After moving into my new apartment, I’ve been doing my best to find a balance between work and upkeeping things. There’s a lot to keep track of: Cooking, cleaning, wedding tasks, and career assignments. Not to mention getting in some time for myself, fiancé, and loved ones! But I’m slowly but surely finding the balance. I’m a big believer in slow living, but sometimes the day can move by so fast and the tasks just add up. That’s why I like to find little ways to incorporate slow living into my busy lifestyle. Slow living is sustainable because it directly combats fast paced living where convenience is prioritized over reusables. For example, grabbing a coffee in a to-go disposable cup instead of brewing it yourself. I fully get time is of the essence, but living too fast can make us lose track of the bigger picture. That’s why it’s good to slow down, take a step back, and reflect. Here are my 6 favorite ways to incorporate slow living into my daily life. I try to do at least one of these every day!
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6 Easy Ways to Incorporate Slow Living
Into Your Lifestyle
One of my favorite morning activities, journaling helps me keep track of my thoughts and feelings. I love to do this after eating breakfast if there’s time.
I have a specific notebook dedicated for journaling all my insights: Dreams, ambitions, feelings, conflicts, struggles, etc. I’ll allow myself at least 30 minutes to write in it every morning, if time allows.
I also like to use a refillable pen while I write to keep things as low waste as possible. My favorite right now is a pen made from grass (yes, you read that right).
Reflecting on where I’m at in life and where I’m going helps me keep sight of what’s most important. It keeps me centered and helps upkeep my mental health.
You can also log and track environmental goals and progress in your journal. Or it can just be personal use. Totally up to you.
2. Making your own coffee or tea
My fiance loves iced tea, but instead of buying one at work (which may or may not get recycled), I like to make him homemade iced tea in an upcycled bottle. I make it the night before for him to take with him in the morning. Not only does it cut down on waste, but it helps save money too.
On top of this, for myself I like to take time in the morning to brew a cup of tea. I’m particularly fond of Yogi teas, as they’re compostable tea bags (not all tea bags are!).
I drink it after I’ve made breakfast and allow myself to have a moment of quiet contemplation. It’s a moment for myself before my day truly begins, and it’s very good for mental health.
Plus, I always use my reusable mug! So there’s no waste here.
3. Analog hobbies
Analog hobbies are any hobbies you have that aren’t online, essentially. So things like reading, cross-stitching, sewing, painting, drawing, etc.
I really like taking some time out of my day to read a few environmental books. I’m currently reading All We Can Save. I think it’s important to expand my knowledge and learn different perspectives.
Disconnecting from the chaos that is social media is important too. Did you know your cognitive skills are actually impaired simply by your phone being next to you? So taking some time away from the phone and laptop does me wonders.
If you have a favorite hobby that’s offline, I suggest trying to do it at least once a week. I truly love drawing and painting, and I’d love to hang one of my creations up in my new apartment!
Unbeknown to most, meditation comes in many forms. There are walking meditations, guided meditations, or the sit-still kind everyone has come to know.
I took a meditation challenge where I was encouraged to meditate for at least 1-5 minutes every day for 30 days. It started off with just 1 minute a day, then slowly increased in length. What I found was meditation got easier with time, and I truly came to enjoy the time I spent doing it. I looked forward to it.
Meditation can help ease the mind. It brings inner peace and clarity. It’s great for reducing the noise inside your head, pulling you in 5 million different directions. I highly suggest giving it a try if you haven’t. I’d like to get back into doing it more consistently myself.
It forces you to slow down, focus on your breathing, and just being. Being in the here, the present. Tuning in to your senses and the world around you. Nothing more sustainable than that!
5. Cooking or baking from scratch
I’ve been cooking and baking a lot more since moving into the new apartment. And I love it! The best part is I get to make things from scratch, which is a lot less wasteful than eating processed, pre-packaged meals.
It’s also healthier, because you get to control what goes in your food. No hidden additives or whopping amounts of salt/sugar.
Cooking and baking from scratch is also a very mindful activity. You’re forced to think about what you’re doing and hone in on it, or else something may start burning, or you might add too much of an ingredient, etc.
When you cook from scratch and make homemade dishes, it harkens back to a time when that’s all there was. No processed, frozen dinners packaged in plastic. You’re bringing slow living back into your kitchen, and that in and of itself is sustainable.
I’m not saying all your meals must be made from scratch. But attempting to have at least two homemade dinners a week is a good place to start. Or try making your own bread, crackers, muffins, or granola from scratch. I’ve been baking muffins like crazy recently!
Doing this reduces waste (especially if you shop for the items in bulk or at the farmers market), but it also connects you to your food more. And we can all use a little more of that! There’s so much food at the grocery store, so taking time to slow down and make your own is truly a rewarding process.
6. Working out
It may sound a little counter-intuitive because workouts are typically fast-paced, but working out is a part of slow living. At least for me. Let me explain why.
Carving out time in my day for working out is not easy. I’m a pretty busy bee. So making time to slow down and fit it in is an act of self care. And, it’s a good opportunity for me to tune in with my body.
When I workout, I like to go on jogs and lift weights. Both offer me excellent opportunities to check in with how I’m physically feeling that day. Are my legs feeling heavier than usual, or do they seem to glide through the strides? Is my heart bumping harder, or do I barely notice it? What about my muscles – do they feel extra strong today?
Taking time to workout benefits me physically, as well as mentally. And, when I’m jogging, I get to be outside and interact with nature, along with get some vitamin D. What’s not to love about that?
Jogging in particular makes me feel alive. I’m taking in deep breaths, observing my surroundings, feeling my heartbeat, etc. Everything feels very intersectional, and there’s a connection to everything.
And I take that time to clear my head – let the days worries flow away. I’ll get to my tasks – but right now, is for me.
You can do the same with any exercise you enjoy. Take at least 30 minutes for it. Think of it like this: It’s for you, and your wellbeing. You’ll be surprised at how it slows down time, instead of speeds it up.
So, what do you think of these slow living tips? Which was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
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