Embrace Slow Living Through Hobbies
Written by Diana Vicheva
Have you ever been on the verge of burnout? When each day comes with tight deadlines, appointments and obligations, not to mention the constant noise of social media, peer pressure and high self-expectations, most people end up exhausted, with no time to enjoy the rewards of their hard work. The antidote is called slow living and it might be just what you need to feel calm and content once again.
Slow living is closely related to the Italian slow food movement, which originated in the late 80s to rekindle interest in traditional cooking and regional dishes. The initialism SLOW stands for sustainable, local, organic, whole, and is used to convey important aspects of slow living. This lifestyle celebrates simplicity, mindfulness and self-reflection, the ability to be in the present moment and savour the little things instead of living a preoccupied life in the fast lane.
If being busy all the time is second nature to you, it could take some time to adjust to a slower-paced life. One of the easiest and anxiety-free ways to approach it is through a hobby.
There is something comforting about cooking from scratch, especially if you’re using a handwritten family cookbook or a recipe you learned from your mother and already know by heart. Whether you prefer traditional dishes or experiment with new techniques, flavours and ingredients, cooking is one of the hobbies that effectively take your mind away from the issues that are causing you stress. As a mindful activity, it improves concentration, invigorates the senses (just imagine the aroma of freshly sliced green herbs or bread still in the oven) and gives you control – you’re the one who decides what goes into your meals. Choosing local fresh produce or growing your own fruit and veggies contributes to a healthier, more sustainable life.
Gardening is a fulfilling hobby that motivates you to spend more time outside, connect with nature and benefit from some light physical exercise. There’s always something to do in a garden – planting, mulching, composting, weeding, watering, harvesting… But you can also sit down and write in your garden journal or rest your eyes on the green foliage and feel its soothing and calming effect.
Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can still set up a mini garden on your balcony or windowsill, and enjoy the gratifying experience of growing flowers, herbs and spices. Research which plants are suitable for your home, and make sure you take care of their specific needs. If you don’t feel confident in your gardening skills, start with low-maintenance plants.
Music is so versatile that it is usually played in the background while we work, study, read, exercise, drive, clean the house, dine with friends… But if you give it your full attention, music will resonate with your soul.
Go to a concert and experience the unique vibe of live performance, sing (or applause, depending on the concert) in unison with the rest of the audience and make memories you’ll be glad to revisit.
Dive into the good old analogue era by listening to a vinyl record from start to finish, uninterrupted by annoying ads. Yes, streaming services are just a click away, while vinyl requires some effort, but this is part of its charm. Everything about vinyl – browsing through your collection, selecting a record, removing it from its sleeve, placing it on the turntable, setting the needle and delighting in the warm, rich sound – requires patience and care, which makes it a perfect slow-living experience.
The recreational, serene nature of bird watching (also known as birding) makes this outdoor activity an excellent stress reliever. Being accessible and affordable, this hobby is growing in popularity among nearly all age groups. Birds are everywhere – you can watch them by yourself in your backyard, in the park or you could join a group and participate in guided tours and birding excursions.
Bird watching allows you to take your time, calm your thoughts and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds that surround you. The joy of observing birds in their natural environment, feeding them and listening to their distinctive songs is enough to pick up this hobby, but it’s also an opportunity to learn more about wildlife and sustainability. Bird watching often inspires hobbyists to get involved in habitat conservation and to make a difference.
Other hobbies that will help you to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures:
- Yoga and meditation
- Crossword puzzles
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Leisure walking
These are just a few hobby ideas to get you into slow living – would you pick up one of them or rather add something else to the list? Which meaningful hobby brings you joy and makes you forget about everything?
Embrace Slow Living Through Hobbies Embrace Slow Living Through Hobbies