The Nourish Guide to Slow Living
During our #nourishedlife month we’re sharing the Nourish Guide to Slow Living. So, what is slow living?
“The central tenet of the slow philosophy is taking the time to do things properly, and thereby enjoy them more.”Carl Honoré
If lockdown has taught us anything it seems that the main lesson we have learnt is that we need to collectively slow down. For many of us life is lived constantly running at a million miles an hour. Our weekends pass without any decrease in pace, holidays are wedged into small pockets of time and moments that could be spent slowly are instead filled with scanning social media endlessly.
We created the Nourish Guide to Slow Living because, as a team, we are as guilty as the next person of filling every available moment with tasks. We’ve been consciously making ourselves slow down since lockdown began to try and help deal with the feeling of overwhelm that we’ve experienced. Slow living doesn’t mean being lazy, slow living means giving time to things that matter. It means adopting smart working practices, taking time to be outside and really appreciate it. Creating meals from scratch that are nutritionally valuable and being mindful about the time we spend on social media. The odd team Zoom #macaroonmoment has definitely helped too!
Fully immersing yourself into the slow living movement may not be for you, but a few little tweaks to your current way of life could help you slow down enough to see the benefits. In fact there are so many different ways to embrace slow living. In fact it’s unlikely that anyone would be doing them all.
Here’s a few ways we’ve found to slow down.
Be less busy.
How many times has someone asked you how you are and you’ve replied with your standard reply, ‘busy, you know what it’s like’? It’s become our default setting to fall into the busyness abyss. You know the one, it’s when there are tasks throughout your day off and still you’re beating yourself up at the end of the day that perhaps you never got that walk with the family, or didn’t do that online yoga class you’ve been promising yourself.
What would actually happen if for one day you took your foot off the gas and slowed down? What if you prioritised that walk with your family and did it first thing, or maybe closed the door and quietly did an hours yoga practice in peace? The answer is probably surprising. Nothing would happen, there might be one more load of washing that didn’t get done, an email that didn’t get sent, a floor that didn’t get cleaned. But, are those things going to matter when you take into account what you got to do instead?
Kate’s story – This Sunday we got lost in the woods, really, properly lost. A walk that was meant to take 2 hours, took 4! Spending a few moments late in the day I realised that I hadn’t lost anything, nothing important hadn’t been done. Instead I have a mind full of fabulous moments and wonderful belly laughs at how it’s possible to get so lost, so close to home. It’s a day in the middle of lockdown that will stay with us as one of our happiest days. A Slow day, a mindful day and a marvellous reminder that sometimes when you can’t stop, the world will make you stop and slow down.
When we’re dashing around from pillar to post it’s easy to forget the creative side of our brains. There are so many wonderful creative practices that we can adopt to enhance our ability to slow down. Being creative could be anything from cooking to building. For us at Nourish this creative slow down has come in many different forms. Many of us have things we aspire to learn or reembrace from a creative standpoint
For Ineke it was writing and photographing her own recipes, which became our eBook Nourishing Treats. Just the process of making a meal, creating a beautiful tableau, and seeing the end result was a way of reconnecting with her creativity.
What would you do with some creative time? Learn to cross stitch, master a new language, build a piece of furniture, paint a wall, make a meal? The list is infinite and there will be something for everyone. Why not try the Slow Home Podcast for some more ideas?
Saying,’ no’, is hard, not many of us are good at it. As humans we’re programmed to say, ‘yes’ and be helpful and empathetic. Somehow saying no has lots of negative connotations, it suggests that we don’t care or don’t want to help. However, sometimes saying no is the best thing you can do. When your day is already filled with a million and one tasks then adding one more can feel like you might as well, however when you fill a glass and keep on pouring, at some point it will overflow.
Saying no from time to time could allow you to find a pocket of time to slow down. Downshifting a little may provide the opportunity for you to listen to that podcast, play that album all the way through, plant the flowers or just sit on your balcony/in your garden and just breathe for a few precious moments.
The slow information diet.
Newsfeed over the past few months has been relentless and for many it’s invoked feelings of anxiety and concern. Limiting time that we spend looking at this kind of information can help to slow down our anxiety response. We’ve found that limiting subscription to just one news feed rather than multiple feeds has helped. Checking this just once per day, rather than throughout the day.
Social media is a fantastic tool that many of us enjoy to connect with one another for business and pleasure. We still love a scroll through beautiful pictures and motivational words so we’re limiting our viewing to positive feeds that inspire us. We love learning more about sustainable slow living and have found social media to be a great place to find this information. Here are just a few of our favourite accounts. They cover everything from great products to how to make your home more sustainable.