Some of you may wonder why go slow, or even what slow living is all about? Slow living is not about going at a snails pace or lazing around like a sloth. But it does mean slowing down enough to go through your day with purpose, to spend time on real connections and not letting the day whizz by so fast that you're left with nothing but frazzled nerves. Oddly enough, if you approach your day with purpose you'll be left feeling like you have more time, rather than less.
You may think that you are too busy for slow living, that you just simply don't have the time and that the thought of "slowing down" will only heighten your anxiety, but we've rounded up our favourite and easy little habit changes that can lead to a slow way of living. Now, we're not saying you have to make all of these changes, but even brining just a couple into your life could start you on your way to a much slower, more connected way of living.
- Don't ... check your phone! How easy is it to roll over, grab your phone of your side table, switch off the alarm and flip open your emails or the news? But by doing this you're already starting the day with a stream of information before you've even woken up properly.
- Instead try... switching off the alarm and just lie still, take a moment to gather your thoughts and then get out of bed. If you like to wake up early enough for breakfast or a cup of coffee/tea, then do that without your technology. If breakfasts are a little more rushed for you, check your phone once you're dressed and on your way out of the door. If there is nothing urgent then why not use your commute time to read a book.
- Don't... stuff your food so quickly down your throat that you hardly have time register what you are eating. Not only will you increase your chances of over eating and have unnecessary calories.
- Instead why not try too... sit at a table, eat from a real plate (even if it is take away food). Focus on what you are eating and don't sit there with one eye on your phone. Talk to people. If you're eating at home and have a family/significant other then dinner is the perfect time to catch up, chat, engage with one another.
- Don't... spend all your free time watching TV or binge watching Netflix. We aren't saying there aren't times when this is fun, but on the whole try not to let every bit of free time you have slip away on tv.
- Why not try and... read, write, paint, run, spend at least some of your time on a hobby. Why not try and choose one day/evening of the week that will be screen free time.
Don't... constantly have your children's time structured so that you are all constantly rushing from school to this practise, to that practise, to this structured activity to that one... According to World Economic Forum in the UK time playing outside has decreased by 50% in a generation and one in ten children don't get any outdoor play, and that one in five children declare themselves as too busy to play.
Instead let them... play, let them go outside and use their imaginations, limit their screen time and let them be bored and figure out how to beat that boredom on their own, invite their friends over and don't structure their time when they're there. Play encourages communication skills, imagination, problem solving and discovery. (we're not saying to cut off all their structured activities, but try and put some time in the week when it's unstructured, a time for play)
- Don't... always have things ready made.
Try and make things from scratch... whether that's dinner each evening, or a loaf of bread on the weekend. A cozen cupcakes with your kids, or a few pots of jam. In an ever busy world we can get everything we want almost instantly, but sometimes it's good to slow down and take the time to go through the process. Even if it's a small thing.
"90% of the time I will cook a homemade dinner from scratch for my boyfriend and I (the other 10% you'll find me at my favourite pizza place!), it's a habit left over from home with mum and grandma. And I always keep a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer so even if I land late from a flight, or don't have much time, I can whip up a nutritious spinach soup in 15 minutes. Even now, when I am back at the family home we will always cook dinner from scratch. Though we aren't opposed to a cheeky takeaway or pub supper. But we like to gather in the kitchen at the end of the day, put our phones away and chat over a glass of wine while one, or all of us cooks. And we almost always eat dinner together at the table (the exception is if one of us is sick), or if my boyfriend is home late from work." - Sophie, co-founder of KINN.