I do not want to start a socio-politico debate because first I am not really comfortable going there with this blog post and second, the topic of Slow Living or healthy living and why do we need it now more than ever can be quite complex and I want this article to be specific and easy to read.
SLOW Living is about pace but it also stands for
Sustainable / Local / Organic / Whole.
In a few words:
Slow living is a lifestyle emphasizing slower and more mindful approaches to everyday life. It is understanding happiness is not a destination but a journey we can choose to live every day. Slow Living can express itself in our homes and how we decorate but also in the activities that we prefer to do. It is about enjoying the process and understanding that good things take time or cost a bit more money .
“Buy Now, Think Later” trend
If you live in Western Europe and other parts of the capitalist world, you may not even realise how deep we are into living fast, and consuming fast, “buy now think/exchange later”, anyone else thinks it is ridiculous?-yet and I will agree it is “convenient”. We feel pushed into doing things without thinking about it and then dealing with the consequences (hoarding at home, bad decisions with work projects because we must deliver now-now-now, or even in personal relationships- the pressure of being perfect anyone?). Since we were children, we have been exposed with the must-dos and must-haves of a society but like no two people are the same, why would the opinion of others dictate how we should live our lives? This links to what we consume: eat, watch, read, buy, but also our lifestyle: what do we decide to study, work as or be friends with. Yet if we don’t follow, this can lead to feelings of inadequacy and to be uncomfortable.
What you are exposed to, gets into your mind and becomes a form of truth
When I was a College student I remember my philosophy teacher talking about becoming critical of our surroundings and he had this example about Food advertisement
– “If it is advertised on TV, it is probably, in reality, bad for your health”.
This really resonated with me and the reason why is because I never actually thought about challenging the truthfulness of what was in front of my eyes every day because you learn as a child to “listen to Adults”. Advertisements are everywhere and trying to get our attention so that when shopping we see something remember the ad (although this is usually unconscious) and buy the set item. Have you noticed in the last years how those tv food ads have reduced? Perhaps because we started to notice that yes indeed they are bad for us and are looking for more meaningful and authentical experiences instead. Why have online reviews been so popular in the last decades? Because we prefer to rely on real peoples experiences as opposed to what large corporations want us to believe and I think we do crave that simplicity and are tired to be misled.
Like people with anxiety need to slow down their thoughts to find clarity, one benefits in doing slow activities or have a slow living approach to life.
A slower lifestyle is going back to a more simple approach to life. A lot like how our Grand Parents perhaps approached cooking, washing, clothing, even decorate the house! (the taking your time approach and investing in the right timeless piece-approach, not the 60s wallpapers…) It could be considered as a statement lifestyle against fast food, and fast fashion.
In the name of convenience, we sacrificed so much of the little pleasures of life which is cooking, exploring our local resources, and learning about each other. We take shortcuts anytime we can and to be fair to us, society encourages us to as what we are or what we have is suposedly never enough. This seems to be a bi-product of a hyperconsumerism society which is made to keep us unsatisfied in order to buy more. We have become a continent of hyper-consumers craving novelties and highly uneducated about re-use, upcycling, recycling. Slow Living is a stop or at least a desire to disrupt that motion.
Including some Slow Living elements to your everyday life will help you reconnect with the simple and candid life experiences that really matter.
- Prepare your lunch at home the night before or choose the organic option at the local sandwich place.
- Going for a walk at lunchtime if you have an office job.
- It is buying the clothes you need and love, not the want you want (look for capsule wardrobes! That is a very cool concept about slow fashion: you reuse clothes yet keep a fresh up-to-date look with a few seasonal pieces)
- It is buying more vegetables and fruits of the current season
- It is trading your car for a bike for commuting
- It is saving up for buying that piece of furniture you really love and you know you will love it everytime you look at it.
- It is taking a deep breath when someone is being rude to you then being assertive back then shake it off. (Still practising this one!!! Unfortunately, I tend to snap back too fast sometimes)
- Grow your own culinary herbs
- Look after your indoor plants
- Do a Yoga class to reconnect with your body
- Those are just some ideas. Can you think of others? Please add a comment!
Picture credits: Unsplash