5 Simple Ways To Slow Down

Having instant access to everyone and everything in our lives via cell phones and computers has certainly made life convenient, but it has also sped up the pace of our lives.

We brag how we can multi-task and instantly get directions to any place we want to go, and are happy that we can keep up with our loved ones via text message even when we are apart.

Most of us are so plugged in all the time that it has become second nature. When we can’t get the information we need instantly, we often lose our patience because things seem to be moving “too slowly.”

This hit me over Memorial Day weekend when I realized that I am one of the biggest supporters (and addicts) of this instant access. And, as someone who writes about the need to reconnect to nature, to gardening, and to our food. I feel a bit hypocritical and think that I am not “walking the walk.”

So over the holiday, I decided to just do nothing and slow down, and sat under a tree and read for two hours, something I haven’t allowed myself to do in over a year.

I always say I am “too busy,” and am always working, volunteering, cleaning, or doing chores. Ironically, I am writing about the healing power of nature and not enjoying it myself. I even find trying to be diligent about being organic and sustainable keeps me going at high speed to keep up with what I “should” be doing.

When I look at the groups that I support, I also notice the irony.  For example, the very name Slow Food, should be an indicator that I need to look at my life and slow it down.

Enjoying the simple pleasure of food is something that can be applied to other areas of our lives. I came up with some ways that I am trying to slow down so that I can enjoy the process of life more, not just the end results.

Take time to relax every day. It doesn’t have to be for hours at a time. Even 5 or 10 minute “mini-breaks” spread out over the course of the day can make a big difference. Just stop and take a deep breath, take a look at the trees and flowers in the garden and just be conscious and aware of things around you. I am also focusing on taking a bigger relaxation break at least once a week by going to observe nature at a local garden or park.

Try to only focus on one thing,  and only do one thing at a time. I am working on this by telling myself, “You do not have to always multi-task, focus on the thing you are doing so it will be the best it can be.”  This will result in a better product if it is work related, and better quality of time and the experience if it is not work-related.

Schedule “slow time” on your calendar every week. This one is something I think will make a big difference to my daily life. I always feel like I should be doing something productive. If make it an appointment like I would for anything else, I will be more likely to stick to it and give it the same seriousness I give to any other meeting.

Spend some time alone to reflect and renew by doing the things that rejuvenate and relax you. For me, these are things like listening to music, taking a long, hot bubble bath and reading.

Eat slowly. This is another place where I feel so hypocritical. I am often so busy during the day that I don’t even take the time to sit down and eat and don’t always notice the great taste of my own homegrown produce. Slowing down not only lets you enjoy your food, but, is healthier because it improves digestion. If you are enjoying your food and notice what you are eating, the flavors, the textures and the fragrances, it will also help you to stop thinking about all the other things you need to do next and just relax and enjoy your meal.

There are countless other ways to go slow and to join the “slow movement.” Why not use that ever-present connectedness and check them out. Or, you could try doing it the old-fashioned way and check out Carl Honore’s best selling book In Praise of Slowness.


Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn1 years ago

slow down

Emma S.
Emma S.4 years ago

Ha ha! Reading under a tree - that's getting your nature fix and catching up with some reading at the same time ... multi-tasking? But I think, if it ever stops raining, I may well do the same thing - making sure I leave my mobile phone at home!

Fadia C.
Fadia C.5 years ago

thank you for this advice

Jill W.
Jill W.6 years ago

Wonderful advice! Thank you!

Rika B.
Rika S.6 years ago

I really needed and article like that. It's horrible that society and even ourselves ask for being always doing things fast, efficiently and non-stop; and the worst thing is that when you stop doing it you actually feel guilty! Terrible. That's why I often enjoy a little time without thinking about my duties and just relaxing staring at life and little daily thing, and of course spending time with my dog in my garden! ^^

Debra Van Way
Debra Van Way6 years ago

Multi-task should really be a four letter word and not a polite one. Staying on that train can literally kill you. I don't own a cell phone or even an answering machine. The closest I come to multi-tasking is playing with my cat when he feels the "need" to help me weed a flower bed. My life used to be a constant pulling in way too many directions-get this work project done in half the time it should take, trying to do 10 things at once, doing more and more until I realized my life was becoming nothing but a blur. Now I work from home on my schedule on one thing at a time. I am shedding "stuff" that only clutters up my life. Leading a simple life is so much more fulfilling. I appreciate life and every second of it. Now life is worth savoring.

Laura Sierra
Laura Sierra6 years ago

mea culpa , mea culpa...

Bente S.
Bente S.6 years ago


Alicia N.
Alicia N.6 years ago

It has been a little over a month since I decided not to be listening to the radio when driving to work, why ? I don't know but I concentrate in all the sounds around me, it's awesome!!

Jewels S.
Jewels S.6 years ago

I wasn't taking my breaks at work but now I just walk around the block and go back. It is helping a little. I definitely need more nature!