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An introduction to slow living

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Wish your lifestyle could be a little less fast paced but aren’t sure how to make it work with that long – long! – to-do list of yours? A little thing called slow living can help. Read on.

What is slow living?

In theory, taking your foot off the gas and slowing things down might sound appealing – until you remember your job, your family life, trying to find time to exercise and catch up with friends. And no doubt a whole lot of other things, too.

Meet slow living. It’s an approach to life that allows you to enjoy the benefits of stepping off the busy-all-the-time treadmill while still being able to live your life in the 21st century. 

Essentially, slow living is all about introducing strategies and habits that will help you live a less hurried life, taking time to enjoy the simple pleasures – starting with what you put on the table. 

In fact, slow living is a concept that was born out of the Slow Food movement. 

A name that was chosen as a way of saying “no” to the rise of fast food, as well as the fast life, eating the slow way means choosing food that’s “good, clean and fair”. 

Living the slow way means opting out of the – sometimes addictive – need to be busy all day every day , by taking some time out regularly, unplugging every now and then and reconnecting with the people around you. 

The benefits of slow living

Research demonstrates that being “forever frantic” isn’t good for you. On top of bumping up your risk of a few different health problems, it can also zap your mood and make sleeping soundly difficult . 

On the other hand, as well as encouraging a good night’s sleep and helping you feel happier, the slow life can lower your stress levels, improve the nutritional quality of your meals and – all importantly – buy you some precious time. 

How to make slow living work for you

Don’t panic – you won’t need to quit your job or start saying no to everything. Some simple modifications and changes will help you start living the slow life.

1. Make “slow Sunday” a weekly habit

Take one day a week to call time on the main things that make you feel rushed all the time, on other days of the week, things like appointments, hectic chores and being contactable 24/7.

2. Quit multitasking

Trying to do two things at once or constantly flicking between tasks might seem like the obvious thing to do when you’re busy, but in fact it’ll just make things take longer, due to how multitasking zaps productivity.

3. Plant some vegetables

On top of being a relaxing, stress-busting pastime , growing and eating your own food is a hallmark of the Slow Food movement. Not only that but, because you’ve grown it, you’ll be less likely to waste it – that’s also key to living slow

4. Cut back on your screen time

While it’s not realistic, or necessary, to quit using your devices altogether, spending too much time on your devices is linked to sleep loss, increased stress levels and even a fear of missing out (FOMO ). Pay attention to when – and how much – you stare at a screen, and then commit to making a few changes.

5. Start meditating

It delivers a wide range of benefits for your health and well-being, including being able to help you “stay slow” when life inevitably gets busy . If you’ve never done it before, you might be surprised at how easy it can be. Why not give it a go?

Committed to giving your lifestyle a more comprehensive slow-life makeover? Then check out our four-week slow-living action plan.

Embrace the slow life - Action plan