Slow Living: 10 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life in 2023

Are you exhausted from the constant rush of the fast-paced world? Fed up with the never-ending digital updates, overflowing to-do lists, and feeling like a hamster in a wheel? You’re not alone.

That’s how Sporty and I felt for many years. It was only after we ditched most of our stuff and embraced a slower way of living that life began to feel enjoyable again.

Imagine trading hurried mornings for slow sips of coffee, disconnecting from your devices to connect more with people, and finding time to appreciate the simple pleasures the world has to offer.

If you dream of living at a pace that doesn’t leave you out of breath keep reading!

From slow mornings and slow food, to slow fashion and more, we’ve got some actionable tips to incorporate slow living into your everyday life in 2023 and beyond.

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Slow Living Tips for the Busy Person

Slow living isn’t just for dreadlocked hippies living off the grid on a permaculture farm. It’s for anyone who wants to reclaim their time and live a more meaningful life. Whether you’re a CEO, a student, or a stay-at-home parent, slow living can help you reduce stress, improve health, and find satisfaction in the everyday.

  1. Make mindfulness your mo in the morning
  2. Indulge in regular digital detox sessions
  3. Journal about the things you’re grateful for
  4. Ditch multitasking for good
  5. Stop giving yourself indigestion
  6. Opt for quality, not quantity
  7. Declutter, declutter, declutter
  8. Take a walk on the wild side
  9. Practice mindful consumption
  10. Prioritize self-care

Incorporating these slow living tips into your routine won’t necessarily demand a drastic lifestyle change but can significantly help you move towards a slower, more mindful lifestyle. Let’s dive into each of them in more detail

1. Make Mindful Mornings a Regular Thing

Start your day with a calm activity like meditation, yoga, or simply a slower breakfast. It sets a relaxed tone for the day and prevents you from getting stressed before you’ve even left the house.

Pro tip: This only works if you ignore your phone until much later.

2. Do a Daily/Weekly Digital Detox

Dedicate specific times during the day and week when you disconnect from digital devices. Use this quality time to connect more mindfully with people, enjoy your surroundings, or simply hang out by yourself.

Pro tip: Put your devices in airplane mode in your bag or closet to prevent you from “just quickly checking” what that alert was.

3. Keep Gratitude Journal

Keep a journal where you note down things that you are grateful for each day. This isn’t granola woo-woo, practicing gratitude has been scientifically proven to offer a slew of benefits.

Pro tip: Aim for three to five things per day to get into the habit of seeing how much good there is in your life.

4. Practice Single-Tasking

Instead of multitasking (which everyone knows doesn’t work), try focusing all your energy on one task at a time. This has been shown to lead to higher-quality work and less stress.

Pro tip: Watch Rich Roll’s conversation with Cal Newport and/or read Cal’s book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.

5. Savor Your Meals

Slow down your eating. Appreciate the taste, texture, and aroma of your meals. This enhances the experience, helps digestion, and gives a moment of pause. I’ll admit this is something I need to work on. I’m basically a hoover.

Pro tip: Make an occasion out of it. Cook a special meal for yourself and savor the whole experience.

6. Choose Quality Over Quantity

A big part of slow living is choosing quality above quantity in all aspects of life. Whether it’s clothing, food, or experiences, choose the best that you can afford, even if it means having less. 

Pro tip: Invest in items that last longer and provide better functionality, like a well-made pair of shoes or a multifunctional piece of furniture. 

tailor cutting cloth
Photo by Salvador Godoy on Unsplash

7. Declutter Your Space

Simplify your living and working space by getting rid of items that you don’t need. A cleaner space can lead to a clearer mind. We’ve got plenty of decluttering tips to help with that.

Pro tip: Follow William Morris’s advice and have nothing in your home that you don’t like or find useful (he said it better).

8. Connect With Nature

Make time to walk in a park, go for a hike, do some gardening, or simply sit under a tree. This connection with nature helps slow down the pace of life.

Pro tip: Take off your shoes and let your feet feel the earth. Grounding is an undervalued practice with huge benefits.

9. Consume Mindfully

Be conscious about what you are consuming—not just food and drinks, but information, media, and energy as well. These things have a huge impact on your mental health, so choose wisely.

Pro tip: Practice the habit of “media fasting” by not consuming any news or social media for a predetermined period.

10. Prioritize Self-Care

Make taking care of yourself your number one priority. It may sound selfish but it’s anything but. If you’re not in good health, both mentally and physically, it’s almost impossible to take care of others properly. 

Pro tip: Incorporate activities you love into your daily routine. Whether it’s reading, yoga, gardening, or just a hot bath, make sure to set aside time for these activities.

What Is Slow Living?

Slow living means different things to different people, there isn’t one universal definition. But at its essence, it’s about re-evaluating our relationship with time and moving away from the belief that ‘busy’ equals success.

Slow living doesn’t mean doing everything at a snail’s pace but rather making conscious choices to do fewer things, but more meaningfully.

This philosophy encourages us to question the status quo and often goes against many societal norms. It’s a rebellion against the concept of ‘more is more’, promoting instead the idea of less but better. 

Lastly, slow living is heavily influenced by minimalism, sustainability, and mindfulness practices. It encourages us to live in harmony with our natural rhythms and the cycles of nature. 

By adopting a slow living philosophy, we can cultivate a lifestyle that is more in alignment with our authentic selves, allowing us to truly enjoy the richness of life in each moment. It’s about living deliberately and fully, not just existing. 

How Can Slowing Your Life Benefit You?

Young guy sitting with his dog enjoying the view - slow living at its best!
Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash

Living at a slower pace allows you to be more present and appreciate the little things in life. It encourages deeper connections with people and the environment. By reducing the rush, we eliminate unnecessary stress and foster better mental health.

Slowing down also promotes creativity and productivity. When we’re not constantly bombarded with tasks and distractions, our minds are free to think, explore, and generate fresh ideas. 

Contrary to the societal obsession with speed and quick results, taking your time often leads to a higher quality of work and a deeper sense of satisfaction.

Lastly, a slow living lifestyle is a key to sustainable living. When we opt for quality rather than quantity, we reduce waste and our negative impact on the environment

Final Thoughts on Slow Living

Slow living is all about embracing a more mindful, intentional lifestyle. It’s about finding joy in the simplicity and authenticity of your everyday life and breaking free from the incessant rush of our fast-paced world. 

We’ve discussed numerous ways you can incorporate the principles of slow living into your life. You don’t have to embrace them all. Start slow (haha) and incorporate them gradually into your routine. 

Choose the ones that resonate with you or where you feel you need the most improvement. Remember, the journey to slow living is a personal one. Sporty and I have been living various iterations of it for more than a decade now.

Things change and shift in keeping with our current circumstances (our jobs, where and how we live, etc.), but slow is always our default setting. It’s hard to put into words just how much we’ve gained from adopting a slower lifestyle.

In a nutshell, our slow philosophy has positively impacted all aspects of everyday life. 

Why not join the slow living movement and see for yourself?

Slow Living FAQ

What is the concept of slow living?

Slow living is a lifestyle approach that encourages slowing down everyday life for a more balanced, mindful, and fulfilling existence.

It’s about rejecting society’s obsession with speed, performance, and productivity, and instead promoting a slower, more meaningful approach to life that emphasizes simplicity over complexity, and sustainability over fast consumption.

How do I start slow living?

Begin by simplifying your lifestyle—declutter your home, develop mindful consumption habits, and opt for slow travel. Take the time to connect with nature and reduce your pace of life. 

Finally, become aware of your relationship with time and start focusing on doing fewer things more meaningfully. There’s no rigid roadmap to slow living. It’s a personal journey that encourages you to align your lifestyle with your authentic self and the natural rhythms of life. 

What are the habits of slow living?

The habits of slow living include mindful consumption (of food, media, and energy), connecting with nature frequently, minimizing clutter in your home and life, and embracing slow travel practices, such as cycling or walking more.

woman drinking coffee reading
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Is it OK to live a slow life?

Absolutely, living a slow life is not just OK, it’s beneficial for your mental and physical health. It allows you to become more mindful, reduce stress, foster meaningful relationships, and live in harmony with your natural rhythms. 

It’s about rejecting societal pressures to constantly be ‘busy’ and instead choosing a lifestyle that aligns with your authentic self, promoting a sense of peace and fulfillment. Remember, the aim of life isn’t to be constantly rushing but to enjoy each and every moment.

Who are some proponents of slow living?

Prominent advocates of slow living include Carl Honoré, the author of In Praise of Slow, who is considered the ‘godfather’ of the slow living movement, and Brooke McAlary, author of Slow: Live Life Simply. 

We featured Brooke in our post on minimalist families, where you’ll find even more slow movement inspiration. These families show us that faster isn’t always better, especially when it comes to raising kids.

How is Slow Living different from the typical fast-paced lifestyle?

Slow Living differs significantly from its hurried counterpart, both in its fundamental philosophy and approach to life. While the modern lifestyle emphasizes speed, performance, and productivity, slow living prioritizes mindfulness, intentionality, and quality of life. 

When you live life in the fast land, you’re pressured to do more, faster, and better—which often leads to burnout, stress, and a reduced quality of life. On the other hand, slow living encourages you to slow down and enjoy doing fewer things, but with more focus and fulfillment. 

What are some common misconceptions about slow living?

Slow living is often misconstrued as being unproductive or lazy, but it’s actually about mindful use of time, prioritizing self-care, meaningful work, and personal relationships.

It isn’t about leading a life of leisure in rural settings or completely giving up technology—it can be practiced anywhere and involves a balanced use of tech that enhances wellness.

To understand slow living, it’s essential to experience it firsthand. Start by making small changes to your routine like taking pauses for deep breaths or expressing gratitude.

Gradually move towards bigger changes like limiting screen time or taking up a creative hobby. Ultimately, embracing a slow-paced lifestyle is about finding a rhythm that fits you and enhances your overall wellness.