What Slow Living Means to Me
Whenever people ask me what slow living actually means, I always tell them that it’s personal. My idea of slow living could be completely different to somebody else. It’s a mindset, not a religion. There are no rules. You don’t have to be a minimalist, or live in the countryside, or love to spend time outdoors. Anyone can slow down their pace of life - it’s all about making time for the things that are important to you.
So what is slow living for me? I’ve already wrote about why I chose a slower life, but what does that slower life actually entail? What are the little things that matter the most to me?
I’ve learned over recent years that life is busy. I live an active social life and like to make time for my friends and family as often as possible. I’m not an introvert, but not an extrovert either. I’m somewhere in the middle; sometimes thriving when surrounded by others but also happy to sneak off on my own for a walk or with a book. Those little moments that I crave, the ones that matter to me, are the ones when I’m on my own, able to do whatever I wish. Evenings tucked up in bed with a new book, mornings walking the dog in the woods, afternoons heading outdoors with my camera, long lunches in cafes with only my laptop for company. These are my slow moments, when I can focus on and connect with my interests. Reading, writing, walking, photography, being among nature. The things that I love.
For me, slow living means finding time for these little things that you enjoy in life. And the best way that I have found to make this time is to improve your work-life balance. So many of us put work before living, when we should be seeking a more harmonious balance. Take it from someone who’s life used to be consumed with a job that she hated - you’ll be much happier when you realise that work isn’t the most important thing in your life.
Of course, as I said at the beginning of this post, all of this is personal. Some of you may see your work as the main part of your life, and others may think it’s incredibly naive of me to state that there are other more important things. What about money? What about keeping a roof over your head and food on the table? Yes, these are the fundamentals that we all need, but I don’t crave excess. I’m happy with what I have, and part of maintaining a slower life (for me) means that I don’t strive for too much. I don’t need a bigger house or fancier holidays, I’m content with the balance that I currently have.
I make work fit around my daily life. I don’t start my part-time job until 10am, so I can afford a slightly lazy morning without rushing around. On my freelance days, I don’t abide to a strict schedule and allow my work to fit in with daily tasks such as walking the dog or nipping to the shops. I give myself mornings or afternoons off to indulge in my pleasures, and catch up with my writing when I’m feeling inspired (such as on a quiet Thursday evening, right now).
Another key factor in my own personal take on slow living is sustainability. To me, the two go hand-in-hand, for every way that I look to slow down my lifestyle. My slow travel philosophies sit hand-in-hand with more ethical travel practices. My slow wardrobe ideas also work for curating a more sustainable collection of garments. To me, slowing down how you live your life generally means consuming less, spending more time among nature and looking for ethical alternatives to daily occurrences.
What does slow living mean to you?