To live slowly is possible. We haven’t made this statement, but thousands of people. Slow living exists. In fact, much closer than expected, cities living at a lower pace can be easily found. We are talking about places with no more than 50 thousand inhabitants that have street markets full of ecological products, sustainable or green buildings and restaurants with their own rooftop gardens. In a similar fashion, in Spain there are towns that already practice the slow life movement. Begur, Pals and Palafrugell in Gerona, Bigastro in Alicante, Rubielos de Mora near Teruel and Mungia or Lekeitio in Vizcaya are only some examples of slow cities.
Slow living: origin and meaning
Although more and more Spanish towns are joining the slow living lifestyle, the largest number of slow cities is concentrated in Italy. That’s where this movement was born as a response to the invasion of junk food or “fast food” in Europe in the late 1980s. In 1986, Carlo Petrini, the founder of the International Slow Food Movement, campaigned against the fast food chain McDonald’s which was opening near the the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. This is how the platform founded by Petrini and a group of activists came into being. Their aim was to defend traditional food, the good gastronomy pleasure, as well as a slower pace of life. However, the concept of slow food soon spread to other fields. And now it almost has 100,000 followers in more than 40 countries who rely on a slow pace in cooking, work, school and even leisure.
If we wonder about the slow living movement meaning, we could define it as a worldwide cultural current that promotes the slowdown of our present fast lifestyle. Its purpose is to try to control our own time instead of living governed by the tyranny of immediacy. That’s why, the slow culture prioritizes the activities that seek people’s integral development. For this reason, the slow culture prioritizes the activities that seek people’s integral development. We refer to pastimes such as eating with friends or family, taking a walk on the beach, going out for a bike ride on a sunny day or having naps on Sundays. Natural and fundamental activities that are often set aside by the dictatorship of time.
The goal of the slow life movement
All this doesn’t mean that we have to set aside obligations and live free of responsibilities. The slow living objective is to review such fundamental and everyday aspects such as rest, communication, food, relationships with our partners, family or friends.It even refers to our level of awareness and being grateful for everything around us. In this sense, what the slow movement suggests seeks a proper balance between body, mind and spirit. To succeed we must first stop, analyze what we are doing in life, decide where we want to go and finally make the necessary adjustments to achieve it.
Does slow living help make you happier?
Those who follow the slow lifestyle say, in a resounding way, that it really helps to be happier. That’s because it involves applying the brakes, readjusting priorities and moving forward with much clearer ideas and life goals. Man is made to have goals. So, if your goal is to be happier, embracing the slow movement would be a very good starting point.
5 keys to put the slow living philosophy into practice
It is true that we may be immediately attracted to the idea of leaving the stress behind and enjoying life more. But, how can we get that? That’s the question. It’s a difficult question to answer as the only word we can articulate after keeping an eye on our agenda is: impossible. With all the responsibilities I have, it’s not feasible for me to embrace the slow life philosophy!
Stand out, breathe and sit down. No one said this was going to be easy. At least have a go. Don’t give up without giving yourself a chance. That’s why, we have compiled some keys for you to start putting the slow living philosophy into practice.
1. Do one thing after another
We are not machines. Find out your rhythm, follow it and work at a constant speed but with no pause. And think twice before acting. Remember to plan, organize and prioritize tasks. Carry out one duty after another. And don’t forget to rest. There are times when a break becomes the necessary push to finish the task we are working on.
2. Join the slow food movement
Have lunch with the TV off and your mobile phone away from you. And, if possible, have your meals with while enjoying a chat with your family, friends or colleagues. If not, just try hard to chew properly your food. And, never eat in a rush. So, your body will feel full faster and help you lose weight.
3. Swap a stressful moment for a relaxing one
Balance between spikes in work and relaxing activities such as running, yoga, reading, crafts or a romantic weekend break with your partner. Look for hobbies that invite you to stop and meditate. Give your mind pause and unwind after a period of stress
4. Just a bit of extra pampering
Have you heard about the slow beauty? This practice invites us, for example, to perform the daily ritual of cleaning properly our face skin before going to sleep. Have you ever heard of slow beauty? Yes, it exists! This practice invites us, for example, to perform the daily ritual of cleaning properly our face skin before going to sleep. Or it reminds us to drink two litres of water a day, consume at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day and have a massage from time to time.
5. Get in touch with nature
There is no need to leave the city and go to live in a forest. It is a pathology called “nature deficit disorder”. But we can mitigate its effect by going for a walk in green areas or doing sport in natural environments.