The Slow Life Meaning: 13 (+1) Tips to Get Started

The Slow Life Meaning: 13 (+1) Tips to Get Started

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 The Slow Life: what it is, how to approach this lifestyle to slow down and some tips, here's what you'll find out by reading this post. I've been approaching this movement for a couple of years and I'm still learning to know it and to implement it into my life to improve it; this article will help you, basing on my experience, to approach slow living in a conscious and intentional way.


How to best describe Slow Living? For me it's quite difficult actually, but I'll try. The Slow Living or Slow Movement was born in the 1980s in Italy, as opposed to globalization and, mainly, as Slow Food.

Gradually, the philosophy of living slowly has spread to many areas and now it can be applied to any aspect of our life. The main feature of Slow Living is to live, in fact, slowly, as opposed to Fast Living, that is to live quickly.

Luna is a black cat. She's relaxing on a low wall among the flowers.
Luna relaxes among the flowers



Nowadays the general thought is that living slowly is synonymus with laziness, listlessness, but this is not the case; slow living allows us to regain possession of our natural rhythms, to know ourselves better and be aware of the moment in which we're living. Time, or rather the quality of time, is fundamental in this philosophy in order to feel good.

In short, Slow Life is living the moment in a conscious and intentional way, knowing that every thing has its time and that "everything and now" is not good for our spirit. It's also knowing how to enjoy empty moments, boredom moments, and the moments you need to recharge your energy.


Personally, I approached this lifestyle after a period of great stress. I think that this lifestyle is particularly suitable for those who feel overwhelmed by the hectic everyday life. It serves to detoxify mind and body, and in my opinion, it must not necessarily be followed every single day: not everyone has the opportunity to follow the philosophy of slow living in every moment of their life, so it could be enough to dedicate yourself to it on weekends or during the holidays. It all depends on you and your lifestyle and, obviously, on your needs.


Well, I started in small steps, from small things, and today I still walk in small steps because I haven't yet reached the goal I have set for myself. 

There is no magic formula to approach this lifestyle and above all there are no specific guidelines: everything works differently for each of us, but there are some little tips that you could try to follow.

1. Meals

For me, meals are of paramount importance. Braekfast, lunch and dinner in my home are sacred and should be consumed with family as much as possible. They're a symbol of conviviality, and it's nice to chat with the diners about plans for the day, how work went and how we feel, enjoying home-cooked dishes. Try to cook healthy meals, perhaps with local ingredients, following their seasonality.

A box photographed from above, containing fresh fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, salads and cabbage. In the left corner is Pulce, a calico cat, rubbing on the edge of the box
Eat seasonal, local products

2. Breaks

Know when your body and mind are asking for a break. If you learn to listen to yourself, it will be easy for you to know when you need to rest: if maybe you work a long time sitting, every now and then you could get up to stretch your legs, or go out for a breath of fresh air; on the contrary, if you work a long time on your feet, sit down from time to time.

A woman is sitting on a chair facing the balcony in her bedroom and looking out at the street. Behind is the bed and next to her are her two dogs who are about to go on the balcony too
Breaks are very important during the day

3. Activities

Find an activity that helps you stay physically and mentally healthy. It can be yoga, meditation, but also stretching or a sport you like, why not. I try to spend at least 15 minutes a day for this: a few months ago I discovered Fit On, a really nice app that helps me because I can choose the activity based on the time I have available. 

Lola and Elfy are two cats, the first is a gray, white and brown female cat, the second is a red boy. They are relaxing in the sun
Lola and Elfy relaxing in the sun

4. Limit time online

I know this is a sore point, but unless it's because of work or because you actually need to be on social for some reasons, you should try to limit your online presence and live more in the environment you are in physically. It's really important in order to value what you have around yourself and to rest you eyes :)

Ilaria is a 30-year-old woman, wearing a pair of mustard-colored floral pants and a gray top. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail and she has sunglasses placing on her head. She laughs and she's happy while standing barefoot on boulders by the river
Being in the nature is my therapy

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5. Shop consciously

This is the first piece of advice I followed myself :) I approached Slow Living thanks to Slow Fashion. Try to make informed choices for your purchases, buy things that you really need, that don't hurt you or our planet. Ask yourself if what you're buying is useful and necessary. I haven't bought new items (I talked about fashion and accessories) for about 2 years, all my purchases are second hand and I'm really happy with my choice especially because I got very close to vintage market: Depop and Vinted are very good for this purpose. Also, if you need to buy something new, go for handmade items: I use Etsy a lot, here you can find everything and more.

Ilaria is getting dressed. She is a 32 year old woman. She is wearing a long green skirt and is buttoning her shirt. The shirt is floral, for men, with an off-white background and beige and blue flowers. Her hair is pulled back into a messy bun and she wears glasses
I've owned the skirt for about 13 years, and I stole the shirt from my dad :P

6. Take care of what you have

It applies to everything, but it's strictly connected to point 5 if we talk about clothing and/or accessories. In recent years, society has taught us that we cannot wear the same outfit twice, it has directed us towards a "disposable" fashion and this is really wrong. Personally, I often wear the same outfits, the ones that make me feel good and fit my personality. Why not? Obviously, the capsule wardobe came on handy here. This makes me feel great and I also help the enviroment, because I reduce waste and my clothing items are used over and over again: let's remember that loved clothes last.

Ilaria is a 32 year old woman, she is sitting on the stairs in front of the door of her house. She wears a pair of mustard-colored floral pants and a gray top. At the feet beige flat sandals and a light beige shoulder bag. The hair is down. On the sides of the door of the house are two vases with hypomee that climb up framing the door
You have to take care of yourself and your own things

7. Hobby

Find a hobby to spend your free time wisely and preciously: it can be anything that makes you feel good and relax. Sewing and embroidery are mine: they allow me to use my time creatively and consciously and I discovered with them what patience really is (even if I don't always manage to keep it :P).

A skirt ready to be mended, next to a round embroidery hoop and a sheet on which a flower is drawn. Next to it is an open transparent box with colored embroidery threads
One of my first visible mending projects

8. Positivity

Look for positivity in everything, even in the people around you. If you notice that someone makes you sad, or harms you, or gives you negative feelings, walk away ftom it. Surround yourself with positive people, people who give you wise and thoughtful advice for your interest. Shortly, surround yourself with real people and don't be afraid to say some "no" from time to time. Also, learn to accept yourself as you are, love your flaws as much as you love your strenghts, and don't be too hard on yourself.

An open female hand holding a white flower
It's important to seek positivity around us

9. Day off

Choose one day a week and dedicate it to yourself. Sunday is my day of pure rest and usually during this day I recharge my energy for the days ahead. This means fully experiencing relax, even the empty moments and doing something you don't usually have time to do.

A cherry tree in bloom
Taking one day off a week helps a lot

These are the first steps, the easiest to follow and put into practice for me. There are actually others on the list, which I personally have yet to implement into my life. Here they are, maybe I can upload this list as I reach my goals :)

10. Spaces

Having adequate spaces that make you feel good is really important, and I don't have them for now. This, at the moment, is my biggest deficiency and the one I'm most sick of. But that's also part of the process: I'll get there and when I do I'll have fully experienced all the phases that I had to go through to get the result I wanted.

A somewhat gloomy landscape: a small stream with pebbles surrounded by dark trees
It's important to have the right spaces to feel at ease

11. Live in close contact with nature

For me, it's closely related to the point above. Living in close contact with nature allows you to watch and touch the evolution and changing of the seasons, and evolve and change with them. My dream is to live in the countryside and I'll get there :)

One hand holds white flowers of potted chlorophytum
Living in close contact with nature allow you to live with its own and your own pace

12. Plants / vegetable garden

I've tried to grow many plants, but unfortunately my current house is not suitable for growing plants, especially in Winter (alas, this last Winter has destroyed almost all of them). Unless I arrange the house for them, plants would die and I don't want to, so for now I'll not add other plants. When I move into my permanent home I'll surround myself with plants and flowers and, why not, a small vegetable garden.

Ilaria is sitting outside her house, surrounded by potted plants. She wear in a mustard-colored floral dress and brown shoes. The hair is gathered in a ponytail and she shields from the sun with one hand
Plants make me feel even closer to nature

13. Sleep

This point is very tiring for me. I was diagnosed with a chronic disease, I've been suffering from it for about 8 months and it has become really tiring for me to rest because one of the symptoms is not being able to sleep properly. My goal is to be able to wake up without the need for an alarm, so have a natural "sleep routine". If you have no problems sleeping, or you just need some supplements to fall asleep, I suggest you find a balance in your rest and try to wake up naturally.

Elfy is a red kitten, sleeping blissfully while being petted
Elfy sleeps better than me


Well, I try to describe how a typical day of mine looks like, even if I don't have a real one, every day for me is different and organized in a different way, but briefly I'll tell you how I start my week:

My alarm is at 7.30am and first of all I see if the plants need water or fertilizer; I go to the bathroom and take my thyroid pills; depending on the day I spend 15 to 30 minutes doing stretching or yoga, after which I wash myself and get dressed, then I make the bed. I go downstairs, make coffee and I feed the cats. When Ezio comes back after taking the dogs for a walk, we have breakfast, talking about the day ahead. These days Elfy (one of my cats) is at home because he hurt is paw, but if he's out I bring him food. Then, I start cooking for lunch for the next day (I prepare one day in advance in order to cook without rushing) and I start doing chores: I usually strt the week vacuuming and washing the floor. It's time for my supplements.

I take a break in the late morning, I spend some time with my puppies and then I take Sheyla out for a walk (she's my old doggie, 19 years of tenderness). At 2.30pm Ezio comes back home, and take Giove and Baloo out for a walk. I take the opportunity to prepare foods for dogs and cats and set up the table for our lunch. Ezio comes back to work after lunch. As for me, if Elfy is out I bring him food, then I take the whole afternoon to sew or embroider. In the middle of the afternoon I take a break to stretch my legs and take my meds.

At 7.30pm I take Sheyla out again and feed the dogs and the cats, I prepare us dinner and when Ezio comes back home we have dinner together, then relax till 11.30pm: Ezio takes the dog for the last walk of the day, I wash the dishes and then we go to sleep.

This is a typical Monday of mine, it's different from other days, every day is different and has its own purpose and schedule. Ah, speaking of schedule, try to not stress yourself with very tight deadlines, set actually respectable times.

Read also: Reuse/Upcycle: From Old Jeans To New Pants [ Sewing ]


There's another piece of advice I'd like to give you: don't be angry if you can't slow down as you would like. Not evey day can be slow, at least as far as I'm concerned and not every day can be calm. There are times when I still feel stressed and I feel like everything is going wrong, but it's natural, we're human, it would be strange if it were the other way around! The important thing is not to give up at the first difficulties and always have faith in oneself and in the process, in the path that you have decided to undertake. Life will never slow down by itself, we have to slow it down, but it's a process, it doesn't happen suddenly.


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