Increasingly, we are all “busy.” Constantly updating social media, working 12 hour days, sitting in traffic, and trying to keep up with it all is leading us to be over-exhausted. To combat this lifestyle, the slow movement has been gaining steam.
The idea of living slow stems from taking a step back and appreciating every aspect of life. From eating, to getting places, to just how we spend our time. Instead of hustling from one thing to another, multitasking and constantly connecting to the world via a phone or computer, you take your time. Take on a hobby like knitting or gardening. Walk or bike instead of driving. Cook a meal and enjoy it without distractions, savoring every bite. It can even be as simple as taking a second to look up and notice the clouds.
When we Live Slow, we give back and become more strongly connected to the Earth, to our communities, to our neighbors and to ourselves.
You can choose to live slow in every aspect of your daily routine. Slow living as it exists today grew out of the slow food movement, which began in Italy during the 1980s with a call to focus on the sources and experience of food. Slow food emphasizes not only taking your time when you eat, but prioritizing home grown, local ingredients, and cooking food yourself. Instead of eating a fast-food meal that’s eaten in the car and devoid of nutrition, you grow your own vegetables and make a soup.
The Slow Food movement aims to preserve cultural cuisine and in so doing to preserve the food plants and seeds, domestic animals and farming within an ecoregion. It’s more sustainable for the planet, and helps you focus on feeding your body nutritious, whole foods. If you begin growing your food, it provides a new slow hobby to occupy your time.
To start eating slow, go to your local farmer’s market and pick up some products from your area. You can also sign up for a CSA box, which will deliver locally-grown produce right to your door. Armed with these home-grown ingredients, find recipes to cook by yourself or with a loved one. Savor an evening or weekend afternoon spent cooking and preparing food for your family. Then, turn off the TV, put the phone away, and enjoy the meal. Take your time and savor every bite, without distractions.
You’ve likely heard about the movement against “fast fashion,” and slow fashion is obviously the opposite. Slow Fashion represents all things “eco”, “ethical” and “green” in one unified movement. It encourages taking time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection with the environment. It’s the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste. Clothing made from sustainable fabrics and organic dyes, hand-sewn by artisans, is all slow fashion. Instead of shopping at huge retailers where the clothes are made in overseas factories, choose to shop locally, from clothing made here in the US.
The designers ensure the longevity of their clothing by sourcing high quality fabrics, offering traditional cuts and creating beautiful, timeless pieces. Slow fashion relies on timeless designs that you’ll wear for years, instead of purchasing new clothes every season with the latest trends.
Slow living has even made it’s way into the media. One of the latest movements is “Slow TV,” which is long broadcasts of ordinary activities, such as a 5-hour video of an Alaska Railroad. No commentary, no music, no commercials. Just a train’s journey through the wilderness. The Slow TV genre provides contrast to the ways in which information is digested today. It explores, through uninterrupted video, the peace found in reality which allows details to emerge and subtleties to be emphasized. Turning on a “Yule Log” program is an example of slow TV. Like life, slow TV is mostly the mundane, and you have to be patient and sit through it to see if an exciting moment emerges. Many viewers find slow TV the perfect program to turn on while cleaning, doing paperwork, or other household tasks.
If you’re interested in the slow movement, there are many ways to do it. Start by devoting one evening a week to a hobby that doesn't involve screens. It could be learning to play an instrument, writing, or crafting. Even playing board games or doing a puzzle with your family is a good way to live slow. Instead of using a ten-minute break to play a game on your phone, walk outside or read a book. Once you get started, you might find it difficult to get back into your former hustling life.