In today’s world we are hearing about more and more people burning out from the exhaustion of their jobs, home lives, and even their own expectations. When our lives feel so busy all the time, and our own minds won’t even let us relax, what can we do to begin cultivating a more slow lived lifestyle in hopes of regaining some peace? If you are band new to slow living and are desperately seeking simple tools for slowing down, you’ve come to the right place. Below are 8 of our best (and easiest) methods for practicing slow living in your life start right now.
Define what slow living means to you
One important thing to remember when it comes to slow living (and every other area of life), is that none of us are going to have the same definition.
For some, slow living means practicing homesteading, making meals from scratch, and living off the land. For others, slow living might look more like carving out time on the weekends to relax, nap, or read a book.
That’s why, the most important thing to do before starting slow living is to first ask yourself what you want slow living to look like for you. Even if it feels impossible considering your current life circumstances, it’s important that you get a clear vision for the slow living life you want. The Gentle Art of Letting Sh*t Go eBook is designed to help you do this.
Declutter your space
One of the silliest ways we clutter our schedules and lives is through keeping and maintaining physical clutter. If you are one of the 33% of adults who are burnt out due to housework, taking the time to declutter some of your belongings can help free up so much time and energy for you to simply slow down.
If you have tried decluttering and always seem to re-fill your house back up again, check out The Gentle Art of Letting Sh*t go for new ideas on how to keep clutter minimal with less effort on your part!
Start saying NO
Another way our lives can get too busy too quickly is when we continually say yes to things that rob us of our energy. Saying yes to added tasks when our workload is already full, will not only add to our overwhelm but can also prevent us from doing the best job possible.
If you are a huge people pleaser when it comes to the workplace, I highly recommend the book, Essentialism, where author Greg McKeown shares practical tools for doing less in the workplace and how you can often achieve more when doing so.
Saying no doesn’t have to be something that is only practiced in the workplace, however, this can be something that spills over into your personal life.
Here are some reminders on saying no.
- Recognize and resistance you have to saying yes
- Remember that even if your schedule is open, you are not obligated to fill it
- Saying “no” to a friend or aquaintence isn’t unkind to them, it’s being kind to yourself
- When you say “no” to something you create time to say yes to other things that matter more
Find joy without screens
Telling some people to take a break from their screens can be like telling someone to stop breathing as much. A lot of us are addicted to our phones and TV screens. Now, there is nothing inherently bad or evil about either of these things, but the truth is, the blue light can have a major impact on our mental health.
By giving ourselves times during the day where we stay far away from screens, we allow our nervous system to relax, enhance our mood, and encourage better sleeping patterns. Read: 5 Tips for Less Phone Time
Get back to nature
Whether it’s taking a 6 hour hike in the wilderness, walking around the blog, or strolling through your backyard in your bare feet, getting back to nature has proven to have numerous healing benefits.
Even actively working to incorporate a Hot Girl Walk into your weekly routine can reduce anxiety and depression, and improve your mental state.
Little ways to incorporate nature into your routine:
- 20 minute outdoor walks
- Being barefoot as often as possible
Recognize your busy urges
One of the best things you can do to practice slow living, especially if you are working to heal your nervous system, is to recognize when those little urges arise within you that tell you to be busy.
Understanding why we filled our lives and schedules up so much before is key to breaking the pattern forever.
When you have a clean house and nothing on your schedule, but feel the urge to get up and be busy, ask yourself why. Some people are better with auditory processing which means literally talking to yourself out loud about it can be helpful. In other instances, simple inner reflection or journaling can help shed light on what your limiting beliefs are around busy work.
Plan your slow downs
Did you know only 48% of workers are taking all of their vacation days? Our society often glamorizes and rewards hard work, which causes so many of us to only feel valuable when we are actively working.
Remember, play and rest are huge parts of the creative process and productivity. They are just not talked about as much, frankly because people can’t get work out of you if they are telling you to rest. The truth is, when fewer of us rest, it hurts us all. This is why making sure you are taking full advantage of the days you have off is crucial.
Just like you would plan a dentist appointment, plan your time off around those times of year when you know you face burnout the most. A good way to ensure you can take time off is to make sure you are keeping a vacation savings fund. Learn more about our favorite savings account.
Embrace the discomfort of slower living
There’s no way around it, if you’ve been addicted to the hustle for years, adjusting to slow living is going to take some time. There is often a misconception that happens when people start practicing slow living that it is going to be a wonderful zen-like process.
The reality of learning to slow down you lifestyle is that it will take some time to adjust to, but if you keep at it, you will be able to reap the rewards of it.