Many of us long to slow down.
And many of us desperately need to.
But too many slow living tips involve ditching everything at once for a picture-perfect slow living lifestyle.
The harsh reality of struggling finances mean that slow living idyll isn’t on offer for most families so it becomes another fantasy to fail at!!
Yet there are simple small ways to slow the crazily busy treadmill of our modern world and find more joy.
And these are the very doable slow living tips I have for you here.
They truly have brought real riches in health, happiness and resilience to my family. I do hope they help.
How To Start A Slow Living Lifestyle Simply
My slow living tips are NOT a strict set of rules we all must live by.
Most are tiny tweaks to strengthen our daily life whilst creating chances for us either to press pause for a period or to take the first steps on a longer journey in slower lanes.
There is no single place to start so explore first what speaks to you :
- Let Go
- Gentle Rhythms
- Proper Rest
- Local Living
- Embracing Nature
- Being In The Moment
- Loving Low Info
- Celebrating Seasons
Weaving just a few of these slow living tips into the fabric of our day lets us feel for real that we don’t have to hurtle hectically through our time here holding on for dear life!!
There are different slower ways to live and they can be very good.
80 Slow Living Tips For A More Joyful Life
Letting go little by little releases the chains of anxiety that lock us onto the treadmill of busy-busy :
- Very gently declutter just a few things every single day.
- Ditch … don’t delegate.
- Stop reinventing the wheel for the sake of it when same old does fine.
- Enjoy the familiar.
- Detox from stimulants … coffee, sugar, alcohol & screens … for at least 6 weeks every year.
- Start living debt free so you stop having to run so fast to fund a lifestyle you can’t sustain …
- Stop buying things you never use.
Resting properly truly can transform our family’s health. It is the foundation of a slow lifestyle :
- Cherish sleep …
- Learn to sleep better …
- … and stop sabotaging it.
- Have a day of rest weekly …
- … and when you just need one.
- Put aside time to energise yourself in the right way for you … introverts need time alone, extraverts need time to talk … every day.
- If you’re an introvert and get exhausted by other people, don’t try and live your life by the standards of extroverts.
- Give yourself time to recover …
- … from illness …
- … from grief …
- … from heartache …
- Take care of your circadian rhythm, get up & outside in the light early.
In today’s world we worship the constant buzz of busy-busy as a symbol of both success and virtue but too many of our exhausted efforts are empty of real meaning :
- Build slack into every day.
- Stop making a virtue of having no time available for anyone.
- Stop over scheduling kids …
- … enjoy slower happier parenting.
- Learn to do more in less time and savour the time saved, don’t fill it.
- Keep plenty of weekends free.
- Clear your calendar … by half … and then by half again
- .Write a not doing list, so you consciously acknowledge all the things whirring around in your head that you’re not going to do.
- Learn to say no.
- Time block communication and only answer emails and messages in that time block.
- Travel slowly by train.
Learning to enjoy being unbusy breaks our addiction to the adrenalin of always being on the go.
Gentle Habits & Rhythms
Gentle habits & rhythms give us back some ownership of the structure of our lives so we’re not always reacting to incoming demands :
- Build simple daily habits.
- Build weekly rhythms.
- Keep going back to the same place.
- Play old games or do old jigsaws with phones off.
- Re-read books.
- Learn to done one thing better and better with your hands.
- Practice something pleasurable for five minutes every day.
- Help children learn to contribute to family chores.
Living more of life locally cuts the wasted hours and constant pressure of long, tight travel time tables :
- Love local.
- Walk every day wherever you can and use the downtime …
- … to talk
- … to connect with your community
- … to muse & ponder.
- Give up your car.
- Stroll, saunter, wander …
- … take time to stop and stare.
- Ride a bike.
- Holiday at home.
It roots us in the resilience of a strong community and makes travel more exciting when we do go.
By embracing nature in simple ways we can’t help but slow down and feel how it keeps time without the constant call of clock and calendar:
- Notice nature …
- … see which way the wind is blowing every day …
- … look at the stars …
- … spot what the trees are doing.
- Grow a few things but don’t go crazy just start …
- … a few simple vegetables …
- … some basic herbs …
- … a pot of spring bulbs.
- Go hiking.
Be In The Moment
A slower lifestyle allows us to be in the moment and enjoy the richness of daily life free from the nagging anxiety of diaries and to do lists :
- Notice yourself in the full flow of feeling happy … what are you doing? … do more of it?
- Make time to clean …
- Make time to cook simple healthy recipes you know off by heart …
- … be in the moment …
- … and enjoy what you’re doing.
- Get real exercise from physical work – travelling, cleaning, gardening – rather than constantly trying to squeeze in time for artificial exercise.
- Keep an eye on why you’re doing things … very often it’s not because they’re important or actually make us happy.
Our chronic fear of missing out has left us addicted to news and updates that distract us from the personal practices and rhythms that truly support and sustain our lives :
- Switch off phone notifications.
- Go out without your phone.
- Go on a wifi & phone free retreat every year.
- Go on a low information diet.
- Break your cable news addiction … whatever our politics, it is equally bad for us!!
- Deinstall any apps you’re addicted to on your phone.
- Stick to one messaging app only.
- Switch your phone off when you’re with your kids.
- Unsubscribe from a couple of email lists every day.
Marking the seasons of the year provides a profound pattern to the seasons of our lives that over commercial celebrations never reach:
- Follow the seasons …
- … join the harvest
- … sleep more in winter.
- Organise your calendar around simple traditions …
- … and enjoy the calm of the old and familiar.
- Recognise the times in the year you take on too much e.g. Christmas, holidays, new school year and work out what else you will stop doing to build in slack.
- Find time every week to connect with the past.
My very last slow living tip is to be a little more sceptical of progress.
A forever chase after the future leaves us rootless and lost. A simpler slower lifestyle builds a stronger bridge to both the opportunities and the challenges of unknown times ahead.
I do hope these slow living tips help you find more joy living slowly. For more easy ways to enjoy a resilient life read these :
- Slower Happier Parenting
- 50 Little Ways To Ease Stress
- 14 Simple Frugal Life Skills
- 30 Lovely Ways To Calm Down
- 30 Ways To Live Debt Free
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