When was the last time you truly unplugged from the internet? Or the last time you simply sat at the window to relax and listen to the wind blow? If you can’t even answer these question, perhaps it’s time… to take your time. To finally reconnect with your own life, “slow living” is the movement made for you.
Living at 100 miles an hour
Modern society tells us that speed and performance are the keys to success. In some way, we’re conditioned to using every single second of our day, or else we feel guilty. And in spite of this impression that we are in control of our daily schedules, time still seems to slip away. We feel stress gathering in our throats, pouding headaches and anxiety around every corner. Welcome to the world of “fast living”!
Slowing down in every way
As a reaction to this constantly accelerating way of life, “slow living” showed up in Italy in the 1980s. They wanted to put an end to the mad dash against the clock and finally chose to take their time. The counter-culture movement was first noticed in the “slow food” movement, which encourages people to cook their food themselves with non-processed ingredients, rather than gobbling down a burger behind the wheel. Then, the “slow” philosophy spread to other spheres of life: travel, work, money, and so on.
So, what does this mean for us in our daily lives?
Re-evaluating your priorities
You need to learn how to say no. Avoid overbooking your schedule with activities you don’t enjoy so you’ll have more time for those that inspire you. Do away with online shopping and finally read that novel that’s been sitting on your bedside table for months!
At any time of day, we are stimulated by technology: television, computers, tablets, mobile phones, and so on. We complain that we don’t have enough time even though we spend hours on social networks. How about unplugging the Wi-Fi at home, turning all your devices off and forgetting about the TV just for one evening?
Plan on “slow” leisure activities
Now that you have eliminated the activities you don’t really enjoy and the phone us tucked away in a drawer, choose a few “slow” leisure activities: yoga, meditation, drawing, reading, and so on. Do things that you like doing, with no pressure for performance.
Take a breather
What about taking 5 minutes to do… nothing? Take a short time-out to feel the sunshine on your skin. Listen the sounds around you or simply listen to your own breathing as your body relaxes. Even at work, simply close your eyes for a few minutes. Without guilt. Have you forgotten what it’s like just to “be”?
So now, just close your eyes for a moment.