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