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Are you constantly describing your life as “crazy busy,” “swamped,” or “insane?” Seems like every Friday I say “Wow, the week went by so fast!” And every Monday “the weekends just fly by anymore!” Does this sound like you, too? If so, you could benefits from learning to live slowly!
The reality is that we are always in a hurry. Always working on that goal. Juggling full time jobs or school work, along with a huge list of chores and errands to do each week. When you do finally get free time, how often do you spend it scrolling through Instagram or Facebook? When’s the last time you just sat down and did nothing?
Having a busy life trains our mind to always be doing something. And when we aren’t it makes us feel lazy!
Choosing to live slowly in our fast paced world can be hard to do. Society makes us feel like we have to cram something into every minute of the day, otherwise we’re being lazy. Everything is go-go-go and always rushed.
Although it’s great to have a strong worth ethic and have motivation to put in the work to accomplish your dreams. That mentality can sometimes interfere with the way we treat relaxation and downtime.
When you’re constantly working or doing, it can make you feel lazy, unproductive and worthless when you finally take a rest. Which makes you not want to rest! But, truthfully, we need rest. Our bodies, our minds, our souls, all need rest.
Life can’t all be about work.
Today I’m going to talk about how I’m going to take on the challenge and live slowly.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”lao Tzu
Why Is Slowing Down Important & Why You Should Live Slowly
There are so many benefits of slow living and since I’ve started this journey, it’s really helped me be more mindful of how I spend my time. It sounds bad, but I’ve become more “selfish” with my time! But, time really is precious, and working my full time job in oncology has opened my eyes to the fragility of life. So, I made it a priority to live slower and enjoy life more!
1. It Makes You A Better Person
If you’re always sleep deprived because you’re always on the go and don’t make enough time to rest, chances are you’ll be cranky and not at your best. When we’re burnt out and tired we don’t do our best work! And we can also be snippy and less helpful to others.
Living slowly can help us become happier and chances are your mood will improve as well!
2. It’s Good For You
Whether you use the time to catch up on sleep or simply do nothing, giving your mind a break is so healthy! You will perform better and be more motivated and productive.
Once rested, your mind will be clearer and ready to conquer your tasks better than ever before.
Plus, being so busy tends to cause extra stress, which is bad for your body and mind! Living slower will help reduce the stress that comes along with stretching yourself thin.
3. You’ll Realize What Really Matters
Most of us are guilty of becoming too busy in life that we forget to slow down and enjoy the little things life has to offer. When we get so wrapped up in our jobs or chores, we a aren’t focused on the time that is passing us by so quickly.
Spending time with family, or enjoying nature alone. Little things like that matter the most! It’s important to take time to enjoy those moments. The dishes in the sink can wait.
What Does Living Slowly Mean?
Slow living has become somewhat of a movement in recent years, and for good reason. The idea behind living slowly is to take a step back from all your chores, tasks and to-do lists and enjoy some leisure time.
When you hear the term live slowly, many people think that it means doing things at a slower pace. While this is partly accurate, the main goal of slow living is to do less. Instead of packing your calendar full of events, parties, errands, etc., you spend more time with family or doing something you enjoy. Or simply doing nothing.
It’s about being more stingy about how you spend your time. Devoting more time to things you enjoy doing. Giving yourself more time to rest.
Living slowly can even mean just going with the flow more! Instead of having every second of the day planned, just take it second by second. Take time to enjoy the moment and soak it all in.
Instead of trying to get everything as fast as possible, you’re taking the time to enjoy the moment you are in!
What Does Slow Living Look Like?
There is no precise picture as to what slow living looks like. Everyone has their own take, definition and vision of a slow life. There is no right or wrong when it comes to slow living.
I can’t tell you how you can live slowly or what exactly you need to live a slower life. But I can explain to you the concept of slow living, give you some ideas and let you develop your own slow paced lifestyle.
Slow living can be an empty schedule, or stop taking on new commitments. It can be spending more quality time with your best friend or family. Or it can be spending more time by yourself. Or more time in nature.
Living slowly can be spending your free time doing things you enjoy! Traveling, painting, cooking, etc. Sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and the peace and quiet. Take a drive and enjoy the fall leaves this time of year.
Slow living can be valuing self care. Putting yourself and your needs first. It can be taking time off work. Giving yourself grace. Saying no.
For me. to live slowly, means to stop working so much and simply enjoy some quiet time. Which is hard for me because I work full time and also run my blog and Etsy shop on the side! The work really never ends. But lately, I’ve been taking more time off of work and it’s truly been life changing.
I’ve also made it a point to stop being so glued to my phone all the time. I was thinking the other day about how whenever I get some free time or a few minutes between meetings I always spend it on my my phone. I’ve made it a priority to spend those minutes doing something else like sitting outside if the weather is nice or reading a book instead.
How Do You Slow Down And Enjoy Life?
Since I’ve started committing to a slower paced lifestyle, I’m going to share my favorite tips to live slowly. I will say I never thought that living a slow and simple life would be for me. But, as I’ve gotten older, I really have started to change my mindset about how I spend my time and energy.
Are you ready to start living slowly? Then let’s get started!
1. Say No
This is one of the easiest ways to simplify your life and live slowly. When you have less to do, you’ll have more time to focus on yourself and you can do things at a slower pace. For example, instead of rushing through dinner so you can work on your project and do all your chores before bedtime, you’ll be able to sit and enjoy your dinner and truly savor the yummy food. Then you can spend your evening doing something relaxing or fun, or whatever you choose to do!
However, learning to say no can be a hard thing to do! Especially if you’re like me and always like to please and help those you love. But believe me when I say, it is so good to have that confidence to be able to say no! You are the only person who can truly be there for you, so you need to take care of yourself and stop stretching yourself thin with so many commitments.
For those of you that spend all your free time your phone, this will really benefit you! I am guilty of using my phone too much, too, so I am working on this with you. Of course, I’m not saying you have to completely stay off your phone, but just limit your time.
Try to spend your free time doing something like mediating, reading, or just sitting and doing nothing. I’ve been putting my phone away for an hour each night before bed and I feel so much better! I’ve been using that time to read instead. I find it helps me sleep better and my mind doesn’t race all night.
3. Do Nothing
For some, this can be really uncomfortable and downright boring. But to live slowly, you need to become comfortable with not being constantly occupied.
What do you do when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store? Chances are you probably pick up a magazine or play on your phone. Instead, try just waiting patiently and soak in your surroundings. Observe your surroundings, listen to what others are saying.
It takes some getting used to, but soon you won’t feel the need to pull out your phone to occupy yourself all the time.
4. Don’t Feel Like You Have To Do Everything
Yes, certain tasks are important and need to be done within a certain time. But for the most part, certain chores and tasks can wait. If you find yourself just completely burnout, exhausted and just over it, that’s a sign to take a step back. And that’s ok! Listen to body. The laundry can wait.
I know this is a hard concept for those who like to get everything done, but that is the art of living slowly! You must learn how to live slowly, and this is how!
You don’t have to cook dinner tonight. Instead, order your favorite take out and relax. You don’t have to do those dishes in the sink! They will still be there tomorrow. The laundry doesn’t have to be folded right now.
5. Create A Relaxing Space
It’s hard to unwind and slow down when you’re surrounded by distractions like your phone, computer, tv or even other people. If possible create a space in your home that’s free or any distractions and create a relaxing environment to go to when you need to unwind.
When you’re at work and need to get away, try going outside for a short walk, or even just logging off and sitting in silence for a few minutes. Just getting away from the hustle and bustle of your work can do wonders for your mind!
6. Try Slower Activities
Does your mind seem to constantly race all day long? If so, it can help to take time to slow down and not have to rush and rush! When life seems crazy busy and my mind won’t stop racing, then I turn to things like meditation, reading, yoga or a leisurely walk.
The key is to find things you can do at your own pace. Find something you enjoy doing and don’t give yourself a time limit! Just focus on being in the moment.
It’s so nice to be able to enjoy some quiet time without any work, deadlines or time constraints. It truly makes you feel at peace when you take the time to live slowly.
7. Quit Feeling Guilty
A lot of people tend to feel guilty when they start living slower. Resting, taking breaks and vacations are the key to success! Think of them as part of the journey to success. You need to be at your best to be able to be successful. And you can’t do that when you’re burnt out!
You know the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup?” Well it couldn’t be more true. Taking time for yourself is an essential part of success! Stop feeling guilty for taking time to enjoy life. Because it will pass by before you know it!
8. Find Pleasure
This is one of the best simple living tips I can give: finding pleasure in all that you do. Even the mundane tasks that you hate doing. Too often we rush through the chores, errands and tasks of the day. But in order to live slowly, you need to be able to find the pleasure in those boring things.
Be fully present. Take the time to notice your surroundings and your senses. For example, when you’re cooking dinner take notice of the sensations. The sound of water boiling or chicken cooking in the pan. The smell of bread baking in the oven.
It sounds silly, but losing yourself in those senses gives your mind a break from the racing thoughts that consume you. When you start to find pleasure in the mundane tasks of every day, you will truly be able to say you live slowly. Too often we just rush through these things just to get them done. But there’s pleasure to find in all that you do.
9. Be Present
Being present in the moment is truly the best thing I have done on my journey to live slower. How often are you focused on or thinking about the future? Or worrying about money, work, your family? Instead of being present and focusing on what’s in front of you, you’re too consumed with other thoughts and you’re not fully present.
Too often I am thinking about work or the future instead of focusing on what I’m doing in that moment.
I’ve noticed such big improvements since I’ve made a conscious effort to be more present. For example, when I used to make my cup of coffee in the morning, I would think about what I had to do that day or what the day might bring. I went over different scenarios in my head. Made a mental to-do list.
Now, I am fully present in the moment. I focus on the sound my coffee maker makes when it’s brewing my coffee. I notice the steam come out of the mug. I admire the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
It makes life so much more enjoyable when you are fully present in the moment.
I hope you’re ready to start to live slowly! With these slow living tips, you’ll be able to be more present and enjoy life for all is has to offer! I truly mean it when I say that learning to live slower has changed my life completely!
I often spend much of my free time just sitting and enjoying the moment I am in. It’s also great to reflect on yourself during this time.