It’s still hard to believe I battled chronic illness for three agonizing years. But the forced slow down was actually a blessing in disguise.
It took some soul-searching, a lot of discipline, and the support of an amazing therapist, but now, I finally have a sense of calm and contentment in my life. And today, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been – both physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Here are 5 ways slow living just might transform your health and wellbeing, too.
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Slow Living and The Connection To Health & Wellbeing
Slow living is a mindful and intentional approach to life that focuses on savoring the present moment, prioritizing self-care, and finding a sense of balance in an otherwise fast-paced world.
It’s no wonder slow living and health and wellness are interconnected. By intentionally slowing down, we give ourselves the space and time to truly take care of ourselves.
And if we don’t have our health, what do we have?
1. Learn to Unplug and Reconnect with the Present Moment
Believe me, I know how tempting it can be to constantly check our phones, respond to notifications, and get caught up in the all-consuming digital world.
But let me tell you, prioritizing quiet moments and stepping away from those distractions can do SO MUCH for our mental clarity, stress levels, and overall health.
I used to put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ when I was suffering from migraines – now I use it when I need a break in the action. (Note: I have contacts that can still get a hold of me, like my hubs!)
Our brains and bodies are not built for constant stimulation, clinging to the next dopamine hit. In fact, research has shown that our brains need downtime in order to function optimally. When our minds are at rest, important neural brain connections can form, allowing us to retain and process new information.
2. Prioritize Self Care & Rest
When it comes to slow living, one thing I’ve learned is the importance of putting self-care and rest at the top of the priority list. I used to wear busyness like a badge of honor but…
I’ve been amazed at how investing in even a little self-care can have such a positive impact on my overall health and happiness. I know it’s cliche to say, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’, but it’s so true! Because when you feel good, everything else just seems to fall into place.
It’s easier than you think… get started by carving out some ‘me time’ each day. For example, try 15 minutes in the mornings to sit quietly with a cup of yummy hot coffee, savoring each sip as you allow your mind to ease into the day.
That’s what I do! Not only does it guarantee I get this time for myself by doing it first thing, but it also sets the tone for my entire day.
Check out my 30-Day Self Love Journal here!
3. Mindful & Slow Eating Habits
Trust me, I’ve been there, scarfing down my food while quickly checking emails or rushing through meals to get to the next meeting. Or, only being able to reach for a protein bar and coffee to make it through the day….
Well, did you know that it can take up to 30 minutes for our hunger cues to kick in after we start eating? This means that when we eat fast, we may end up overeating before our brain even realizes we’re full.
When we slow down and savor our meals, we give our brain a chance to catch up and send signals that we’ve had enough food, helping us eat more intuitively and avoid overindulging. (Not to mention heartburn!)
One habit that I’ve found helpful is not eating my lunch in front of the computer (or phone!) I really try to pull away, if even for 20 minutes, to eat free from digital distractions.
And you know what? It makes a big difference.
4. Get Outside & Explore Nature
For me, there’s nothing quite like hitting the trails for a run or going on a hike outside. I love the feeling of my feet pounding the earth, the wind in my hair, and the adrenaline pumping through my veins – it’s pure joy in my heart.
With every step, I can feel the stress and worries of everyday life melting away as I think, pray, and unwind….
Research has shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress, boost mood, and improve overall mental health. In fact, this study found that individuals who spent just 20 minutes in nature experienced a significant decrease in cortisol stress levels.
5. Simplify & Declutter Your Environment
When I started decluttering my own spaces, it became so much more than just tidying up. For me, it was like hitting the reset button on my life. I realized that I had been holding onto things that were weighing me down emotionally, like old memories from Ironman and attachments to the past.
I actually wrote a whole blog post on this subject here. One tip I mentioned that I want to reiterate is mindful consumption.
In a world filled with constant advertisements and temptations, it’s important to pause and consider whether we truly need something before making a purchase (and add more crap to our lives!) By being intentional with our buying choices, we not only declutter our physical space but also our minds and bank accounts.
Here’s to creating a space that truly supports our well-being and nourishes our souls.
The Wrap – Slow Living For Health & Well-Being
As you start your slow living journey, it’s important to remember that it’s a personal adventure with many different paths to explore. It’s not one-size fits all…
Just start. Take small steps. And find what truly resonates with your own values and needs.
I’m cheering you on!
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