slow living Aubrey Bay

Slow Living: How to Live Slow in a Fast World

For many of us today, life is fast-paced. Getting up in the morning, getting the kids ready, racing to work, constant emails, deadlines and the list goes on. It’s a hard truth that life – is most likely – always going to be busy. But we can slow this down. We can embrace slow living for a better path through life. In this post, we’ll look to breakdown the core meaning of slow living and offer you some simple, actionable tips to live more slowly in your life.

What is Slow Living?

Slow living emphasises slowing down our lives. It’s an approach where we are present in the moment and mindful that if we embrace a chaotic life this can stressful.

Slow living is living in a more balanced, meaningful and life-affirming way.

A deceleration of 21st-century living.

Slow Living Movement

The Slow Living Movement is a term used to describe the advocacy of a cultural shift to slowing down the pace of life.

The Slow Living Movement began with Carlo Petrini’s protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Piazza di Spagna, Rome, in 1986.

This protest sparked the creation of the slow food movement. Over time, this developed into many aspects of daily life such as slow ageing, slow cities, slow planet and so on.

The popularity of the Slow Living Movement grew as people realised they could live a different life. A better life. A less stressful life.

Slow Living Quotes

Slow living has attracted many thinkers who advocate its positive, transformative power.

Here is a selection of our favourite slow living quotes.

“The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquillity to make meaningful connections–with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds” 

Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed

“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, quoted in Stylist

“Slow living provides an opportunity to step back, pay attention, and question the ways we use technology, to recalibrate our relationship with the constantly switched-on, logged-in world.

Brooke McAlary, SLOW

Slow Living Tips

With slow living being a recalibration of the modern, fast-paced world – how do we live a more slow life?

Here are 10 easy to follow actionable tips to make a start.

  1. Understand that busyness is a choice
  2. Practice being present
  3. Define what is essential to you
  4. Practice actively saying no to what is non-essential
  5. Unplug from the digital world to detox and resist constant digital grazing
  6. Exercise
  7. Get outdoors
  8. Commit to creating a positive work-life balance
  9. Declutter your home and office space
  10. Seek inspiration in the slow living community

Slow living and enjoying outdoor spaces

A Slow Living Blog you May not Know

The slow living community is a vibrant place. Slow living supporters are always helpful when sharing hints and tips on how to create balance.

After all, we all have to start somewhere. One such person is Willow Chaddock, founder of thelifelearner.co.uk.

Willow’s blog focuses on all things slow living and really is a great resource for those with a desire to read up on the subject in an easy to digest way.

We caught up with Willow here:

Hi, Willow thank you for agreeing to speak with us here at Aubrey Bay. We are a big fan of your work on slow living themes. For our readers, can you tell us a little bit more about your blog and the inspiration behind it?

On my blog, I love to chat about themes of slow-living, wellbeing and sustainability.

Slow living, however, is the key thing I chat about, and I am really passionate about sharing the concept with others. I was inspired to set up my site, The Life Learner, largely due to personal experiences.

I’m currently at University, but I started looking into slow-living when my mental health was struggling in the first year of my A-Levels.

I feel there was, and still is, a shared feeling among younger generations that we have to be constantly ‘on the go.’

Our formative years can definitely be a period when we encounter mental-health issues. Can you tell us a little bit more about your particular experience?

During my studies, I had a mentality that I needed to get my head down and just get through it.

I did exactly that, but when I emerged from the metaphorical tunnel of my studies, I realised an entire year of my life had simply passed me by.

Looking back, I realise this mentality was a coping mechanism that many people of my generation resort to. But it doesn’t do us any good, we end up more stressed and more exhausted. I wanted to just hit the pause button on life for a while. I had a daunting feeling that up next was endless decades of work before I could retire. It was dark.

But slow living was my way out of that. I couldn’t jet off to faraway lands and go backpacking to ‘find myself’, I had to do it closer to home.

So, slow living was the antithesis of my previous coping method. 

I guess this is the real power of slow living – it’s accessible to everyone with a will to learn and put theory into practice. How did you approach slow living in your life?

I began to really romanticise my life, finding joy in making a morning coffee in my favourite mug. You come to learn that life is mainly made up of tiny moments, all stitched together.

If you don’t enjoy these little moments, whether this is because you only find enjoyment in the blockbuster-esque scenes of your life, or whether you are so committed to being busy that suddenly ten years have gone by, then are you truly living?

There’s no getting away that these moments fill up our life, so why not commit to finding joy in them? You’ll be surprised that it is pretty easy, because these moments are naturally joyful and wonderful, you’ve just been in too much of a rush to realise it before. 

One thing I have learned is that there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding slow living. Ideas that it is simplistic living, minimalism re-named, moving at a literal slow pace everywhere, being a technophobe and chucking away all your gadgets. I believe slow living is there to serve whoever takes it up in whichever way they need the most. It is completely customisable. Practise it however you wish. The only caveat, really, is to make sure you are allocating time and energy to the things, and the people that you love the most.

This is a great insight into slow living in today’s world! Could you give us some hints and tips on practices that work for you?

Here are some general ‘ground rules’: 

  • Set aside a moment every day to just be. This could be during your morning coffee, or at night having a bath. Give yourself a moment of quiet solitude, to think freely, to focus on little details. Think about your senses. What does the coffee mug feel like in your hands? Is the heat warming you up on a cold autumn morning? 
  • Try to make more time for nature. It is true that nature is really healing, but we often stay inside more often nowadays. Going outside, to some, can seem like an effort, an afterthought. I get that sometimes! But when you set off for a walk, with the fresh air carrying scents from afar, or when the rain creates a subtle drumming across tree canopies and puddles to wade through; You find this is exactly what you needed. 
  • Learn to say no. Whether this is a no to an invite to an event that sounds incredibly questionable. Whether it is a no to Twitter enticing you to scroll at 12pm when you know you need to sleep. Whether it is someone who is exhausting to be around. Learn to say no. Slow living is all about prioritizing lovely things. Prioritizing your wellbeing. So, don’t sacrifice that for things that don’t give you that lovely feeling. 

I wish you the best of luck in starting your slow-living journey!

Thank you so much for this amazing review of slow living and your experience with it. Thank you for the agreeing to contribute to Aubrey Bay and we’ll continue to follow your blog with interest!

Slow Living: How to Live Slow in a Fast World – Wrapped up

And that’s our run-down on slow living. We believe that slow living is really powerful philosophy for walking an easier path in life. If you found this post of value, we’d love for you to help us share it. We’ve included a handy image to pin on Pinterest below – thank you in advance for helping us reach more lovely readers like you.

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