7 Slow Living Ideas For An Intentional Lifestyle
One of the things that first attracted me to simple living was the concept of slowing down. We live in such a fast-paced world that seems to hold busyness in high esteem. But is always being busy really a good thing?
Slowing down to take life in is something that really speaks to me. At one point, I fell into the trap of measuring my life by how much I got done each day. Then, I realized that getting more things done wasn’t really making life any better.
Simple living can mean many things- having less stuff, caring for the environment, using a composting toilet (or not). But most people who choose a simpler lifestyle also want to step out of the endless cycle of doing more.
If slowing down is something you want for your life, how can you actually make it happen? Here are 7 ways to slow down in our busy world.
#1- Say ‘No’ To More
The only way to really start slowing down and taking life in is to start opting out of more things. It’s hard for a lot of us to say ‘no’ to someone without feeling bad about it (though some people seem to have no problem with it).
But learning to say ‘no’ is one of the main ways to say ‘yes’ to a simpler and less busy life. You can’t slow down if you are always over-committed.
Something that will help you figure out what you want to commit to and what you need to step back from is prioritizing. Prioritizing is basically just figuring out what’s most important to you.
Figuring out what is really important to you is maybe the best way to simplify life. It helps you to realize what you need to keep in your life and what you can let go of to make room for more of what matters.
In fact, I have a whole post about how prioritizing can help you simplify your (all-natural) lifestyle.
#3- Let Go Of Perfection
This might not be a problem for everyone, but it’s a really important step for all those other perfectionists out there. Sometimes the only thing stopping us from slowing down and enjoying life more is ourselves.
A year or two into my new simple lifestyle, I was burned out from trying to live the perfect all-natural lifestyle. I was always busy trying to keep up with the next way to save the planet, and I wasn’t enjoying any of it.
Chasing the perfect lifestyle is missing the point of having a simple life. Let some things go so that you can actually enjoy what you are doing and how you are living. There is always one more thing to do, but you don’t have to do it.
#4- Be Less Distracted
Our culture today is very much about entertainment and distraction. And technology makes it easy for us to be distracted for hours on end- sometimes all day.
The interesting thing about being distracted or entertained is that it usually makes time go by quickly, but we don’t get much out of it. This doesn’t mean all distraction is bad, but if we are living life in this way, we’ll never feel like we are getting the most out of it.
So start taking some intentional time away from screens and other distractions to interact with the real events and people around you. You might discover you already have more time than you thought.
#5- Make Room For Quiet
Quiet time is not something we are always comfortable with, but it’s essential to a more intentional way of living. When we step away from distractions and technology to actually find a quiet space, time seems to slow down and it’s easier to realize what’s really important in life.
Making room for quiet could mean meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature- whatever speaks to you. Just be intentional about making room for it, or other activities will push your quiet time out.
#6- Plan In Boundaries
Some of us like to have a schedule for everything while others don’t like to follow a schedule at all. But I really think that some kind of planning is necessary if you want to intentionally have a simpler lifestyle.
To really slow down and stick with it, there needs to be some kind of boundary around your time. This doesn’t mean that everything needs to be on a schedule, but start setting time aside each day or week as ‘protected’ time.
Maybe slowing down means more family time or alone time or time each day to go for a walk. Whatever it is, if it’s not planned, it’s less likely to happen.
#7- Be Present
Being present in the moment is one of the best ways to slow down and take life in. When our minds are distracted or busy thinking about the next thing we need to do, we miss what’s happening right now. This makes life feel rushed and unfulfilling.
A big part of simple living is being mindful- being fully present and actively participating in life. Slowing down is deeply connected to mindfulness because we can only really experience life in the present.
Busyness is often the enemy of being fully present, so practicing mindfulness will automatically help you to slow down and get more out of life.
I think one of the most important things to realize about slowing down in a busy world is that it needs to be intentional. Slowing down and living more simply won’t just happen- but that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult!
One small change at a time can get you out of the rush and chaos of life and into a more peaceful and fulfilling lifestyle.
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