So, you’ve got the sickness? The hurry sickness. Maybe you’ve experienced sunset fatigue or a mile long to-do list. Maybe the idea of slow living sounds like some mythical idea, a concept never to be obtained. It makes sense why you feel like that. I mean when I googled slow living I found blogs like, ’42 tips to slow down’. 42? Really?
You know that living in a constant state of overwhelm is no way to live. So, here we go. Let’s get real when it comes to slowing down life. Let’s get real when it comes to actually implementing a life that’s not blurry but clear and focused. Yes, I’ll give you 7 tips at the end but they’re more like kickstarters to a lifestyle shift rather than a quick fix. (Cause we don’t want quick anything when it comes to slowing down!)
This week on the Unhurried Life Podcast my guest, Andrea Lucado, and I discussed when is the right time to say yes, and how to keep your schedule intentional. She walks us through some big life stages and explains her process. She’s so gifted in making it sound black and white. Slow or fast.
How Do I Live a Slow Life?
I love how Andrea starts off in this podcast by admitting that she didn’t have it all figured out. She had to ask for help in a job she was hired to do. How many times to we wear a badge of honor saying, “I did this myself”?
In reality learning to live a slow life means asking for help. It just has to.
Living a slow life does not mean you’re mentally on point with everything. It actually means you’ve been good at selecting the tools to help you live intentionally. Andrea mentions using a spreadsheet and a few other programs. You just need to remember you’re not creating a mile long list. Start by writing (or typing) your 3 priorities for the day. That’s it, just 3.
Starting off your day with a healthy habit and routine gives you the space to think about and consider your 3 priorities.
Challenge the way you’ve “always done it”. Just because you’re used to 64 things on the list does not mean you need to stay there. Consider what would happen if you only did 3 things that you wanted to do, instead of a ton of had to dos.
Now I get it, you have to pick up kids from school and you have to make their lunches but consider a life where your kid makes lunch the night before and you ask a friend to swap carpool days. See how you can do things differently than you have been. That’s how you figure out how to slow down life, by making changes and adjustments.
Get creative when you’re thinking through your day and don’t be afraid to try something different. If it doesn’t work or doesn’t help in your slow down tomorrow is a new day, try something else. The point is starting with a healthy morning routine gives you the chance to plan.
What does slow living look like?
Andrea talks about carving out time to do what you love or have “always wanted to”. Asking what does slow living look like to you (and only you) not for her or your sister or the girl you follow in instagram. For her it was writing book. She still had a 9-5 so she got up early just to write, because it was something she loved.
I’m all about planning. In fact in the Unhurried Life Starter Kit I have a whole section on creating grown up goals and it’s a very similar process to what Andrea talks about on the podcast. Envisioning what your life will look like in 5, 10, or 15 years from now and then executing based on THAT. Not based on the here and now but more with the end in sight.
It all sounds good and well to do what you love but what if you don’t know what you were made to do. What’s your purpose? This question is so common and you’re no alone if you’re wondering this (or have wondered this before). Part of knowing what you were made to do happens because you’ve tried other things. This means as you’re trying new things do it with intention. Intention on deciding if it’s what lights you up, brings you joy or fills that sweet spot.
Let’s talk technology and Slow Living for a second.
Did you know that in the 1950 people were looking at all the advances in technology and how much time they were predicted to save people and they were actually concerned that there would be an epidemic of laziness in the future (future meaning now) because we’d have so much technology saving us time we’d just sit around.
If you’re like me, when reading this you laugh at the irony!
Instead what we did was we filled that time with more stuff. More and more until we lived our every moment planned out or catching up or putting out fires. So here is what slow living looks like. It’s having a plan for your technology.
People used to have to go outside and hand wash their laundry then hang it up to dry. Now we throw a load in and move on to the next thing. NOT saying a washer and dryer are “bad” just saying to be mindful of the time you are saving with technology and apply the “extra” time you have with a plan.
Why is Slowing Down Important?
I don’t want to get too deep here, but then again maybe I do. Why is slowing down important? Fast forward 40, 50 years. Your life is winding down. When you look back, will you feel like you wasted it all? This one shot at living and serving the way you were made.
A good way to gauge this is through the lense of you sweet sweet children. What would they say you love the most? What would your spouse say? If cameras got switched on inside your house for your BFF to watch. Where would you be, what would you be doing. If you calendar was spread wide for strangers to look at…where is your treasure?
Treasure does not have to be wealth. In fact, our most precious commodity is time and where we focus our attention is where we put our time.
Take the moments the time and the focus to know your purpose so you can say yes and no to the right things.
So, answer the questions above and then decide if slowing down in order to love more (cause you know love is patient, 1 Cor 13) is worth cutting some out and making some changes. But only you can take time to reflect and answer why is slowing down important to you?
How Can I Slow Down my Busy Life?
Now let’s actually start the part where we act. Where we say, Ok, I know this is important and it’s worth it to make some shifts. How can I slow down my busy life?
It’s ok to start Cutting out what isn’t working or you don’t love. Andrea talks about this in the podcast. She shares her journey through finding the right job and making changes based on her skills and passions!
Part of slowing down means learning to look at the long term to make your yes and no instead of the now. This is a perspectives thing. My son, while in the middle of being disciplined for getting a yellow mark at school asks, why do moms and dads always get to decide? My response was, we know. We know what needs to change and we can see it because of our experience. Our perspective on the situation is different than his 6 year old perspective.
I challenge you to zoom out. To look at your yes’s and no’s with a different lens.
Keeping track of your yes and no and your overwhelm and your joys. Self awareness through times of reflection (plan for these times)
Creating a healthy morning routine
Have a shut down time. Know that there will be seasons of busy but they are just that, seasons, not your everyday
(example of planning for maternity leave was busy but then resting with a baby)
Creating an ebb and flow through life’s season.
Slow Living Tips
Since this is a lifestyle and perspective change these tips are more designed to get a fire under you and give you a place to start. Overwhelmed (in my definition) is just not knowing where to begin. Here you go, 7 slow living tips to get you headed in the right direction!
1. Create a priorities list (not a to-do list) frame of mind shift
2. Envision your life as you want it to be and execute
3. Pursuing your dreams by carving out (planning) time for them
4. Learn to say yes by looking at the long term
5. Implement routine (starts with your morning)
6. Grace when you can’t stay on your routine
7. Permission to have seasons
A big aid in this journey is the Unhurried Life Podcast where you can continue to be encouraged and empowered to live more present and simply!