If you are ready to slow down and actually enjoy life, read these 30 ideas to get you started towards a slow living lifestyle.
1. Develop daily routines
Routines sound opposite of living a slow life. Aren’t we trying to get away from a full schedule and the content nagging of the calendar? Yes! Slow living is all about being intentional with your time. To be intentional, you need to give some thought to what you actually need and or want to spend your time doing. Wild and free vacation mode just won’t cut it long term for a fulfilled and successful existence! Developing routines can also help you automate the items on your list that need to happen everyday. This will free up mental energy for more deep thought.
2. Turn routine into ritual
This brings us to point number two. Turn you well established routines into rituals. This will romanticize your life in a way and make it much more enjoyable. For example, getting ready for bed. This routine might look something like: taking a bath, changing into your pajamas, brushing your teeth, looking over tomorrows schedule, reading a book for 15 minutes, then turning out the light. To turn this routine into a ritual you could take the time to pray, meditate, and reflect on the day you just had. As you crawl into bed you could practice gratitude for another day.
3. Keep a gratitude journal
Keeping a gratitude journal almost sounds cliché because of how many times it is suggested. It is continually recommended for good reasons. Gratitude helps change negative mindsets into positive ones. The moment you recognize the blessings in life, you feel more abundant and full of life!
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.“1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
4. Make food from scratch
Did you know that slow food was the origin of the slow living movement? A group of people rejected fast food because it was a threat the rich culture of food that that country had. You can read more about the origins of slow living and its definition. Making food from scratch physically slows down the meal prep, but it also allows you to use more whole food which is healthy and and often times sustainably sourced. It even can help you slash your grocery bill!
5. Eat slowly without distractions
Eating without distractions will make meal time so much more enjoyable! After preparing a beautiful meal, why would you not want to actually experience it? Sitting down to a beautifully set table with family or friends makes the meal so much tastier! If you are alone enjoying a meal in quiet is a lovely slow down moment during the day.
6. Sit down for your meals
Actually sitting down to your meals is a point that needed to be made all on its own. Often times in this fast paced world, we can find ourselves eating on the go, or spread out all over the house. Sitting down to a nicely set table with family and friends is a simple pleasure in life that you are missing out on, if it is not a priority. When you are dining alone, it is still important to eat in a relaxed and beautiful environment.
7. Connect with a few close friends
Having a tight knit family and/or a few close friends can bring so much joy to your life. Being able to love other people, fellowship with them, and share on each other’s journey can make bring so much peace into life. Not only does having relationships naturally slow down life, it also brings a deep meaning that cannot be found in personal pursuits.
8. Tend a garden
Wanting to live a slow life was what brought us to gardening. Gardening moves at the pace of nature which cannot be rushed. A seed will germinate in it’s how time. A plant will fruit without hurrying. Aligning yourself with the natural world is what gardening can offer the gardener. It literally will bring you down to Earth. Gardening, even if just a few pots, is the ultimate slow down hobby.
9. Unplug your devices
Devices have the tendency to shorten attention spans, and cause anxiety. They are also our to do lists, personal libraries, where we store music, get news, etc. A lot is going on within one small device! If you want to slow down a bit, consider a fast from your device entirely for just a few days. Notice how much margin you create in your day by doing this. If nothing else, definitely remove all notifications from your phone and set hard boundaries so that it does not infiltrate your intentional life.
10. Make time for a creative hobby
Because entertainment can be found easily through devices, having hobbies that require effort is becoming more rare. There is great joy to be found in having a hobby where you create something with your hands. Cross stitch, woodworking, gardening, drawing, painting are all examples of hobbies that require total submersion in the present moment. Developing a skill is enjoyable. Homesteading, and the many branches of it, soap making, candle making, canning, sewing are great options.
11. Work with your hands
Even if you do not choose a creative hobby. Simple working with your hands taking care of animals, organizing a space, or weeding the garden. These activities are necessary and also a welcome part of a slow living lifestyle. When you are focused on working on a project it can slow you down to the present moment.
12. Make sleep a priority
This is absolutely essential to living a slow lifestyle. Getting an abundance of good quality sleep will improve clarity of mind and decision making. It is almost impossible to make good decisions and lead an intentional life without good sleep. Reject the idea that sacrificing sleep will get you ahead.
13. Practice patience
Practicing patience in mundane tasks that happen all the time is a great way to embrace a slow living lifestyle. Take deep breaths and calmly wait instead of scrolling, while you are in the grocery store line. Practice having extreme patience while your children tie their shoes instead of urging them to “hurry up!” Becoming more patient takes constant practice, but it is one of the most loving things we can do for the people around us. It will also slow down the moments in your day.
14. Say “no” more often
In order to avoid being constantly in a rush, it is necessary to opt out whenever you can. If a certain activity does not align with your goals it might be a good idea to gently decline. These days there are constant invitations and opportunities to partake in. In order to have space in your schedule so you can do thing more slowly, it is absolutely essential that you do LESS to make that room. Overpacked schedules cause rushing and lack of time.
15. Don’t participate in unnecessary activities
Choosing what you say yes to comes down to: if that specific activity aligns with your goals. This does not mean that you do not do selfless events or actives. If serving others is one of your core values then this would fit into your life goals perfectly! Chose some core values to hold every offer against to help you get started.
16. Be intentional about your time
Time management is something that I hold near and dear to my heart as a homeschooling, homesteading, mama who also runs a couple businesses. Knowing how to allocate time is crucial for success. Because I care deeply about my quiet pockets of time to cultivate a slow life, it requires careful assessment about what I will spend my time on everyday.
17. Embrace silence
Silence is something that needs to be concisely sought after these days. It is so easy to constantly have noise in the background via podcasts, YouTube videos, news, etc. Actually planning to complete tasks in silence, or just sit in silence for meditation and reflection, needs to be planned for.
18. Do things the old fashioned way
Yes, technology makes things easier and faster and should be utilized as often as possible to make more time. I love the natural outsourcing that technology affords me (thank you washing machine and dishwasher!) There is however, some value and doing things by hand to practice slow living. For example, you obviously can buy a scarf, but knitting a scarf can add so much joy even though it took longer.
19. Use your planner
This tip goes hand-in-hand with being intentional with your time. Having a planner helps block out time that you intend for slowness. Life has a way of overtaking you if you do not tell your schedule what to do. Utilizing a planner with to do lists, seems like it doesn’t go with the slow life, but it definitely helps facilitate slow living lifestyle in our fast paced culture.
20. Single task
Multitasking is so tempting and in some ways it is possible. Single tasking though actually makes someone more productive and less stressed. Intentionally moving from one task to the next allows peace to reign during that activity. If you constantly are bouncing between tasks anxiety will follow.
21. Carve out time for solitude
Take that handy dandy planner, and actually write when you will have some alone time. Creating space for solitude is absolutely essential for a deep life.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”-Luke 5:16
I have found in my personal experience that when I do not have time to be quiet and process thoughts, my mind becomes extremely busy.
22. Find joy in everyday tasks
Life can be quite wonderful, if you aren’t always trying to avoid it. I get it. Cleaning the bathroom is hardly glamorous, but how we think about completing a task really changes how we experience it. If it has to be dome anyways, why not change the way we think about it. Instead of drudgery change your mindset to one of thankfulness. Taking care of what you have is extremely rewarding on your gratitude journey. It is nearly impossible to be sad and grateful at the same time. Find joy in everyday living.
“Life is made up of little moments that don’t seem that important at the time, but in retrospect they’re what get you to where you are.”–Penelope Ward
23. Go outside for walks
Time with nature has the same effects as tending a garden. Infusing yourself with he pace of the natural world keeps things into perspective. It can calm the nervous system, which can physically allow you to more slower. Walking especially is a wonderful activity, when done without the presence of the smart phone, for processing thoughts and being alone.
24. Choose slow and peaceful music
Music has a way of feeding the soul! Choosing peaceful music can set the stage for slow living. I like to play slow peaceful music while I clean to act as a sort of meditation. Music can romanticize life, and create a whole new atmosphere.
25. Embrace boredom
Being bored from time to time used to be a frequent occurrence. With the endless ways we can entertain ourselves, it is possible to rarely or never feel a tinge of boredom. Some of the greatest ideas come after boredom. When a mind can wander and wonder are when good things happen. For the slow living lifestyle, boredom allows space in time to process emotions and life.
26. Start journaling
An effective tool for processing thoughts and life in general, starting a journal habit can be highly therapeutic. Journaling can physically slow down your thinking and help you be more intentional about the life you want to live.
27. Read books (real paper books)
I love a good audio book. In fact, consuming audiobooks has helped me to read more in the past few years than I ever have. There is some value, however in reading paper books. Reading paper books requires single tasking, unlike audiobooks. The forced concentration of reading is a good practice for the slow living lifestyle. I personally like to do a mix of both audio and paper books to get the best of both worlds!
It is incredibly easy to end up with a cluttered atmosphere these days. Especially if you homestead and have multiple interests. Things can really pile up! Having less physical things makes room for the more important aspects of life. Slowing down just might mean getting rid of some of the physical items that you spend time taking care of.
29. Drive slowly
Driving slowly is an everyday task that can be done at a slower pace to practice slow living. The next time you are headed somewhere, try to drive the speed limit. Cruising down the road is quite peaceful and can allow you to enjoy the activity of driving.
30. Embrace quality over quantity
Less is definitely more when it comes to many things in life. Having fewer good quality pieces of clothing over a tone of poorly made ones is a good start. The quality over quantity bug can take over everything in your life if you allow it. Better quality relationships, food, and overall time. These are all results that can come from a slower pace of life.
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Fed up with the fast paced modern world, Grey & Brianna made drastic changes to live slowly and intentionally. Read more about their unlikely story back to calm. If you want to send Grey & Brianna a quick message, then visit their contact page.