The Slow Living Movement

A few years ago, I had to leave my career due to rising and complex health issues that were preventing me from attending work on a regular basis. Like many people, I was working a full-time job, volunteering part-time, and was part of many groups and social activities. The burnout towards the end was extreme and my health took a turn for the worse.

A diagnosis of hEDS would seal the deal and now I’m officially, “medically retired” which has left me with mixed feelings about my purpose in life. I was always told, “you’re too young to be in this much pain” and now…

Life has become about – quality now, not quantity. And learning to just well, slow the f**k down. The struggle of keeping myself busy during the day is for real, and I’m adopting some new habits and forming new routines, so I get the most out of those good days. On those bad days, I’m mostly just sleeping in bed and those pain flares can last for a week or two. It’s a very unpredictable medical condition.

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It was only recently, like in the past few months as I got back into spiritual practice, that I learned about “slow life” living and it’s something that I think we can all learn from. Stress and anxiety can impact our health so much, that we take for granted all that life has to offer us. Thanks to channels like this.

This is how I start off my mornings, sipping my coffee, eating my toast and fruit and watching relaxing videos like this. I start off every day now outside, watering my flowers and deadpaning the ones that need some TLC. It’s a great way to start the morning.


Slow Life Origins

The slow living movement started in the 1980’s in Italy. It started with the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in the capital city of Rome. A man named Carlo Petrini banned together with a group of activists and they formed a movement that they coined, “Slow Food.” This movement was created to defend regional foods to keep long standing traditions alive in Italy.

Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

Concept of Slow Life

The overall concept of slow living is where people openly choose to live a slower and more meaningful life. This isn’t always easy to do if you have a lot on your plate like two jobs, or a full-time career, or you are a single parent. Or parents of a large family. Or heck, even the single professional person can struggle with taking too much on. I speak from experience having done this for decades.

In the simplest of terms, slow living means making more time for yourself to “stop and smell the roses” or just practice selfcare more. Or spending more time in nature, with family, or doing things you really love.

While some people may consider this movement, more of a fad, for me, I’m trying to incorporate this into my daily routine. Some people consider slow living to be more of a concept or philosophy – they call it a reflective or mindful approach to everyday life.

If you’re of Scandinavian culture, you may be familiar with the concept of Hygge – in which people adopt more a cozy and comfort sort of aesthetic in their homes and slowing down to enjoy time with family and loved ones. Slow Living is similar in a sense, and I’ll cover what Hygge is in a separate post.

Slow living starts with softness, a desire to move more calmly.


Secret of Slow Life Living

There really is no secret to slowing down life a little bit. The key is to find things that bring you peace and joy, and do those things more often. It’s ensuring you get the proper amount of sleep at night to feel rested. It’s about finding “quiet” time to practice mindfulness, or working with intention setting. It’s about living a life of intention and making those little moments for yourself really count. It’s about self-reflection, journaling or even just spending time out in nature.

Some ways you can slow your life down:

  • Connection: build on current relationships with friends and loved ones that bring joy into your life. Find time to connect with Mother Nature. Sit out at night and stare up at the moon. Or spend time in your garden. Or tend to flowers and indoor plants. Connect with your natural surroundings and elements. This can help ground your energy as well.
  • Intentions: start incorporating and working with intentions in your daily life, planning for downtime or time to focus on you.
  • Slow down: if your schedule is too packed, perhaps learn to let something go that isn’t necessary for you to be involved in. Or if you can, delegate the task to someone else. Plan for at least one day a week (or even per month) where you can do something for just yourself.
  • Take a pause: take the time to enjoy those precious moments you have to yourself. Meditate or just practice deep breathing exercises and reflect on your day so far. Take your coffee outside and sit in the sun for your morning break. Or go for a walk for some fresh air.
  • Well-being: practice the art of selfcare and make sure you are getting some time in nature, regular exercise, sleep — sleep is crucial for your overall mental health.

First of all, I’d suggest taking some time to journal and think about what it is that brings you peace. Is it going for a walk? Maybe it’s a certain spot out in nature. Or maybe it’s someone in your life that calms you down. Or maybe it’s as simple as sitting outside with a good book. Whatever it is, jot down ideas and make that effort into bringing mindfulness into your daily routines.

Or maybe your idea of a perfect day is sitting down with friends while working on arts and crafts. Like Indoora World does on her channel and I find it so inspiring.


Resources

Sometimes my YouTube suggestions feed gets it right, and I’m amazed by the creativeness out there from fellow artists and partisans. These are some of my favorite channels to help set your morning off on the right vibe. To learn more about slow life and mindfulness practices, please follow my blog. I post weekly.


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