The pandemic made many realise that the fast-paced life a lot of us lead just isn’t sustainable. Cue the huge shift to slow living and a trend that helps people take it down a gear and start appreciating the simple things and enjoy the process rather than rushing to the end result. Here are 5 ways to try slow living.
1. Wake up early
Maybe not easy if you love a lie-in but think how nice it could be to enjoy a leisurely morning routine without the stress of knowing you’re already running late?
With bright spring skies upon us, try throwing those blackout curtains wide and embrace the sunshine for a boost first thing. Have a nice breakfast, enjoying the process of making and eating it; bask in the morning light streaming through the window or sit outside and dine alfresco; get ready at your own pace and maybe find time for a walk, yoga or just quiet time to sit and reflect on the day ahead. Videos detailing people’s morning routines are having a moment on social media (with a whopping 18.5 billion views on TikTok no less), as users flock to watch everything from someone mindfully making a coffee or meditating, to journalling, morning skincare routines and even people artfully making their bed! Of course, these videos are all aspirational and don’t reflect real life, so don’t feel pressure to compete but just once or twice a week allow yourself time for a slow, indulgent morning.
2. Sign off social media and step away from the screen
It’s ironic that a lifestyle trend depicted so frequently online is really about switching off and having a break from staring at your phone or computer screen. The rise of technology has resulted in faster-paced lives and expectations of instant information and communication. Not necessarily a healthy existence! The slow living mindset is about being present in all that you do, which is why it’s so important to try and disconnect for a period of time every day or every week – whatever works for you. The group What’s App chat won’t fall apart if you reply later and there’ll be no more wondering how you’ve lost hours of your life ‘doom scrolling’. Instead, fill your time with other activities, like reading, cooking, gardening – any hobby you enjoy. Some people like creative activities that require patience and mean they have to slow down but it really can be anything as simple as growing a few herbs on your windowsill, as long as you immerse yourself in the moment.
3. Connect with family and friends
As you disconnect from the virtual world and break up with your screens for a bit, use the time to engage more with your loved ones – whether by seeing each other in person or giving them a call. One of the cornerstones of slow living is nurturing meaningful relationships and connections with others, so make plans to see friends and family. You could even incorporate it into some of the slow living activities we mentioned – if what you enjoy doing is cooking, then invite friends over for a tasty meal, keep mobile phones off the table and maybe even sit outside to eat, so you’re away from distractions and can focus on each other’s company.
4. Spend time outdoors
Whether you go for a daily walk or spend some undisturbed time in nature, getting outside is extremely beneficial and all part of slow living. Involve friends and family, so you’re connecting with loved ones and nature at the same time – explore local woodland together, go for a wild swim, get growing in your garden, on an allotment or in windowboxes, sit on a bench in the park and watch the world go by. The benefits of spending time outdoors in nature are enormous for both mental and physical health, particularly if you take time to notice the details – the birds chirping, the light through the trees, flowers blooming and busy insects hard at work – it can help you look at the world differently.
5. Make the world a better place
This can apply to the space you occupy and your own world or be implemented on a more global scale. Make changes that will have a positive impact… Say ‘no’ more to avoid burnout and focus on the things that are important to you; try thinking more positively; adopt ‘slow fashion’ (the opposite of wasteful ‘fast fashion’) and invest in long-lasting, sustainable, ethically-produced clothing; source food and other products locally, so you’re supporting local farmers and producers; invest in your local community and connect with the people within it. The smallest of good deeds or kind words shared can have a profound effect on someone and make a real difference.
One of the ways Lifestyle Garden is making the world a better place is by partnering with Plastic Bank and the Eden Project on our Nassau powered by Social Plastic collection. This game-changing recycled material not only helps remove plastic waste from the world’s waterways but it helps to improve the lives of the people who collect it. Find out more about the ways Social Plastic helps lift people out of poverty and make the world a better place here.