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How to Lead a Slow Life in The City Without Quitting Your Job - Find Your Slow

How to Lead a Slow Life in The City Without Quitting Your Job

I've heard this time and again: "I want to lead a slow life but I can't quit my job, what can I do?" Short of uprooting yourself and moving your entire being from the fast paced city to the sedentary island off the coast of Italy, there are in fact, little tidbits you can sprinkle around to boost your daily happiness.

I've toyed with the idea myself, to be frank with you, but knowing me, once I get to the laid back island/farm/countryside life—if it even were to remotely happen—I would start getting that "life itch" again and yearn for something with more bustle.

That's when I realised that living a slower life in the city requires a certain amount of intention, and it starts from within. You need the strength to follow through what you identify needs to change and be done. You also must be sure that living a slower life is what you actually want.

If you:

  • are always on the lookout for the next luxury item to buy and complete your outfit
  • are never satisfied with what you already have
  • are always wanting more
  • are working tirelessly towards the next career promotion no matter what it takes (hello burnout and goodbye genuine social life)
  • tie your worth to your social status
  • can't appreciate the small things in life

then slow living isn't for you.

But if you (or are ready to):

  • are thankful for little moments in your day
  • truly wish for a slower pace day-to-day
  • want to work for something more meaningful
  • want to be only around people who vibe with you
  • know what you don't want and are able to say no to them
  • protect yourself, your energy, your mental health

then read on to find out more.

1) Set Boundaries.

Establish clear working hours and tasks. If it's a 9-6, it stays a 9-6. No weekends. No emails after work hours. Say no to additional work commitments that don't add anything to your bottom line. You don't need to volunteer for that fun committee. It matters more that the actual work you put in results in tangible results for your boss' business.

Go on a digital detox if you need. That means setting aside time in your day to respond to messages or emails. You don't have to be reachable to everyone and anyone at all times of the day. Be comfortable enough to put your phone in a different room from you. I feel that I'm quite good at this, if I may say so myself. Sometimes, I even have no idea where my phone is and have to get my husband to give me a call in order for me to locate it!

Learn to say no. This applies to everything from work to social situations outside of work. If you don't feel like attending a gathering with your high school classmates (for whatever reason), just don't go. If you don't want alcohol at a dinner, just decline when offered (People who respect you will be fine with it, and those who insist, well, you know who not to hang out with next time). If you're not comfortable going to a particular gym or bar, or hanging out with certain people, just don't. You have permission to say no, remember that.

2) Reclaim your time.

"Self care is a great way to remind yourself that you matter. Take care of you."

Delegate or outsource tasks. All successful entrepreneurs and mums know and practise this. By delegating the menial, routine tasks like dish washing, cleaning and even sending quick emails, it frees up your time for more meaningful matters. If ordering your groceries to be delivered saves you hours (from travelling, queueing, getting slowed down by crowds etc.), then by all means, do that.

Spend time in nature. Grounding works. I'm living proof of that. Whenever I feel stressed and just need a quick break, I head to the beach or take a walk outdoors. I listen to the birds chirping and the leaves rustling in the wind. I go in the waters if I can and feel the sea washing my worries away. When you see how big the world is outside of your head, your problems really will seem that small.

When you start saying no to things and save time by outsourcing your tasks, you now have time to focus on yourself. What are some activities you would like to do? Any hobbies you'd like to pick up? Any books you'd like to read? Perhaps now you'll have time for a regular, proper hair cut at a salon? How about a weekly 30-min exercise at home or float tank meditation? Self care is a great way to remind yourself that you matter. Take care of you.

3) Shift your perspective.

Reframe your mind to focus on the present moment. Put aside distractions when you're with others, and give them your full attention. Engage in meaningful conversations and contribute wholeheartedly to discourse. When you're introduced to someone new, make an effort to remember their names (I find that repeating it out loud helps). When you're cutting fruits for dinner, think about how you'd like to cut them so it's easy for sharing from the main platter. The important thing is to make each moment count—if it doesn't count, then why the heck are you even there?

Start being grateful. Enjoy the little things. It's true, that the best things in life are the littlest ones. Oftentimes, they are also free. Sunrises that look like sunsets, rain that blesses the trees, the laughter of your children, the air that gives you life, and yes, even your job that gives you a salary to live on (bonus if it includes insurance). So often do we focus on our stressors that we forget our miracles.

These are just some tips of mine that have helped me on my slow living journey. It's not a long list but these actions, when practised regularly, are impactful and life changing, and I truly wish the same for you.

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