27 Simple Tips to Practice a Slow Living Lifestyle

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Today’s fast-paced world can be hectic and stressful, there’s no two ways about it.

From a young age, many of us are wired to do more, faster. This is great for productivity at school and in the workplace, but not so great for our nervous systems.

In fact, always operating at this fast pace is a recipe for stress, burnout, and anxiety. So it’s no wonder many people are rebelling against this way of modern living and looking for simple ways to slow down and invite more ease into their lives.

Enter the slow living lifestyle.

In this blog post, I’ll be breaking down the concept of the slow living lifestyle, and 27 simple and practical tips that you can use to invite more slowness into your life, no matter your responsibilities.

From mindful practices to mindful consumption, these tips are here to inspire you to live more intentionally and foster more gratitude for life’s simple joys. Let’s get into it.

27 slow living tips to live a slower paced lifestyle

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The concept of slow living

The concept of slow living, sometimes referred to as “the slow moment”, was created as an antidote to the fast-paced and stressful nature of modern life.

It’s a philosophy and lifestyle choice that encourages people to slow down, practice mindfulness, and savour the present moment. Take it as a kind of “quality over quantity” approach, that prioritises authenticity and the richness of experiences, rather than hyper-productivity and how much you can squeeze into your day.

Many times, slow living might be misunderstood as being lazy or unproductive. But in actual fact, productivity can be achieved more sustainably by focusing on your top priorities and avoiding burnout.

In a lot of ways, it asks you to redefine what it means to be productive and challenge the constant need to be busy to feel a sense of accomplishment or self-worth. 

Key principles of the slow living lifestyle are:

  • Mindfulness: being present in the moment and living in the now, rather than focusing too much on the past or the future
  • Intentional living: being intentional about how you spend your time and energy, and making choices that align with your values and priorities
  • Simplicity: simplifying life and reducing consumption, letting go of anything that is more than what you need and love
  • Connection: prioritising meaningful relationships, quality time, and community
  • Balance: cultivating a healthy balance between your priorities, including work-life balance, time in solitude, time with community, and hobbies
  • Nature: spending time at one with nature, unplugging from technology to just be
  • Reflection: allowing space for self-reflection, introspection, and contemplation to grow and become a richer version of yourself
  • Gratitude: appreciating what you have and cultivating joy for the simple pleasures of life, without always needing to seek the next best thing
close up of woman's feet up on the couch, living slowly reading "women who run with wolves"

The benefits of slow living

There are advantages to practicing a slower way of life.

Here are some key benefits that may make you consider embracing a slow living lifestyle:

  • Reduced stress: slowing down and simplifying your life can help to reduce stress and anxiety, bringing more balance to your nervous system and taking you out of chronic fight or flight
  • Improved wellbeing and mental health: taking time for self-care, mindful hobbies, and nurturing relationships can lead to greater life satisfaction and contentment
  • More meaningful relationships: by letting go of relationships and obligations that don’t fill you up, you can prioritise nurturing your more meaningful connections and strengthen the bonds that matter most
  • Increased productivity: despite what many people may think, slowing down and focusing on one task at a time can actually boost productivity and move you closer to your goals
  • More presence and gratitude: slowing down allows you to be more present in your life and notice more simple joys, allowing you to cultivate a sense of gratitude for your life
  • Better sleep: by bringing balance to your nervous system by slowing down, spending more time in nature, and relying less on technology, you can help restore your circadian rhythm and get a deeper, more restorative sleep which is more supportive of your physical health
  • More creativity: slowing down gives your mind the space it needs to be creative and come up with new ideas, so a slow living lifestyle is particularly helpful for those in creative jobs
  • Less consumerism: by consuming less and practicing simplicity and minimalism you can not only feel more content with what you’ve got, but you can also have a positive impact on your finances and improve your environmental impact
  • Healthier eating habits: slow living encourages healthy eating habits like making meals from scratch, and eating slowly and mindfully, and can even help you bring more awareness to your hunger cues and sense of fullness
  • Deeper sense of purpose: living more authentically and in alignment with your values can lead to living life with a deeper sense of purpose that guides you forward and makes you feel more fulfilled
key benefits of slow living

27 simple tips to practice a slow living lifestyle

So, as you can see, there are plenty of benefits to practicing a slow living lifestyle.

The thing is, benefits aside, many people will be intimidated by the practice of slow living because they think they have to give everything up and completely overhaul their lives. But this isn’t true!

Even small changes can have profound effects, and inviting more slowness into your daily routine in any capacity is going to have a positive benefit.

So, with that being said, here are 27 simple tips to practice a slower lifestyle that you can experiment with, no matter how busy you are. 

Rather than looking for the ones that you can’t do, try and keep an open mind and explore the ways that you might be able to try some of these tips in your own life. Your nervous system will thank you for it!

1. Prioritise non-negotiable self-care practices

Make time for activities that fill up your cup, whether that’s taking a bath, reading, or practicing yoga.

Reframe your mindset and create non-negotiables that you aim to practice every single day. These should be more important than any other task on your to-do list.

2. Disconnect from technology

Set aside dedicated periods in your day where you will disconnect from technology and be present. This is especially important first thing in the morning and before bed.

I like to have a “no phone before 9 am” rule, which encourages me to enter my day slowly rather than immediately overwhelming my nervous system with information. Some people like to have a “no phone in the bedroom” rule so that the bedroom is a sacred space to relax in.

3. Limit social media use

Be mindful and intentional about your social media use, and avoid scrolling just for the sake of it. Depending on what you do for work, you might be able to set yourself the goal of not using social media at all during the workday.

It can also be helpful to give yourself a window of time where you give yourself permission to use social media guilt-free, with the condition that you will come off it after X amount of time.

Many apps and operating systems allow you to set limits that alert you when you’ve reached your max time too. The key is to never ignore/override these limits though, because once you do they will lose all of their power!

4. Simplify your schedule

When it comes to planning out your schedule, be conscious and mindful of how much you’re taking on. See if you can let go of or delegate anything that doesn’t need to be done by you, or doesn’t align with your values.

It’s also a good idea not to book things back-to-back, which can easily lead to overwhelm and the need to rush. Instead, leave gaps in your schedule to allow time for spontaneity, changes of plans, and things taking longer than anticipated.

simple minimalist image of a book titled "less" with a pink mug

5. Limit multitasking

Did you know that the human brain actually cannot multitask? What actually happens when we have multiple tasks on the go is we quickly switch our attention from one thing to the other, which leads to more quickly fatiguing our attention spans and is horrible for long-term productivity!

So instead, try to engage in the practice of focusing your attention solely on the task at hand, one at a time. Developing this habit will help you to be more productive and less overwhelmed. This is all about working smarter, not harder – allowing you to get more done in less time, with less stress.

6. Schedule in work breaks

While focusing on one thing at a time is part of the puzzle, you also don’t want to fall into the trap of immediately jumping into the next task once you’ve completed the last one. Frantically flying through your to-do list will only lead to you feeling completely wiped out by the end of the day or week.

A good slow living tip for this is to schedule work breaks into your day – at least 5 minutes break every 90 minutes is a good rule of thumb. Just make sure you use this time to be mindful and focus on slowing down your breathing, not scrolling through your phone!

7. Create a nourishing morning routine

If you have a hectic work schedule that you have little control over, a good thing to focus on is slowing down in the moments that you can. For many people, this is the mornings.

You might need to get up a little earlier, but dedicating at least an hour in the morning to a slow routine that nourishes you will make a world of difference going into the rest of your day.

8. Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing awareness to the present moment, without judgement, and it’s been in countless studies to have stress-relieving effects.

And the thing is, the more you practice, the more you rewire your brain to default to a slower and more present way of being. So prioritising mindfulness might just be one of the best slow living lifestyle tips I can give you!

Related post: 51 Powerful Mindfulness Journal Prompts for Self-Awareness

simple close up image of wheat fields in nature

9. Get outdoors

Get outdoors more – ideally 20 minutes a day! Studies have shown that more time in nature is beneficial for our wellbeing, so it’s a good idea to prioritise it.

Nature is also a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness because there are so many enriching sights, sounds, and smells in the natural environment. This will naturally help to bring more slowness and calm to your nervous system.

10. Declutter your environment

Tidy environment, tidy mind. The more unnecessary and unfulfilling things you have in your environment, the more your brain has to process.

This doesn’t mean you have to live in an empty house, but it’s a good idea to declutter your space from anything that doesn’t serve a purpose or light you up. This book is great for this.

11. Slow down mealtimes

Mealtimes are one of the most important times to practice living slowly because doing so can improve your digestion and your gut health, which is critical for the health of the rest of your body!

If you’re someone who frequently eats at your desk, reaches for fast food, or eats quickly to get to your next task… this is something to be mindful of.

Instead, use mealtimes as an opportunity to slow down and check in with your body. Focus on cooking nourishing meals from scratch, and connecting with loved ones or yourself while you eat them.

12. Learn to say no

A barrier to living a slower paced life is not being able to set boundaries and say no when necessary. Like many other practices, this is a skill that gets better the more you do it. 

Familiarise yourself with what your priorities are and learn to say no to anything that doesn’t align. This will allow you to take less on and live a slower paced life as a result.

13. Practice gratitude

When you first start living more slowly you might feel bored, and this is normal. With the fast pace of modern society, we’re out of touch with the present moment and the joy that it can bring.

Practicing gratitude journaling can help you bring focus to the little things and train your mind to feel appreciation and contentment for life’s simple pleasures. This will help you to feel more fulfilled over time, without the need for constant new and exciting experiences!

close up of woman smiling with hands on heart feeling grateful

14. Embrace slow hobbies

Finding slow meaningful hobbies that you love is a great way to help slow down the mind and bring some satisfaction to your life. Some great examples are activities like gardening, painting, or knitting which all encourage mindfulness and creativity. 

It’s also a good idea to try and replace unhealthy habits with healthier activities. For example, reaching for a book rather than mindlessly scrolling social media.

15. Embrace silence

Many of us are uncomfortable with silence, so the second we actually have space to breathe and be mindful we try and fill it and busy our minds instead!

I used to be someone who couldn’t go on a walk without listening to music or a podcast because I felt bored and restless and wanted to distract my mind. I now prioritise going on a morning walk with no other distractions, and I simply listen and pay attention to the sights and sounds of nature. Time like this is so important for allowing your mind space to wander and reflect.

16. Practice slow movement

On a similar note, I unconsciously used to walk as fast as my legs possibly could, because I was anxious to get to the next thing. This meant that my walks were never actually nourishing and restorative.

I really had to make it an intentional practice to slow down my walking and be mindful of my movement, and my walks became so much more enjoyable as a result.

You could also explore other forms of slow mindful movement, like yoga or tai chi, which encourage you to be in the present moment with your body.

17. Focus on quality over quantity

“Quality over quantity” is a good mantra to keep in mind when exploring a slow living lifestyle. So is “less is more”.

Bringing mantras like this to mind when you’re drawn towards living in excess can help to recenter yourself and remember what’s valuable.

neon sign which says less is more

18. Focus on active listening

Being present in our social interactions makes them so much more fulfilling and enriching, but it’s not uncommon to be in the habit of being in your head rather than truly engaged in conversation.

Use your social interactions as an opportunity to practice active and mindful listening, as well as speaking from a mindful and intentional place. 

19. Practice self-compassion

Transitioning to a slower pace of life requires self-compassion because you’ll likely run into self-critical thoughts that you’re being lazy or unproductive when you’re taking time to rest.

Building up your capacity for self-compassion can help you to unapologetically live a slower life, despite any perfectionistic tendencies you may have.

20. Savour simple pleasures

When you notice something pleasurable, really take the time to bask in the beauty of how this makes you feel before moving on to the next thing. For example, stopping to watch the sunset change, or noticing the sensations of sipping your favourite hot drink.

By cherishing moments like these, you can cultivate more joy every day while living a slow pace of life.

21. Embrace your commute

You might be tempted to use your commute to work to check your emails or get stuff done, but is there a slower way to use it to fill up your cup instead?

Whether it’s reading a book, meditating, or simply noticing the sights and sounds around you, you can bring more mindful presence to your commute and recharge before or after a busy day.

22. Take the slow lane

Slow travel invites you to let go of the rush when it comes to reaching a destination, and instead embrace the journey there. If you often find yourself growing impatient while driving and stressed by traffic, you might wish to explore ways to get from A to B more slowly and intentionally. 

By leaving earlier, you can give your nervous system the grace of driving at a steady pace in the slow lane, rather than constantly seeking ways to overtake and rush to your destination.

You might also choose to take a scenic route rather than the highway, allowing you the opportunity to see more of nature.

slow living scenic route

23. Schedule time for reflection

Self reflection is such a fundamental part of personal growth and development, but if you’re constantly filling up your time with other things then you’re not allowing yourself the benefits of true reflection.

One of my favourite ways to prioritise this is to schedule time for journaling into my day. This allows me to process feelings, reflect on experiences, and move forward a little lighter.

24. Create a bedtime ritual

It’s a big ask to live a fast-paced lifestyle and then expect your body to just switch off before bed. More often than not, we need to unwind and decompress before our bodies are capable of getting adequate rest.

Create a bedtime ritual full of things that help you relax after a busy day, like having a bath, reading, or yoga nidra. This will help you to wake up feeling more refreshed, making you more productive in the long run!

25. Set clear work-life boundaries

Setting clear boundaries between your work life and your home life is necessary to ensure your mind isn’t using vital resources when it’s not truly needed. It’s a good idea to set a time that you won’t check emails past, or even have conversations about work.

If you work from home, this might also mean having a dedicated space to work and not working in the spaces you use to relax.

26. Read slow living books

Changing your mindset is often the first step to creating a slow lifestyle. Books on this topic can help you to cultivate a slow living mindset, which can go a long way to helping you to let go of hustle culture and the fast pace of modern life.

Seeking Slow is one such book that teaches you how to implement the art of slow living in order to reconnect with yourself, your family, and your surroundings.

27. Make your own rules

The fundamental part of living life more slowly is that you get to make the rules!

Slow living is about discovering your own unique values and priorities and living in a way that is sustainable for your unique mind, body, and soul. 

This means you get to decide your limits and go at your own pace. Explore different ways of inviting slowness into your life and see what does and doesn’t work for you. This is how you can begin to truly create a lifestyle that feels fulfilling.

And remember, slow living isn’t about making huge changes overnight; it’s about taking small, intentional steps to create space for self-care, genuine connections, and meaningful experiences.

So, take a deep breath, let go of society’s expectations, and start living for you.

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And don’t forget to pin this post for later!

slow living lifestyle tips

Esther is the founder of Through the Phases. Her mission is to help other women to cultivate self-awareness and find what lights them up, so that they can more easily navigate the stressors of life! She does this through sharing healthy mind/body/soul practices and habits. Read more about her story here.


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