Slow Living: Start Minimizing
Minimalism and slow living go hand in hand.
Minimalism is about paring down the things in your life so you can make room for what’s most important…
Slow Living Is About Simplifying
Slow living is about how to enjoy what you decide to let stay in your life.
Enjoy what’s most important moment to moment.
Are you tired f feeling busy?
Are you exhausted?
Do you complain about not having free time?
When is the last time you belly laughed?
Our lives get so cluttered, and it’s time to make room for what we really want. We live in a fast paced world.
But we do not have to lived fast paced lives.
If you want to get started with slow living, but are not sure how to start… Start simple. Make manageable goals and take it one step at a time.
Here Are 10 Questions You Can Ask Yourself To Start Living a Slow Lifestyle
1. What Is Most Important To You?
Establish what is most important to you. This will help you make decisions practicing minimalism. Identifying what is most important to you gives you a Why. It identifies why you want to begin a slow living lifestyle.
What do you want more of in your life. Free time, family, creativity?
Consider where you struggle most. Does work stress you out? Do you want more time for creativity? What do you want your day to look like?
Make some lists. List your top 3 loves in your life and your top 3 dislikes to help identify priorities and where you need to eliminate.
2. Do You Watch TV While You Eat?
I’m not judging. I’ve done this for years. Sometimes I just want to zone out. But doing one thing at a time is part of how to live a slow lifestyle. If I am watching TV I am not focusing on enjoying my meal. Typically I am just zoning out to try and shut down my brain.
Turn off the TV and focus on each bite. Enjoy your food and the company you keep. Start living a slow lifestyle by enjoying each activity you engage in fully.
3. How Often Are You On Your Phone?
Set your phone down and be intentional. Don’t sleep with your phone next to you. Get an alarm clock and stay off your device first thing in the morning. It should not be the first thing you reach for.
Turn it off at dinner. Put it in the backseat when you drive. You can even schedule designated scroll time into your day so you’re not mindless and habitual about it. Be intentional and focused with your time, on and off your phone. Multitasking is great, but it gets abused. It’s not great for relaxation, managing stress or slow living.
4. What Kind Of Music Do You Listen To?
Have you ever heard slow elevator music in a grocery store? They literally play slow music because it actually makes people move slower in the hopes you’ll shop longer.
If I listen to music during dinner it’s quiet or classical. I like to start our day with something spiritually uplifting. Don’t let music fuel negative, stressful energy. Practice slow living and minimalism in every area of your life including music.
Try something new. Maybe you can look up some meditation tunes on YouTube and play it in the background of your day. Get out of your comfort zone and see how something slow that you don’t normally choose makes you feel.
5. How Often Do You Practice Slow Living Outside?
After my first son was born I was alone a lot. In an attempt to maintain sanity and self care, I made a simple goal: Get outside at least once a day. Just get out. Breath fresh air. Walk around the block (preferably longer, but do what you can.)
It is so easy to get stuck indoors.
Seriously. Be outside as often as possible. It can literally change your brain.
6. What Is Your Commute Like?
Do you drive an hour? Take a bus? Could you carpool? How can you make your drive more pleasant or peaceful.
Listen to your new slow music or even try a guided meditation or breathing exercise.
Perhaps you could start walking to work, or riding a bike to the grocery store for small trips with a backpack.
7. What In Your Life Feels Like An Obligation?
When starting self care I once thought getting my nails done would be a nice thing to do for myself. After a couple months it turned into a chore I felt I had to get done instead of a treat for myself. Solution? Stop going!
What in your life feels like a chore? It doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s a friendship, long standing commitment… Slow living and minimalism are about removing the extra. If it’s not bringing you joy and affecting your peace reevaluate its presence in your life.
8. Does Your Mind Wander Often?
If you are thinking about the past or considering the future you are not fully enjoying the moment.
Be fully present in what you do moment to moment. If you catch your mind wandering, acknowledge it and move on.
If you struggle with being in the moment, set aside 5 minutes a day to practice meditation. Meditation is the quintessential experience of being in the moment. Watch your thoughts and redirect. There’s no wrong way. You can’t be “bad” at it. It’s a journey into mindfulness. Practice makes better.
9. How Is Your Breathing?
Meditation can assist you in improved breathing as well. What better way to embrace slow living than by sitting still for a few minutes a day.
Do you ever feel short of breath doing nothing? I remember recognizing that in myself. A few years back when I was having a hard time, I can’t count how many times people told me to breath. And it was necessary each time.
Seriously. Mindful breathing solved 90% of my anxiety and 75% of my perceived problems.
10. How Much Technology Is In Your Life?
Start replacing technology with other activities. Experiment with new hobbies. Get creative. Make mistakes. But try to turn the TV off more frequently. Open the window and turn off the overhead lights. Eat outside. Minimize electricity usage.
Slow living is simple but not always easy to make the change. It’s in the reach of us all. Start small by asking yourself these questions. They will guide you in the direction of living a slow lifestyle and what that looks like for you.