Today’s post is all about some simple ways you can start embracing a slow lifestyle.
We live in a world that often feels always connected, always busy and always living at a fast pace. Often leaving you feeling like you’re constantly rushed, on the go, always needing to be “on” and often feeling a bit distracted or frazzled. Which, for many people leads to living in a constant state of stress.
Choosing a slow lifestyle
Sometimes it feels like you have no other choice. Life is just busy and that’s the way it will always be.
But there are often simple things you can do to change how you approach your days and how you experience your days. Even if your life is busy and full, there are things you can do to add more slow to your days. Helping you embrace a slow lifestyle. Or at least a slow-er lifestyle.
A lifestyle that feels more mindful, more intentional and more focused on what matters most to you. Allowing you to give more of your time and attention to your priorities, your goals and what you value most.
Small changes, big impact
Choosing a slower lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul your life. Many parts of your life will remain the same. Your job, your responsibilities at home, etc.
What will change is how you move through your days. Making simple changes to help you slow down and live more mindfully during a typical day.
Most of the ideas in today’s post are small changes that don’t require a lot of time or effort on their own. But have the potential to significantly impact your life. Helping you live slower, one small step at a time.
13 simple ways to embrace a slow lifestyle
Here are 13 simple ways you can start to embrace a slower lifestyle.
A lifestyle that feels less rushed, stressful and distracted. And instead embrace a lifestyle that feels more intentional, enjoyable and focused on what matters most to you.
1. Start your days slower
How you start your day often sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Choosing to start the day a little slower and less rushed can help set a slower, less rushed tone for the rest of the day as well.
Having a slower start to your day doesn’t mean you have to have an extensive, 49-step morning routine.
Often, the most impactful thing to do is make an effort to get up a little earlier than normal. Giving yourself more time to start the day. Rather than starting the day feeling rushed, frantic and stressed right from the beginning.
Once you’re up earlier, you can choose to have a morning routine that sets you up for an even better mindset and start to the day. Maybe try journaling, a gratitude practice, some movement, meditation, etc.
Or, you can just choose to get yourself ready and start the day at a slower pace. Even just giving yourself time to eat breakfast slowly or enjoy your coffee without gulping it down is a great way to set a slower pace for the day.
2. Turn off notifications on your phone
One key to a slower lifestyle is doing what you can to limit distractions. Allowing you to stay more present with whatever you’re doing and feel less distracted.
And one really easy way to limit distractions is to turn off notifications on your phone. Every time your phone beeps or buzzes, it’s distracting and interrupts your focus.
Not only that, but it’s easy to pick up your phone to check a notification, then get sucked in and spend more time on your phone than you wanted to or planned to. Especially when it comes to social media!
Some notifications are important and need to come through to you. But many aren’t.
Take a few minutes to assess your notification settings on your phone and decide which are causing distraction.
For example, calls for work or from your family are likely important. Notifications from games or social media apps are probably less important and could be silenced to limit the number of distractions and interruptions coming from your phone.
3. Revamp your to-do list
Revamp your to-do list in two simple ways to help you live slower and more mindfully.
Shorter to-do lists
First, aim to make shorter to-do lists. Be honest with yourself about how much you can realistically get done and what truly needs to get done.
Writing a huge to-do list with more on it than you can realistically accomplish can not only leave you feeling rushed, stressed and overwhelmed. But it can also be really defeating.
When your list is too long to realistically accomplish, you might end up feeling like you’re failing or like you’re always behind. Even when you are working hard to get it all done.
Keep your to-do list realistic based on the time and energy you have available each day.
Prioritized to-do lists
Second, get in the habit of making prioritized to-do lists. List your tasks in order of priority, then work on the most important tasks first.
A prioritized to-do list helps you focus on what matters most each day. Ensuring your time and energy are going towards the most important things first.
It’s also a great way to decide what’s worth your time and energy. And what isn’t a priority for you right now.
4. Simplify your home
The amount of stuff in your home determines how much time and energy your home takes to manage and maintain.
The more stuff you have, the more time and energy you spend taking care of it. The less stuff you have, the less time and energy you spend taking care of it and the easier your home is to maintain.
If you feel like you can never keep up at home or things are always getting out of control, try simplifying to ease your workload at home.
Get rid of the things you don’t use, need or love so you have less to manage, take care of and maintain. Freeing up your time, energy and attention. And making it easier to live a slower lifestyle.
Not sure where to start? Check out my complete decluttering guide, Your Clutter-Free Home. With step-by-step decluttering checklists for every room in your home!
5. Practise saying no
Another important aspect of a slower lifestyle is being intentional about how you use your time and energy. Often requiring you to make choices to protect your time and energy so you can use it for the things that matter most to you.
Doing so often requires saying “no” to some things so you’re able to say “yes” to the more important things.
Saying no isn’t always easy. It can be hard to feel like you’re disappointing others or letting people down. But remembering why you’re saying no can help.
And remember that saying no becomes easier the more you practice doing it!
6. Check in with yourself
It’s so easy to go through the day getting things done, but completely neglecting how you’re feeling during the process.
A great way to live a slow lifestyle is getting in the habit of checking in with yourself a few times a day. Stop, notice how you’re feeling and ask yourself if there is anything you need right now.
Maybe you notice you are thirsty, need a bathroom break, need to take a quick walk and move for a few minutes. Maybe you notice you need a quick minute to refocus yourself. Or even that you’re tired and need to go to bed earlier tonight.
It’s easy to get really good at pushing through and ignoring how you feel while you do it. But taking opportunities to check in with yourself throughout the day is not only good for your self-care. It’s also a great way to practice slowing down and living more mindfully.
7. Get outside
The benefits of spending time in nature have been well documented. Helping to reduce stress, boost your mood, lower blood pressure and more.
Making an effort to spend at least a few minutes outside every day is a great way to embrace a slow lifestyle.
Try taking a walk or even just sitting outside for a few minutes each day to get a dose of nature and the benefits that go with it!
8. Prioritize rest
Another key aspect of a slow lifestyle is recognizing that you don’t always have to be “doing”. Taking time to rest and recharge is not only essential for your well-being but also a great way to embrace a slower lifestyle.
Of course, rest includes physical rest like getting more sleep or napping. But rest can also include other things.
Rest can be taking a break from screens and unplugging. It can be social rest, taking time away from social obligations. Sensory rest, where you limit your exposure to sensory input like bright lights, loud sounds, etc.
Whatever type of rest you need, keeping rest a priority is an important way to embrace a slower lifestyle.
9. Schedule “nothing”
A great way to slow down and break out of a busy, “go-go-go” way of being is scheduling time with nothing planned or needing to be done.
If you’re used to being busy and always on the go, it might be challenging at first to carve out this time. And then actually protect it and keep it unscheduled.
But scheduling nothing time into your days is a great way to create some margin and breathing room in your life. Helping you get used to the idea of living slower and creating time for the rest and downtime you need.
10. Practise gratitude
A simple way to live more mindfully and find more joy in your days is by practicing gratitude.
Practicing gratitude is a quick, easy and accessible way to get yourself to slow down and start noticing the good around you.
A gratitude practice doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. It can be as simple as stopping at some point every day to notice and name three things you’re grateful for in the moment. Or starting a gratitude journal where you write down the things you’re grateful for at the start of the day, throughout the day or at the end of the day.
The key is making an intentional effort to slow down and notice the good that’s filling your life. Training your mind to look for the good and slow down enough to notice it.
11. Add tiny delights to your days
Making an effort to add tiny delights to your days is a great way to make every day more enjoyable. Doing little things to make everyday moments feel more special and delightful.
For example, lighting a candle as you make breakfast. Or making your favourite latte for yourself each morning. Listening to a special playlist you love as you clean the house or drive to work. Taking a few minutes to give yourself a hand massage with your favourite lotion at the end of the day.
These simple delights don’t have to be big. But they are great ways to elevate the everyday. Helping you slow down and appreciate these moments. Turning routine tasks into rituals you love, enjoy and look forward to!
12. Practise mindfulness
My favourite definition of mindfulness comes from Leah Weiss. She said, “Mindfulness is the intentional use of attention.”
Mindfulness is a great way to embrace a slow lifestyle because it helps you slow down, tune out distractions and focus on the present moment. Intentionally using your attention to focus on whatever you’re doing right now.
Mundane, everyday tasks are great opportunities to practice mindfulness. As you’re in the shower, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc. practice doing it mindfully. Really pay attention to what you’re doing. The sights, sounds, smells, textures, sensations, etc.
It can be enjoyable to listen to music, a podcast or watch TV while you’re doing some of these everyday, mundane tasks. But I’d encourage you to spend some time each day doing a task mindfully as well.
13. Do more of what you love
One of the goals of a slow lifestyle is to have more time for the things that matter most to you. With that in mind, put it into practice!
As you work to slow down and create time in your days, use that time to do the things you love.
Whether that means a hobby or activity you love, spending time with the people you love, etc. Decide what you want more time for by living a slower lifestyle, and then make sure you’re adding more of that to your life!
Embracing a slow lifestyle
Choosing to live a slow lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean doing everything slowly.
Instead, it means aiming to live more intentionally. Trying to rush less and stay present more. Focusing on giving more of your time and attention to the things that matter most to you and letting go of the things that aren’t priorities. Maybe even choosing to do less overall so you can do more of what matters most.
I once heard that simple living focuses on simplifying what fills your home. And slow living focuses on simplifying what fills your time.
It’s easy to think a busy pace of your life is out of your control. But it’s important to remember that while some things are out of your control, you do have control over more than you realize.
You can choose how you show up for your days. How you move through them and the focus, attitude and thoughts you bring with you.
“Busy is a choice. Stress is a choice. Joy is a choice. Choose well.”– Anne Voskamp
Clarify your values, goals and priorities. Then make choices to keep those things prioritized so you can focus on what matters most. Even if that just means making small changes in the midst of everyday life.