“The concept of slow lifestyles started with the slow food movement, which emphasizes more traditional food production processes as a reaction to fast food emerged in Italy during the 1980s and 1990s. Slow food and slow living are frequently, but not always, proposed as solutions to what the green
movement describes as problems in materialistic and industrial lifestyles.”
S. The s refers to sustainable, meaning having a limited impact.
L. The l refers to local, meaning using materials and products that are geographically close to the person produced near them.
O. The o refers to organic, meaning avoiding products that have been genetically engineered or mass-produced.
W. The w refers to the whole, meaning not processed.
What does slow living mean to me?
Just google the words slow living and you will find a few different approaches to it. That is because there is a basic description and everything else depends on your wishes/needs and even lifestyle. I found this Wikipedia quote you read at the beginning of this blog which explains it very well.
I just want to add a few things that this quote misses for me and what is part of this movement from my perspective. And the following things are actually all linked together, slow living is holistic.
Quality of life over quantity of life
For me, this is about a number of different things. In this fast-paced capitalistic society in which we live it is sometimes about having a lot of stuff and experiencing many different things. A state of being that doesn’t always make you happier. While slow living is all about enjoying the things you have, getting the most out of what you have by buying quality products, and looking at how you can use them optimally or give them a second life. And it’s mostly about enjoying every moment. For example, you can have a quick outside meal outdoors five times a week, but do you enjoy the moment you’re in? If that’s the case, then it’s good, but unfortunately, that does not always apply to everyone. Because you are distracted by, for example, your phone, your next appointment, etc.
I try to focus on the quality of life by doing several things and somethimes nothing
- Buying quality products.
- Owning fashion items I am really happy with instead of being in the rush of wanting something new.
- Being in the moment. I enjoy my food and dinner company by leaving distractions like my phone. I take trips that don’t feel like tasks with multiple things I have to do and see, but instead experience a few things and enjoy them fully.
No fast life, but enjouying the moment and living in the moment
This applies to several parts of my life. Besides my work for Adjuma Tribe, I also work as a freelance Creative Producer/Project Manager in the Arts. So I know what the fast life, being productive and multitasking is. Sometimes it’s useful, but a lot of times it has cons. A few years ago I ended up feeling overworked. This is not what I had in mind when I chose to be self-employed. I thought of freedom. This experience was a great jump start to edit several parts of my life and find that freedom.
I learned that multitasking looks like a good skill, but is not. It’s better to focus on one task and then go to the next. I realized I don’t have to be flexible and always available. I had to set boundaries. I also worked on time management. Not just time management for my projects, but time management for me. I now plan my year ahead and make sure I know which projects I will be working on. I also note when the deadline will be so I don’t have too many deadlines at once. Life just goes too fast, before I did not take time to enjoy the achievements after a project. With that, I sometimes could also forget that I do achieve a lot of things. So now I celebrate and take a break to breathe after a big deadline.
I also worked on a healthy morning routine. I start my day slow. I try to not plan early morning meetings. That way I can relax in the morning, start my day with a meditation to center and help me focus during the day, I journal to give my thoughts a place, and workout to energize my body.
I have changed a lot of things that are work-related in that period of time. Soon I will share all my findings in a separate blog.
Conscious of people and our planet
With everything I do, I try to take into account people and nature. When it comes to people, it is, for example, to consider when purchasing a product whether the company is ethically responsible and whether people can work under decent conditions. In my own work, it is by taking people’s fees into account in projects, I do not want to ask people less money than they deserve because then they can also live a pleasant and healthy life. But it’s not just about fair pay. It is also about the working conditions of the people I work with. If it is my project I am also responsable for this and for their well being.
When it comes to our planet, I always try to ask myself whether the earth suffers from the things I do. And I ask myself whether there are other options. With clothing, for example, it
is: do I need this new blouse, can I buy it second hand, can I borrow it, or can I buy it from a sustainable brand? For food I take a different approach; do animals or nature suffer. Is there a less harmful substitute for it? Ultimately this led me to choose a vegetarian/ vegan lifestyle (no meat, no fish, no dairy, and at home solely plant-based).
What slow living is not!
Esthetics: Hahaha, yes I also chose calm, natural colors for my Instagram and blog, but that’s not the point. If you like bright colors, do that. Be you and do you! See these pics? Now you know that my personal clothing style consists of quite a few bright colors. For my interior style, I do love calming and natural colors ever since I started living on my own. I need a calming atmosphere to live in. *when buying new clothes it is good to keep in mind that bright colors come from chemicals. The solution: second- hand shops have enough bright colors. And a lot of people choose natural colors because they find it easier to style with a minimalistic wardrobe.
Rules. Nope! It is mainly about living consciously instead of living in a hurry and almost feeling lived. It’s all about freedom. Only you decide what conscious living/ slow living means to you. In the meantime, I would like to share my experiences and tips with you and guide you where needed.
Having a strict routine. If there is something I just can’t do it is a strict routine. I do not like rules, because they give too much pressure and this lifestyle is about enjoying life and having less stress. It is about what you need in your life and what makes you comfortable. And of course education or call it information helps. Because without that, I for example would still eat meat, buy plastic water bottles, shop endlessly fast fashion, and think that being busy was good for a business owner. And I just love to help you with sharing what I have learned. But please just take from it what you need and what is necessary for this phase of your life.
Doing things slow. Doing everything slow. My life is not that slow at all and for this moment, it will not be. I love my own two businesses, I enjoy the ‘hectic’ on the day of a work event. I love my spicy life in the city. I love dancing in crowded and hot sweaty clubs All I do want to do is enjoy life, have control over my life and agenda, live in the moment, live a stress-free life, have enough slow moments, and appreciate beautiful things while still taking others and our earth into account.
Three ways in which slow living benefits me personally…
1. Save money: because I only decide to buy something after thoroughly thinking of it (a lot of times I do not need it), because I make somethings myself (low waste) because I buy quality products that last a while.
2. Less stress: having moments for myself to just relax, taking care of my mental health. Not being bothered with what I do not have. It’s easier and less stressful to pick out an outfit in the morning if you don’t own too many clothing items (I still have some work to do in that area). And not spending money on some things brings less
3. Not just me but also other people and our planet: reducing plastic waste, slowing down the pollution and exhausting of the world, so everyone, not just us in ‘with money’ (by now you might know who is paying the price of our comfortable lives) and also next generations can have happy and healthy lives. Contributing to a better world just makes me happy.