Living in a fast pace society has its perks, of course, but it can also be challenging. Chaos & anxiety can get the best of us without even realizing it. Do you ever feel like you’re running low on energy while trying to tackle a never ending to do list? Why not taking it slow for a while to regain your balance? Here are a few simple Slow Living – tricks that I’m implementing in my everyday routine and might be helpful to you as well.
Take time to breathe
Yes, it’s that simple and often most overlooked. By breathing through the belly you release the stress hormone called cortisol & tension in our body. Yoga & meditation are actually based on breathing, so are many other therapies. Take long slow abdominal breaths through your nose and hold it for three counts. Exhale slowly through your mouth, while relaxing the muscles of your face. Drop the shoulders to relax the rest of your upper body and don’t flex the stomach. Breathing is key when it comes to calming and rebalancing yourself. Whenever I feel stressed out, I always gravitate towards Yoga Nidra. It’s a no-stretch guided meditation that helps me to relax. I’ll link one of my favorite practices here. For those who want to take breathing a little further, I recommend digging into Breathwork. The deep rhythmic breathing, used in this therapeutic method, moves us out of fight or flight and into the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s known for releasing toxins from your body and increasing your energy levels.
Holding back unexpressed feelings can backfire! How often does it occur that we seek distractions to keep us occupied instead of looking inwards? Repressing yourself is a massive waste of energy. Instead try to keep the juices flowing by getting creative. Grab that paintbrush or guitar and let it all go. There is no greater freedom than that of being fearlessly authentic to who you really are and what you really feel. Keep in mind that whatever you create doesn’t need to reach any high quality standard, it’s all meant to bring you joy in the first place. Your inner critic can bugger off now!
Nourishing your Body & Soul
Stay away from beverages like coffee and alcohol when you feel anxious. They can cause even more stress by triggering your levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Choose water instead. Cooking your meals from scratch is a great way to slow down for a little bit. Handpick your ingredients and feed your body the nutrients it needs to remain healthy. After all you are what you eat!
The exact same rule applies to feeding you mind. Know what information you want to let in. Do it KonMari style. Tidy your headspace once in a while. A digital detox or a deep cleanse from watching TV can do wonders. Did you finish reading that book you’ve always wanted? Don’t overthink tomorrow and yesterday. There is no point. Did you notice stress is always caused by worrying about the future or the past? Try to make peace with where you are NOW. If you can’t feel positive about the moment you’re in, at least try to feel neutral about it. Eckhart Tolle devoted a whole book about this, I strongly recommend picking this one up.
Me-Time is obligatory
Schedule in some alone time. It’s so important to ground yourself and to unwind without not ‘having to’ do anything or ‘having to’ be anyone but yourself for yourself. Things as simple as taking a warm bath or painting your nails in solitude can already help. Coloring books and Bullet journals are also fantastic for practicing Slow Living.
Adapt a Minimalistic mindset
Cluttering your space often creates chaos and brings additional stress. Tidy up what you need and love, get rid of all the rest. Do you really need that sweater you only wear once every 5 years? How about your old books? Why not passing them on? Less is more when it comes to a minimalistic lifestyle. Having more doesn’t create happiness. Being happy with less, does.
Go out into nature
There’s nothing more rejuvenating than the power of nature. Go for a hike, take a long walk or lay in the grass for a little bit. Inhale fresh air and put that phone away. Listen to birds and trees. We live on a magnificent planet that needs to be seen and appreciated, not ignored.
Slow living is all about enjoying the little moments and not feeling rushed. It’s embracing life step my step, in your own unique way. Not being stressed out because you ‘have to’ obtain certain implemented ways of living. But because you want to enjoy your life and you want to create time and space to do so.