What is Slow Living?

Slow living is a mindset.

Find out more about the meaning of slow living, the benefits of slowing down, the history of the slow movement and more below.

  • Meaning of slow living

    Slow living is a mindset whereby you curate a more meaningful and conscious lifestyle that’s in line with what you value most in life.

    By slowing down and intentionally placing your true values at the heart of your lifestyle, a slow living mindset encourages you to live in self-awareness and make conscious, purposeful decisions for the benefit of your own well-being and that of the planet. 

    Slow Living – Intro

Slow living means living better, not faster. It denies that being busy equates to being successful or important, both at work and in your free time. It disputes the phrase ‘I’m too busy’ and recognises that to make more time for what you truly enjoy or for more self-care, sometimes, something else has to give.

It means slowing down to switch off auto-pilot and instead tune into yourself and others. It means living with intent and not striving to keep up with the Joneses or living up to someone else’s idea of success.

History of the slow movement

Slow living is part of the wider slow movement which began in the 1980s in Italy. Faced with the opening of a McDonald’s in the heart of Rome, Carlo Petrini and a group of activists formed Slow Food, a movement that defends regional food traditions. The slow food movement now has supporters in over 150 countries and continues to protect gastronomic traditions, promote fair pay for producers, encourage enjoyment of good quality food and engage in activities around sustainability.

Slow Food has sparked a broader slow living movement that encompasses our entire way of life, although there are other prominent strands. One of these is slow travel which encourages making a greater connection with the destinations visited when travelling. As we discover that faster isn’t always better, other areas of our lifestyles are adopting the word ‘slow’. Slow fashion, slow fitness, slow gardening, slow interiors and slow design are further examples which adopt slow living principles and sustainability considerations.

Common misconceptions about slow living

Slow living isn’t about living life at a snail’s pace. It’s about assigning the right amount of time to each task or activity.

Slow living isn’t just for those who live in the country. Slow living is a mindset for everyone, whether your home is in a bustling capital city or a hamlet.

Slow living isn’t at odds with being successful or productive. Rather, it’s about living up to your own idea of success and prioritising what’s most important to you.

Slow living doesn’t mean going tech-free. It means ensuring technology is serving us, not distracting us, and acknowledges the need for screen downtime in the digital age.

Benefits of slow living

There are many reasons to slow down and embrace a more mindful, considered lifestyle and each benefit is intertwined and linked.

Embracing more time – by cutting out activities that distract you (perhaps social media scrolling) or those that don’t fulfil you, you’ll reclaim time for self-care

Experiencing being more present – slow living means becoming more mindful, managing stress and celebrating the moment

Building stronger relationships – reducing stress, reclaiming your time and living mindfully can help improve your quality time with loved ones

Reducing your environmental impact – slow living and living eco-consciously go hand in hand because when you slow down, you become more aware of the negative impact of our speed-driven lifestyle on the planet

Finding fulfilment and purpose – slow living means placing your values at the heart of your lifestyle, finding a better work-life integration and making time for what’s most important to you, which can lead to a more purpose-led life

Seeking a stronger connection with nature – slowing down can help us reconnect with nature by embracing seasonal living and getting outside more regularly

live better, not faster

  • “Slow living is all about creating time and space and energy for the things that matter most to us in life, so ask yourself what you stand to gain.”

    Brooke McAlary
  • “Be a curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, with what makes you happy.”

    Leo Babauta
  • “Slow living isn’t about determining how little we can live with – it’s about working out what we simply can’t live without.”

    Nathan Williams
  • how to start living slower

    how to start living slower

    useful tips for a slow and simple life
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the mindset: curating a more meaningful lifestyle

  • one

    live by your values

    to put what’s important to you at the heart of your lifestyle
  • two

    live better

    to stay in tune with and prioritise your own well-being in the face of burnout and our 24/7 always-on culture
  • three

    live consciously

    to become more engaged with nature and how and what we consume

the method: everyday deceleration

  • one

    live by your values

    simplify your lifestyle to remove physical and emotional distractions from what you consider important
  • two

    live better

    make time to prioritise self-care, sleep, mindfulness, real connections and a better relationship with technology
  • three

    live consciously

    reconnect with the natural world, travel mindfully and make more considered decisions to minimise environmental impact