Slow Living – What it is and why we need more of it

what is slow living

Slow living isn’t something many people have time for these days. It almost feels impossible to think that slow living can be a reality in your life. And I mean, if you live a slower life, what are you going to say when people ask how you are?


You know what I’m talking about. We all have conversations that go like this:

How are you?


Many of us have used that answer at one time or another. For some of us it’s the go-to answer when someone asks us how we are. And if we’re honest with ourselves, some of us wear it like a badge of honor. Modern life is pretty rushed for most people.

Imagine if the conversation went like this:

How are you?

Just living my life slowly over here….

It doesn’t really have the same ring to it, does it? Not to mention people will be wondering what the heck you mean. I mean, the busy response they get, but this? What the heck is that?

What is slow living exactly? If you search online you will find a lot of different takes on just what exactly slow living is. It isn’t necessarily the same for everyone.

However, there is one major theme in everyone’s life who is working towards slow living. And that’s the intentional act of slowing down.

It doesn’t mean you clear your schedule completely and never commit to anything. It doesn’t mean you are never busy again (though, I’m sure we’ve all had our moments where we’ve thought how nice that would be.)

So, let’s take a deeper look into what exactly slow living is, and why it may be something you want to add to your life.


Slow living is the act of doing your every day activities at a slower, more intentional pace. We are often rushing all the time. We rush to and from places. We rush through dinner to make it to the next thing on our schedule on time. We rush through our to-do list because it’s just too long.

And I totally get it. I’m SO SO guilty of doing all the above. I’m definitely what you would call a “rusher”. (Is that a word? Because if not, I’m declaring that it is anyways.)

You see, I often feel like I can’t keep up with my to-do list. So I rush. I eat fast. I walk fast. I get everyone ready to go out at the speed of light.

And I’m one of those people who wants it all done with time to spare so I don’t feel stressed. So I stress myself out by trying to give myself time to spare by getting it done as fast as I possibly can.

You can see how much sense that makes, right? 😉

There are two problems with rushing all the time. The first is, I’m bound to mess up. I miss things, I make mistakes, and sometimes the only reason I do is because I’ve been too careless in my state of doing it all so quickly.

The second is that I’m not enjoying the moment. I’m always thinking about the next thing I have to do.

My husband is not a “rusher.” No, he actually knows how to actively slow down his life. He takes his time. He pays close attention to detail. He gets that he needs to give each activity the attention it needs before moving on to the next. He’s okay with not being able to get everything done in a day that he originally planned to.

And that kind of stuff drives a “rusher” crazy.

But you know, he’s got it right. (Don’t tell him I said that.)

There’s beauty, and dare I say it, wisdom in intentionally living your life in a slower way.

To savor each bite in the slow food we took the time to prepare for our family. To soak in the conversation, laughter, and love around the dinner table. To embrace our kids a little longer while we read them a book (and to stop skipping pages. 🙂 )

You don’t need to clear your schedule to participate in slow living. No, slow living is meant to take a look at what is causing you to rush so much in life – to lay the cards of your life on the table – and evaluate what is important to you. To let go of the things that are holding you back from really being intentional about the things in your life you want to spend more time on. The things you want to be able to slow down and really enjoy.

Slow living is also not a type of home decor. It’s not a life off-grid, or a completely empty schedule. It’s not necessarily walking barefoot in the grass, or reading only books like Anne of Green Gables (though, I could totally be happy with that kind of life! :))

You can live a slower life smack dab in the middle of a city, with funky modern home decor, while enjoying your weekly exercise class.

The point of slowing down your life is that whatever you are doing, you are making more time to do them well and not in a rushed state. To soak it all in and not have a life so full you are always thinking of the next thing because you don’t have time to enjoy what you are doing at the time.

It’s about making more time to give what you value in life (whether it be commitments, friendships, family) more attention and doing it to the best of your ability. We can do that a lot better when we haven’t burnt ourselves out.

Personally I’d rather be able to give 100% of myself at just a few different things instead of 10% of myself at 15 different things.

Slow living doesn’t look the same for everyone. Honestly, depending on what season of life you are in it can be impossible to not be busy. I have three young kids that I homeschool. I work from home. We have a small homestead. I am involved in our church. And really, all of that is important to me and necessary.

But I still manage to slow down as much as I am able. We limit the amount of extra-curriculars the kids are involved in and we encourage free play. We also limit the amount of volunteer commitments we make. We want to be able to spend time at home as a family while the kids are still here.

Slow living for us includes slow food to enjoy together as a family. It includes Sunday afternoons that are spent doing nothing after we’ve spent a week of working and home projects. Slow living means we don’t have too many late nights out. It’s moments like the kids and I reading a book out loud together. It’s growing a garden and slowly waiting for the harvest. It’s taking time to preserve our food to enjoy it later. It’s making things like bread and enjoying the process of waiting for the bread to rise.

But your slow living might look quite a bit different. And that is okay. It comes down to taking your time and being intentional in your life.

If you slow down you might notice you aren’t so stressed. You might notice beautiful, amazing things in your life you were missing.

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