Toolkit – HOW TO SLOW DOWN (AND NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT)
Words by Emily Coogan
At the corner of life and intention sits slow living, the meeting place of contemporary purpose.
The concept of slow living might conjure images of bucolic landscapes or idyllic holidays, but the idea can be incorporated into even the most packed schedules. In reality, prioritising ourselves and making time to take in the circumstances of each day should be more than fanciful.
Supporting a slow lifestyle may involve the following five tips, but don’t stop there. Taking life as it comes requires individualised action, but physical slowness is more than a start.
Recognise the need for downtime in each week.
When we function with our pedal to the metal, we are caving to the whims of mental stress and physical exhaustion. Every week, schedule intentional minutes (or hours) of time participating in enjoyment. While it may seem simple, it’s easy for a conversation with loved ones, a walk around the neighbourhood or an episode of TV to fall into routine. Deliberate scheduling reminds us of the joy to be had in seemingly small tasks, uncovered by the practice of slow living.
Every night looks different for every person, but a quiet night is a must for everyone. For some, this involves cooking a favourite meal, however gourmet. For others, this might involve the famous ‘everything shower’, a room refresh, or a debrief with housemates. Deliberately staying in for a night allows us to reset and recharge, slowing the clock on the week.
Unplug to unwind.
Dropping all modes of technology is near impossible in an ultra-connected, ever-bustling world, so finding purpose in technology and intentionally removing the elements that drain us is the way forward. Technology and presence can coexist, as long as the two aren’t inextricable.
Take a beat.
After a day spent listening to the many sounds of our routines, aural therapy can fall by the wayside. Devoting just minutes to put on a favourite playlist and tapping into the mood-boosting ways of music sets us up for a more present, intention-filled day.
Honour your feelings.
The art of slow living doesn’t require a clear headspace; rather it can contribute to one. The pressure we feel to suppress our emotions in order to focus on each day doesn’t serve us in the long run, and slowness involves taking those feelings on the road with us and giving them the time they need.
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