
Evaluate your work and social commitments and ask yourself if they truly bring you joy and fulfillment. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that don’t serve you. When you start setting boundaries, you begin to create space for what truly matters.
Self-care is usually the first thing that takes a backseat when life gets hectic. But rest and rejuvenation are the only ways to have a healthy and balanced life. Start small: take a relaxing bath, practice yoga, or read a book.
Embracing Gratitude and Mindfulness
Take a moment each morning to reflect on what you’re grateful for, whether it’s the warmth of a morning coffee or the support of loved ones. No matter what, there’s always SOMETHING to be thankful for each and every day…
The Wrap: Slow Living in a Fast-Paced World
Although the journey to slow living may have its challenges, I can tell you the benefits are certainly worth it.
I don’t have all the answers, and I’m still a work in progress myself… but I’ve learned that when we slow down the pace, we can create margin in our lives for what really matters, and with that contentment, happiness, and peace.
I’m cheering you on!
Consider supporting my work!