What is slow living? And why am I transitioning?
What’s the first thing you reach for in the morning? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably your phone because it’s also your alarm clock…lol. After that do you check your email and social media accounts? *sheepish grin* Yeah, me too…
When I think about my ideal morning routine, spending an hour checking my phone is never at the top of my list. Is it on yours? I don’t know about you, but this is a habit I am actively trying to break. I never mean for it to take that long, but we all know that scrolling has a funny way of warping time.
So, what’s a girl to do? I decided to order an alarm clock and store my phone in the kitchen, next to the coffee. (Habit stacking for the win!) But yeah, it totally happened. I went analog! I mean, I AM an 80’s baby after all.
So, while perusing the thousands of alarm clocks on Amazon, (howwwww are there so many different iterations of the same basic design?), I started thinking about what I needed the alarm clock to do vs. the features it offered. Did I need it to sound like an emergency siren? No, the answer was definitely no. How about a gentle wakeup with light and nature sounds? Fat chance, also…kind of weird. Did I need it to tell me the temp and humidity? Connect via Bluetooth to every other tech gadget I own? Talk to Alexa? Project the time into the air? Double as an infuser? All also no.
All I needed it to do was wake me up, but finding one that performed that solo function was actually kinda hard. #overwhelm
Picking out a simple alarm clock got me thinking a lot about slow living. I am fortunate enough to remember a world without all this tech…without Bluetooth features, stat tracking, algorithms, and hyperconnectivity. And while I am grateful for the advances we have made, there’s a deeper part of me that yearns for the way things were. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna wax nostalgic over the 90’s…I do not want my pager back nor do I want to deal with AOL and dialup. But I do want to slow down…just a bit.
Unplug. Disconnect. Stop tracking. Start engaging in a more meaningful way.
The world is (still) caught in the middle of a pandemic and if I thought my digital consumption was at the high end before, I have broken the ceiling these last few months. News story after news story of strange, shocking, and disturbing events. (C’mon 2020, what else could you POSSIBLY throw at us???) Packed feeds, stories, reels, and nonstop chatter about how you should be using this time to: lose weight, start a business, build your business, learn a hobby, be an influencer, organize your house, homeschool your kids, bake your own bread, start a garden, ahhhhh…..the list goes on and on.
I’m here to tell you it’s ok to do none of those things. It is completely okay to pause and reflect without feeling guilty.
We are currently programmed to go, go, go and as such, we often feel like we don’t have enough time because we truly don’t. Every spare second is filled with playing games, scrolling through posts, or watching videos. We literally have no spare time and guess what, time is a nonrenewable, finite resource. Once it’s spent, we can’t get it back!
Our brains need to relax in order to grow. We cannot develop new neural pathways if our minds are constantly engaged. Innovation and inspiration come to us when we allow ourselves to rest. I firmly believe that we need to have some downtime in order to be healthy.
So this brings me back to my alarm clock situation, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should. Pair down to what is essential, and gauge how comfortable you are. Do you need more than you have or do you merely want more?
Slow living is about pulling back from our fast-paced world and acknowledging that just because something can be done quickly, doesn’t necessarily mean that it should. Just because something offers hyper-connectivity and an array of techno features, doesn’t mean that you need them.
Schedule some task-free time and see what happens! Yup. You read that right. Put it on the calendar and have a date with yourself. Block off 30 minutes to start. Turn off Netflix (I mean, you finished it already, right?? lol), put on some tunes, and just sit with yourself for a while. This isn’t a meditation exercise, you can gravitate toward what’s calling you: doodling, journaling, reading (a physical book). But the point is to disengage from technology during the time block.
How did it make you feel? Did the unscheduled time feel luxurious? Or did you feel anxious because you felt like you were wasting your time?
By consciously choosing to live more slowly, you are recognizing that time is precious and should be protected and cherished. Remember, busyness is just that, being busy.