Slowing down in life. Is that even possible nowadays? I think it is, but you definitely have to be very intentional about it. Slowing down is hard to do, because everyone is all about the hustle and bustle of getting things done.
How quickly can we get this project done? How quickly can I make it out the door in the morning to make that meeting? What is a quick and easy way to make dinner so that I can sit on the couch at the end of a long day?
If you think these things, you are not wrong – it’s just the society we live in! However, things are not like this all over the world. In fact, in Italy, they pride themselves on slow living. What is that? Well, Brooke McAlary says it best: “Slow living is all about creating time and space and energy for the things that matter most to us in life, so ask yourself what you stand to gain.”
Slow living is about stopping to smell the roses. It’s about actually enjoying the process, instead of rushing through the steps to make it to the finish line. While not many of us live life this way, I truly believe that those who do are much more satisfied with their lives. So, how can more of us get into the rhythm of slow living? Here are some tips for slowing down in life –
I think that most of us try to do this, but we fail time and time again because it’s so easy to get distracted. Every distraction is bigger and better now. Co-workers can access us any time of the day in a blink of an eye (thanks, smartphones!), emails can be checked in less than 30 seconds with a few clicks, TVs and computers are bigger and shows are more distracting and honestly not many of us live the “slow life” even at home. We have someone who comes in to do laundry and cleaning. We have fast-food pickup, to make sure that we have that extra time to “relax” in the evenings, and we are so consumed by reality TV and sports and games on the PlayStation or Xbox, that we forget to really connect with the people around us. Instead of family getting our attention, our eyes are glued to screens, and to be completely straightforward, it’s an addiction that most people have.
Think about it: it’s really hard to get away from screens. Why? Because society almost requires us to use them, and it’s how we “connect” now with our friends. Facetime, pictures and video, reels, TikTok, Facebook, email, and more. It’s easy to connect that way, and we don’t want to miss a big announcement, so we check it repeatedly throughout the day.
This is taking the time away from being present, so if you truly want tips for slowing down in life, your first tip is to do what you can to be present, which leads me to my second point.
Put your phone down
My second point, which goes hand in hand with my first point is that you absolutely need to put your phone down, to be present. Hard, yes. Worth it? Definitely. When you travel, stop hiding behind your phone to take pictures and videos. Is it even okay to do that? OF COURSE! However, most people focus so much on capturing the memories through pictures and videos, that they forget to live in the moment and enjoy the place and festivities while they are there. To be present and live in the moment, you just have to put your phone down. Stop taking ALL the pictures, and instead, just snap a few pictures here and there, preferably using a film camera. Allow yourself to have to wait a bit for your photos instead of having instant gratification. Stop being so accessible 100% of the time, and instead, set up times of the day where you check your email and text messages (ie. maybe 3x a day, for 20 minutes at a time).
Get back to the basics
I know this is pretty unpopular, but getting back to the basics is a really great way to slow down. Making bread, picking weeds by hand, folding laundry one piece at a time. It almost forces you to take the time and slow down and be still. It gives you time to think, time to laugh and talk (if you are doing it with a family member or friend), and time to heal. It allows you to focus on one thing at a time. Getting back to the basics might not be popular, but it sure does help with slowing down. One of my favorite ways to get back to basics is with crocheting. Due to my love of crocheting so much it was really a no brainer to start an Etsy. On my shop Eleni Nikita Co. you can find some of my handmade products.
Another tip? Be still more. Take the time to walk alone, dine out by yourself (so that you have time to think or read), take a bubble bath, or do some yoga or journaling. Take the time to yourself, to focus on what YOU need. If we give from an empty cup, we are of no use to the people who need us. When we fill up our cup, by focusing on our needs, we are able to give with ease.
Move somewhere that allows you to slow down
Last but not least, if you have a job that doesn’t stop, or if you live in a city that does not stop (looking at you, NYC), consider moving somewhere that allows you to slow down. It doesn’t have to be far – it could be just down the street – or it could be across the state or country. Wherever you move, just make sure that you love where you are going. A move has the potential to be stressful, but there are ways to have a “slower” and less stressful move, too. Consider it Moving can help take that stress off your plate, however. They are a local New York moving company who are not only Long Island commercial movers, but residential movers, as well. They service New York, but have expanded to NJ and CT, as well.