There's something amiss with the way most of us live our lives these days. We consume too fast, discard too quickly, and have lost the sense of value we once had. So many us have massive wardrobes and still feel like we have nothing to wear, and those clothes don’t seem to last as long as they used to. Most of what we find in our retail shops is made cheaply to be affordable, but if that item you bought breaks after a few uses, was it really a wise purchase? Not to mention the environmental and human impact that comes from cheap manufacturing.
As well as our habits of over-consuming, everyone seems to be stressed. One of the reasons is that we are connected through our devices non-stop. From scrolling on our phones constantly and absorbing bad news and social media posts that aren't helpful to us, to answering work emails after we leave the office, there is no shortage of ways that stress can enter into our lives through just one small device. And these stressors don't necessarily have to be dramatic to affect us; constant negative messages and your feelings about them can build into a chronic condition that will significantly detract from your mental and physical health, your looks, and your quality of life.
By slowing down our lives and approaching our stresses, obligations, and spending habits thoughtfully and responsibly, we can achieve so much more. We can reassess our personal fashion and decor style by investing in more luxury, quality items we can feel good about; by reducing stress we will look and feel better and having the energy and focus to accomplish our goals, and by balancing our lives we will generally be happier. There are so many benefits to slow living, especially when the costs of the alternative are considered.
The Cost of Our Way of Life
Canadians, on average, produce 720kg of waste per person every single year. This is 7% higher than their American counterparts, which may come as a surprise. Canada has massive environmental protections in place, a third of the country is powered by renewable energy sources, and nature is their figurative bread and butter. But cutting back needs to happen on an individual level. This doesn't need to be a disruption to your daily life but rather requires being thoughtful about the way we do things. Instead of buying disposable things, invest in high quality items that will last for years. Learn how to mend your clothes again. Try to buy products that come with less packaging, recycle more, reuse what you have – all of this will help you do your part and feel better in your every day life. Over time this can help you save money, as you won’t need to keep buying new items to replace your old ones. This will also teach us to be content with what we have.
Benefits of Slow Living
The benefits of slow living are numerous and can help boost our wellness, reduce stress, and make time for the people and things we love. It can also help you gain:
1. Better Personal Style
Fast fashion is cheap, and it is focused around the trends that are hot at the moment. This tends to result in purchases that are made not rationally, but rather as a result of having been influenced by the marketing of these trends. By slowing down your purchases you can instead afford more luxury pieces – perhaps not designer brand name, but there are many middle-end boutiques that produce beautiful, unique, and well-made garments. By saving up for these items instead of buying on impulse, you can elevate your personal style and buy the wardrobe pieces that make you feel your best. The bonus? They will last you with few repairs needed.
2. More Time Spent on Things You Love
When you cut back on stressful activities and purchases that add nothing to your life, you open yourself up to pursue and enjoy the things that really matter to you and will enrich you rather than take from you.
3. Less Stress
The main benefit of slow living is less stress. You learn to reject stressful activities and habits, and add regular relaxation to your life. This will help improve your wellbeing, your health, and of course your natural beauty.
Top Tips on How to Enjoy the Slow Life
To enjoy the slow life, try the following:
Practice Your Pampering
Doing nice things for yourself is a great way to feel good, reduce stress, and take care of your natural beauty. Try new and delicious recipes, invest in quality scented candles, bath salts, and even a great bathtub caddy so that you can enjoy a glass of wine and a good book while you soak in a luxurious bath that is going to help rid you of all the stress of the day.
The secret is to invest in the activities you love. Learn more about bathtub caddies and choose a design that will endure in terms of quality and style, and complement your bathroom's decor. Try different body washes or soaps to find the ones that are good for your skin and smell great. Experiment until you find the right hair products. Having a routine that allows you to relax and not think about anything else will quickly become a heavenly must-have.
Stop Chasing Short-Term Highs
Short term highs such as spontaneous purchases or binge shopping do us more harm than good. It gives us a brief rush, but, if at the end of the day you don’t care for what you bought then it was a waste of money. Make yourself wait at least three days when buying something in retail stores and resist buying sale items simply because they seem like a bargain. If you go back, you know you truly want it.
Slow Down Your Mind
Try to pick up hobbies that require you to focus and take your mind off your regular routine. The internet and our phones are full of so much information that we have learned to process it all at very quick speeds. Rather than actually learn something, however, we sort this information between useful and not useful. It’s a very fast-paced way of thinking that doesn’t help anyone. Instead, take up an activity like reading, and it's best if you read actual books and stay off devices. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories – it doesn’t matter. It will help you slow down, relax, and even can help you enjoy several health benefits.
Invest in Your Future
Finally, invest in your future. It is hard to enjoy the slow life when you are worried about finances every other week. Save up for an emergency fund, further education, or your retirement fund, and put that money towards good use. By simply slowing down your life and being more mindful with your purchases you will be amazed at how much you can have left over at the end of the month.