We are in a constant state of busyness in today’s world. We never shut off, anxiety is through the roof for a large portion of society, and we just can’t seem to slow down. Maybe you’re tired of the constant noise of everyday modern life, maybe you’re ready for a change. Enter slow living. Living the slow life can help you live a more mindful, intentional life that you actually enjoy. Instead of just going through the chaotic motions every day.
15 Slow Living Tips to Slow Down and Enjoy Life Again
In a world that is so connected and always available, it’s easy to be distracted. We are constantly connected to our devices, available at the touch of a button at any given moment. Unplugging regularly and not being open to all of the distractions our modern connectivity brings can really open up new avenues in your life.
When you unplug, and I mean completely unplug, you get the chance to sit down and enjoy what’s around you. You’re not distracted by your phone pinging, or your TV. You can just enjoy your common, everyday surroundings and breathe.
2. Enjoy Silence
I know in our house there’s generally always noise buzzing. The radio, the TV, the kids playing the piano. Something is always making noise. And we tend to just drown out the noise, but we never sit down and turn it off and enjoy… silence. I love sitting down in the evening on the back deck, no distractions, no noise; with a glass of wine and enjoying the sounds of nature. The frogs croaking, the crickets chirping, and right now, the locusts buzzing away in the trees. It really helps you put your day in perspective and shut off the constant buzzing in our daily lives.
So, turn off the TV, the radio, the phone, all of it. And just enjoy the sound of silence. Try it every day, morning, noon, night or whenever is convenient for you.
3. Turn Routine into Ritual
We have things we do, mindlessly, every day. We shower, dress, make morning coffee, let the dog out, and a dozen other things. Every single day. So, instead of them just being mindless routine activities slow down and really focus on what you’re doing. Pay attention to the smell of your shampoo. The way your socks feel against your skin when you pull them on. How wonderful the coffee smells before you even pour a cup. The sound the door makes when you open it for the dog. Anything you do on a routine basis can certainly become ritual.
You only need to slow down and mindfully do whatever it is you’re doing. Even one of your morning or nighttime routines done mindfully can change the whole rhythm of your day (or night).
4. Make Your Own Food from Scratch
That instant gratification and convenience gets to the best of us, I know. We’re all busy and harried throughout the day and before we know it, it’s way past dinner time and on the brink of bed time. But, we haven’t eaten anything since noon. So, we do the same old song and dance… sit in a drive thru line, pick up food, scarf it down and get ready for bed.
But, you’d be amazed at the difference making your own food from scratch can make. It allows you to slow down and really appreciate the work it takes to make your own food. It can be something simple like a quick dinner, or something more elaborate like a loaf of bread. Even something you throw into the crockpot in the AM can help you enjoy a cheaper, healthier meal at dinner time and you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction you made it yourself.
5. Sit Down at Your Meals
And pay attention to what you’re eating. The act of chewing, the taste of the food, the temperature. Focus on eating instead of scarfing down your food in the car on the commute home. Make your kids sit down and enjoy their food, too. Eat it off of an actual plate even if you didn’t make it yourself. Turn off all of the gadgets and enjoy your meal, preferably with friends or family.
6. Find a Hobby and Turn Off the TV
We get home from work, we’re tired, it’s time to chill. Instead of vegging in front of the TV and mindlessly watching it. Find a hobby. The hobby can be something simple… even reading a good book. Or, do one better and find a way to use your hands. You can take up crochet, learn to play an instrument, make some of that food from scratch I mentioned above.
There are a million and one different activities you could be doing instead of watching the TV. And many of them require very little mental stimulation and can actually be calming. But, even so, like I said even reading a good book is a better hobby than vegging in front of the TV. I do strongly suggest you learn something you’ve always wanted to, though and using your time for that. Life is too short not to learn.
7. Just Be Present
No phones, no cameras, no distractions. I know, we love to capture memories. Especially in today’s world. But the time we take to capture those memories takes away from actually making the memory itself. Take a photo at the beginning to capture the moment, and then let all of those distractions go. Be in the moment. Nothing can capture the memory you’re making like your mind. Allow it by being present in the moment instead of being distracted by creating a photo.
8. Get Outdoors and Go for a Walk
Every single day, you should get outdoors and walk. Breathe in the fresh air and just enjoy your surroundings. It’s amazing how appreciative we become of the world around us when we stop to breathe it in and spend some time in it. Even the concrete jungles that are our urban areas can be beautiful and well-appreciated if we take the time to really see them.
So, get outside regardless of the weather and enjoy a walk through your neighborhood, go to the country and walk down a country road, take a hike in the woods. Do something that gets your moving outside every day. And leave the phone at home.
9. Slow Down Your Music
Music today is so incredibly fast paced. I guess to match our daily lives. But, older music, particularly classical is quieter, slower, and more calming than today’s lyrical, loud, fast paced musical genius.
Turn on some classical music really low in the mornings or evenings while you’re enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine for a bit. Instead of your mind being full of the music, it can help you calm down, slow down, and think.
10. Get Out a Pen and Pad of Paper
Handwriting has gone to the wayside in so many ways. But the actual act of creating the beautiful letters with a pen on a pad of paper can be so calming and allows us to actually release our thoughts. So, whether you take up journaling or you adopt a pen pal. Sit down, every day, and write something down with a real pen and paper.
No typing, no devices. Just reality. Work on your penmanship, or help your kids practice theirs. Handwriting can be beautiful and it’s becoming a lost art in today’s electronic world.
11. Embrace Boredom
We’re never bored anymore, are we? We find something to fill the time so we aren’t bored every single time boredom begins setting in. It’s the whole connected thing that’s the problem. But, our creativity really blossoms when we’re bored. And it allows our children to be children.
So, embrace the idea of boredom. Don’t pick up your phone, don’t turn on the TV for the kids. Sit for a moment and I can guarantee you (or your children) will think of something to do in no time that you actually enjoy.
12. Do Only What You Love
Obviously we all have to do things we don’t want to. I know every few people that truly enjoy getting up and going to work every single day. But, there are things that we do that we don’t have to do, just because it’s expected or assumed.
So, stop. Do less. If you don’t want to go to the cookout, don’t. If your kids don’t want to be in soccer, don’t make them be in soccer. Do things you love, not things you’re doing for the sake of doing or because you feel obligated to. This will open up more time to do things you truly enjoy doing.
13. Read a Book
Read it to yourself, find something to read aloud as a family. Put down the phones, turn off the TV and the radio and really get into the book. If you’re reading it aloud, really get into the moment. Make reading exciting. Lead by example by picking up a tangible book in the evenings. I can bet your kids will follow suit.
I’ve always enjoyed reading and the act of it never ceases to amaze me. Books allow those pictures to be in your mind. They help unleash creativity and imagination. Even into adulthood. It’s such a fun, calming, inspiring ritual to sit down and read a good book.
We have too much stuff. It clutters our minds, it clutters our homes, and it costs us precious time. If you’re having trouble finding what to get rid of, here are 117 things you can ditch today that you’ll never miss.
Decluttering helps us get rid of the unnecessary to make more room for the things we love and enjoy. Start small and slow and build up as you go along. You’ll have less stuff and a happier life because of it in no time.
15. Don’t Multitask
Do one thing at a time. It helps you focus on the task at hand, slow down, and get it done. So often we’re on our phones, working on a project, watching TV, eating etc etc. Multitasking is often a “job requirement” and so many people mention it on their resume.
But, the truth is, multitasking does not make us more productive. And it certainly doesn’t improve our workmanship or our lives. Slowing down and doing one thing at a time helps us be more productive, helps us enjoy it more, and improves the outcome regardless of what the task may be.