When you’re busy and ambitious, it’s not always easy to make Slow Living part of your daily life. Like it or not, fatigue and stress are increasingly present in our lives – so it’s all the more important to develop a few concrete tricks for concentrating on what really matters and taking your eyes off that clock. The important thing to remember is that when you’re running from one task to the next, you’re not living your life, you’re just running across it.
We asked our brand ambassador, Marie-Michele Le Moine, to suggest some concrete tips for making Slow Living part of the way we live now. As director of Patience Fruit & Co’s retail division, Marie-Michèle knows all too well how it feels to have an overloaded schedule. Constantly travelling on business, she takes an average of 70-plus plane trips a year! But even with such a crazy schedule, over the years she’s managed to develop some little tricks for slowing the pace and living fully in the moment. Here’s her advice…
So what does Slow Living really mean?
If you’d like to learn more about this movement, which is central to the values we hold dear at Patience Fruit & Co, here’s an article on this important topic.
1. Keep your attitude set at “Zen.”
Life is full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns. Marie-Michèle says the important thing is to “go with the flow,” staying flexible and open to change. For example, it’s not unusual for flights to be delayed or even cancelled. When this happens, she tries to maintain a positive attitude by treating herself to something yummy or buying a good book. After all, she says, why lose your temper when you have no control over the situation anyway?
2. Keep screen time to a minimum.
In this society, too many people go around with their eyes constantly glued to a screen. A study conducted by comScore Inc. found that Canadians spend an average of 2.5 hours a day on the Internet. So taking a brief break from time to time can only be a good thing! Instead of binge-watching Netflix, read a book or listen to music, Marie-Michèle suggests. To avoid temptation, she decided not to have a TV in her apartment. As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures.
3. Decorate your living space with (real) plants.
One easy way to make Slow Living part of your environment is to grow plants – real plants – in your place. Marie-Michèle says watering and looking after her plants is a great way to unwind.
4. Take the time to cook mindfully.
Cooking a really good meal from scratch is a great way to slow down! The Slow Living movement actually started with Slow Food, a philosophy that encourages people to make their own food instead of inhaling a burger on the run between two appointments. Cooking is something new for Marie-Michèle, who never used to take the time before. For people who don’t spend much time at home, our ambassador recommends food boxes with ready-to-assemble meals – the best way to make food prep part of your busy schedule.
5. Download good-for-you applications on your phone.
In any conversation about Slow Living, someone is bound to suggest turning your cell phone off. But wait a minute – your phone can help! There are many applications that can help you slow the pace. Our ambassador is a big fan of Headspace for guided meditation, animation, videos and articles. She also likes Sworkit, an app that includes guided training with real coaches. There’s something for every interest and every attention span! It’s a great way to take the time to learn some new habits wherever you happen to be – at home on the couch or on the road again.
6. Pay it forward.
For Marie-Michèle, volunteering is a great way to stay centered. She mentors a person with an intellectual disability; they meet about twice a month to talk, and call each other in between. She finds that giving a little to others teaches her a lot about herself.
7. Keep track of your personal life too.
Marie-Michèle confesses that she’s better organized at work than in her personal life. She suggests applying workplace organizational concepts at home. So she tries to plan ahead as much as she does for work, entering everything important in her agenda: a “phone date” with a friend who’s far away, fitness activities (she loves air yoga), and time set aside for cooking, girls’ night out, family time, volunteering… everything’s there! If you have trouble finding “you time,” block out a time slot for doing something that’s just for you.
No matter how busy you are, there’s always a way to juggle the demands of your career with the principles of Slow Living. Sure, it takes some planning and a positive attitude, but it’s extremely gratifying! Whether you choose to savour time spent cooking or watering your plants, it’s all good!