Slow Living: How to Give More and Take Less
If you’ve never heard of slow living before, then you’re about to get a crash course in what it’s all about. A snapshot of the concept, as you’ll see, is somewhat antithetical to the idea itself, but hopefully it will inspire you to conduct your own research and maybe give it a try in your own everyday.
We’re all trying to be more conscious about shopping ethically and living sustainably as we learn about the increased pressure we’re putting both ourselves and the planet under with our modern way of life. Slowing down, smelling the flowers, and taking a more roundabout route could benefit your mental and physical health, the community around you and Mother Earth in all her glory. It could also potentially save you money, help you make new friends and increase your appreciation for what you have already, rather than reaching for what you think you should be achieving. Read on to find out more.
Accommodation and Housing
First up, let’s take a look at living spaces. It’s a well-known fact that it can be difficult for younger people to get onto the property ladder these days, but there are some attractive alternatives to the traditional brick and mortar home. Plenty of people are now going ‘off grid’ to live in temporary structures such as tiny houses, cabins, vans, yurts and houseboats. One of the benefits to taking this slightly different approach to housing is that you are more likely to be able to maintain a sustainable lifestyle when living in such a compact space. This saves you money on energy bills, for one, but also brings with it the opportunity to use alternative energy like solar, wind, biomass or hydro. Where does slow living come into it? Well, living outside of what is considered ‘normal’ opens up all sorts of possibilities – regular maintenance of a tiny home, houseboat or yurt necessitates a slower pace of living, but equally, dwelling outside of busy, built up areas makes a more sedate pace more available and achievable.
Food and Groceries
As a society, we’re used to popping down to the supermarket every time that we need something, whether that’s food for the evening meal, a birthday card for a friend or a top up of toilet paper. However, cheap and accessible supermarket products come at a price. There are problems along the whole supply chain, ranging from workers’ rights, to production practices, to the quality of the finished item. Shopping locally, choosing organic produce, or patronising cooperatives and independent greengrocers supports local businesses, boosts ethical supply chains and means you benefit from superior shopping choices. You can build on this by buying dried goods rather than heavily processed ones, and batch cooking rather than relying on pre-packaged meals. It may mean dedicating a little bit of extra time at first to meal plans and shopping lists, but the reward is a healthier diet, less waste and a greater appreciation for both what you’re eating and what you bring into your home.
Hobbies and Pastimes
Nobody wants to have to give up their favourite hobby in order to feel like they’re ‘being a good person’, but have you stopped to wonder lately just what your regular pastimes are really doing for you? The world can feel busy and frantic enough as it is, without adding in weekly tennis classes, a daily session at the gym or weekends filled with brunches, dinners and drinks with friends. Slowing down doesn’t have to mean doing nothing – it can just mean doing things at a more measured pace, one which allows you to thoroughly enjoy the activity rather than just ticking it off your never-ending to do list. Instead of zoning out in front of the latest movie at the cinema, join Meetup or Bumble BFF and enjoy some fresh air on a walk with your new buddies; rather than heading downtown to the casino on a weekend, curl up in that cosy living room you worked so hard to decorate and enjoy the range of games found at Poker Casino. Life doesn’t have to involve hurtling from one place to the next in order to be fun; it can sometimes be as simple as picking up a book you’ve been longing to read, or soaking up a quiet moment in the park.
Food for Thought
There are so many areas of life in which we can slow down and take a more mindful approach. Switching from fast fashion to handmade clothing offers a great opportunity to try out new styles and stand out from the crowd, whereas choosing to move in to a quieter career choice can open up possibilities you’d never even dreamed of. Even deciding to stay close to home and enjoy the countryside around you, rather than jetting off for a jampacked week in some far-off paradise, can prove to be surprisingly rewarding. What do you have to lose? Try it yourself sometime – slow down, smell the flowers and smile.