LIVE SMART AND SLOW DOWN

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A slow life is an antidote to the chaos all around us. It’s all about focus: live in the present, be mindful of thoughts/actions, move your body, eat healthily, help others, find joy in the little things, make time for family/friends

Do you ever feel like you’re struggling to handle too many things at once and don’t have time to stop and smell the roses (i.e., live in the present)? Well, you’re not alone. In today’s fast-paced world almost everyone can relate. A sign of our times is that stress levels are higher than they have ever been in recorded history and disorders such as anxiety and depression abound. But don’t despair just yet, despite all this 21st-century living angst, there is a cure – embrace a slow lifestyle.

 

“The central tenet of the slow philosophy is taking the time to do things properly, and thereby enjoy them more.” — Carl Honoré

A slow life is an antidote to the chaos all around us. It’s all about focus: live in the present, be mindful of thoughts/actions, move your body, eat healthily, help others, find joy in the little things, make time for family/friends and breath. By adopting a slower everyday pace, you can transform every facet of your life. But, don’t misunderstand us, slow living is not about self-deprivation. Instead, it’s about making wise choices. Most importantly, it’s about prioritising what is important to you, being fully engaged in your experiences and being purposeful in your actions.

SLOW LIVING

Put another way, slow living is a life philosophy, think of it as a state of mind/being, a reflective approach, a systematic process to daily life, and so on…

There is actually no set of “rules” or right or wrong way to practice this lifestyle. There is no one guide, you can more or less choose to follow whatever tenants you like; each person is free to pursue their own path. Read the following examples as a starting point.

Slow living is purpose-driven- Slow living is about savouring the minutes instead of counting them- Slow living is taking a long-term view of your own life- Slow living is about doing everything as well as possible instead of as fast as possible- Slow living is conscious, intentional and mindful- Slow Living is about valuing what you have, not focussing on what you don’t- Slow living is an effortless and natural way of life- Slow living is balance, ease and serenity- Slow living is avoiding a “time poor” mentality- Slow living is a connection with yourself, those around you and the world- Slow living is about being steady, consistent and loyal- Slow living doesn’t treat everything in life as disposable- Slow living is fighting back against mindless “busy work”

Let’s look more closely at three essential parts: time, nutrition and exercise.

SLOW DOWN

An essential aspect of philosophy is acceptance and focusing on the present. Your primary concern should be on the here and now; do not spend time regretting what has already passed or anxiously worrying about what is to come. Focus on one thing at a time and embrace a zen-like attitude to every thought and action. Remain in the present as much as possible at all times. In this way, you needed rush from pillar to post and hasten to do too much, it’s better to do half as much, but twice as well. As the old adage goes: focus on quality over quantity.

SLOW FOODY

ou are probably guilty of this one too, being so addicted to your digital device that you don’t take the time to really enjoy the act of eating. The digital age has brought with it a propensity for total disconnection from life, including the art of enjoying a meal. An increase in appetite and associated digestive issues can be a negative side effect of inattentive noshing. Chewing mindlessly, and with our brains distracted, causes us to miss vital cues about our bellies fullness. To avoid this happening, try to stay as focused as possible during meal times, to really savour your food, bite by bite.

SLOW MOVEMENT

When you’re in a constant state of hustle and bustle, you force your body to produce the stress hormone cortisol, which keeps you running on adrenaline. This steady state of tension causes not just fatigue and chronic stress, but also depression and premature ageing. To avoid this scenario, trying engaging in calming practices: mindfulness, meditation, yoga, reading, walking, listening to music. Besides, while high-intensity training is crucial for overall fitness, make sure it’s balanced with relaxing and therapeutic practices, like massage, as well.

CONCLUSIONS

our New Year challenge to you is this: try a few of these examples of Slow Living and incorporate them into your life. Start by leaving work on time every day for a week, plan fewer activities on the weekend, walk around your local park barefoot. If you feel refreshed and less stressed, then start de-cluttering your home (and office). You may just fall in love with the slow life!
Okay, now don’t get us wrong, you will still have manic weeks and won’t always have time to stick to your resolutions. We’re the first to admit that slow living isn’t the perfect solution to modern life’s ills, but if you strive each day to pause and reflect, it’s incredible how much better you’ll feel.

Below is a list of achievable intentions you can start off with, as you figure out what’s important to you.

Avoid negative people, only spending time with positive people- Be efficient at work so you can leave on time- Plant a garden and grow vegetables and herbs- Opt to walk rather than drive- Donate some free time to charity- Enjoy nutritious meals with family and friends- Only buy things you really need- Sit outside in the sun; walk barefoot in the grass- Make your own bread or pasta from scratch- Spend technology-free time with your children- Get rid of all your life clutter (physically and mentally)- Challenge yourself to try new things- Shun belongs, embrace experiences- Look after indoor plants and pets- Go out of your comfort zone and make new friends- Spend quality time with your parents/grandparents- Avoid filling every minute of every day and rushing from place to place- Convene with nature- Take 6 minutes to slow down, breath and meditate every day

 

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