With smartphones, we have endless information right at our fingertips. Sure, at times this can be helpful, like when you need directions to a trailhead or the hours to your favorite brewery. But unfortunately, this type of access feeds into a culture of busyness, productivity, and round the clock hustle.
In the modern world, with all the ease of technology, it’s easy to become enraptured by instant gratification of dining out or streaming the next episode of a TV show. What we don’t necessarily realize is how much this type of living impacts our quality of life, as well as the planet.
Heading outside to connect with nature is the perfect reset against life's hecticness
Maybe you feel like you need balance in your life, between the constant pressure to be productive and the desire to live through your values. How can we do that? How can we live intentionally and resist the mania of the modern world?
On that note, let’s talk about slow living.
What is slow living?
Slow living is the act of approaching everyday life with a more relaxed pace. Instead of charging ahead, it’s about slowing down and appreciating what’s around you. For some people, slow living means prioritizing self-care, like daily walks or sun basking rituals. For others, it’s a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the modern era.
As a whole, slow living is a lifestyle where you turn off cruise control and take the scenic route. It’s the difference between checking your phone at the summit of a hike instead of marveling at the view and looking your adventure buddy in the eyes. So often, we get caught up in work or school and forget to pause and appreciate where we are and who we’re with.
And, it takes work. Slow living is a mindset that takes conscious effort, and despite how it sounds, it is not an act of laziness. It’s an active pursuit of finding what’s important to you and making sure that stays a priority: connecting with what matters. Maybe it’s time with friends on a weekend camping trip, unplugging your phone. Or maybe it’s staying out on your walk for an extra ten minutes. Or maybe, it’s finding ways to lead a more earth-friendly lifestyle.
Slow living is in the moment without rush: relishing the experience and bonding with loved ones
How can slow living benefit the planet?
Part of slow living is refocusing on your core values and enjoying the little things, and if you care about sustainability and this beautiful planet, this will shine through your daily habits. When you live slowly, you can pay closer attention to your actions and find intention.
One way to start is by removing yourself from the face pace of modern life, and making mindful decisions as a human and a consumer. We all make impulsive decisions as a shopper and rush through the grocery store, but are we buying sustainable products when we do that?
Product durability is always worth considering - cheaply made products only add to our growing landfill problem
Maybe slow living for you means prioritizing goals of a greener lifestyle, like buying natural alternatives to plastic wrap or in-season produce. These habits can bleed elsewhere in your life, like washing out recyclables and biking for your commute to work.
Separating ourselves from the mania of the world can also push us to connect more with nature. With beach walks and weekend camping trips, we can center ourselves around the peace of nature and lean into planet-minded living.
With a slow living mentality, you can take it easy and enjoy your time outside without any sense of rush or hurry. As sun worshippers, we all know how spectacular it feels to live - and cherish - life outside. The more we appreciate nature, the more inclined we feel to protect it, which is really a win for all.
How can you practice slow living in your own life?
Slow living invites peaceful thoughts, like a foggy day in a small coastal town. But the good news is that you don’t necessarily need to go off the grid or admonish technology forever to reap the rewards of slow living. You can enjoy a leisurely pace whether you live in the city or out in the country!
To get you started, here are a few ideas to inspire a new slow lifestyle:
- Live the cycles of nature with seasonal living. This is bigger than simply opting for in-season produce (though that plays a role too). Welcome the change that each day brings. Slow down enough to notice and appreciate the subtle differences in the air.
- Try forest bathing, the act of slowing down and welcoming the full sensory experience. It’s a great way to clear your mind and recharge, with the added bonus of time outside! Check out our blog on forest bathing to learn more.
- Go for a digital detox. The pressure of being ‘available’ can cause quite a bit of stress. But if you can take the time to unplug, you can immerse yourself in a restorative hobby and come back truly refreshed. If you want to learn more, check out our blog for tips on your own digital detox!
- Do less with your time. You don’t need to pack a full schedule to be productive, and living slowly does not mean you’re lazy. Instead, prioritize what matters most to you and make space for it in your life. As a nature lover, maybe this means figuring out how to use less plastic in your day-to-day life or soaking up the sun for fifteen minutes a day.
- Disconnect and reconnect. Spend time in nature and connect with the earth. Leave your phone on airplane mode and swim in the lake with your friends. Be present in the moment and appreciate it for what it’s worth.
- Get outside, and don’t rush the experience! Breathe in the cool crisp air of the woods. Listen to the waves crashing on the beach. Feel the warm sun on your cheeks. Run your fingers over the bark of an old redwood tree.
Meet the Author
Along with writing blogs for Sunski, Madison creates nature books for kids. She grew up with BLM land in her backyard, which fueled her affinity for adventure and epic stories. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, camping, and reading under the sun.