Slow Your Roll: The Ultimate Guide To A Slow Living Lifestyle

slow living guide


People don’t talk about slow living as much as they talk about minimalism, so sometimes it feels like a well-kept secret that I actually can’t wait to share.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I love sharing slow living advice because it’s a lifestyle that has worked wonders for me, changing how I live and improving the quality of my daily routine. Slow living continually helps me to lead a meaningful, satisfying, and mindful life whether I’m working, relaxing, or spending time with friends..

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Embracing a slower way of living has enabled me to be a minimalist and a homesteader (as well as live in a tiny home), so I love writing about the slow movement and lifestyle in the hope that it will enable others to live the lives they dream about too.

My slow living lifestyle has opened up room in my life for me to keep my values, priorities, and relationships where they belong — at the center of everything I do. That allows me, more than anything, to live true to myself.

What Is The Slow Living Movement?

What Is The Slow Living Movement

The Slow Living Movement is a movement designed quite literally to help people slow down and purposefully choose a simple lifestyle that supports their own happiness rather than frantically joining the rat race or trying to keep up with the Jones.

Slow Living Helps You Choose

  • Fulfillment over accumulation
  • Sustainability over mass-production
  • Mindfulness over multitasking
  • Intentionality over busyness
slow living helps you choose mindfulness over multitasking

Slow living encourages simplifying and slowing down your life, not for the sake of being slow, but so you can actually enjoy your life, develop meaningful relationships, work a job that nurtures your values and ideals, and lead a healthier lifestyle more in touch with nature, with yourself, and with the people around you.

Slow Living Is About Living Simply

You can’t focus on the stuff that really matters if your life is filled to overflowing with unnecessary things and events. What would happen if you let some things go, opening up more space and peace in your home?

What’s the worst that could happen if you say “no” to adding another obligation to your schedule? I’m not telling you to completely ditch your social life, but learning when to say “no” is huge in helping you achieve the calm, peaceful life that you crave.

Leo Babauta

“Doing a huge number of things doesn’t mean you’re getting anything meaningful done.”

– Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

Slow Living Is Sustainable

From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, slow living encourages sustainability. Some people (myself included) choose to be as self-sustainable as possible through homesteading and living tiny. Others choose to support companies that use eco-friendly materials and reject the waste of mass production. And still others do the best they can with what they have and what they can afford.

It’s all about the perspective shift, really. There’s nothing cookie-cutter about living slow.

slow food movement

A Slow Life Is An Intentional Life

From choosing where to shop based on ethics and sustainability to deciding not to blindly accumulate stuff or accept obligations, living slowly means choosing (in advance and on purpose) how you will spend your life. Your time and money can provide you with a peaceful home, quality memories, and an enjoyable lifestyle, but only if you use them intentionally.

intentional living

What Are The Benefits Of Slow Living?

What Are The Benefits Of Slow Living

The benefits of a slow-living lifestyle are, quite honestly, too numerous to name. But I’ll tell you about a few big ones that I personally experience in my daily life.

Erin Loechner

“There is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow.”

– Erin Loechner,

Benefits of Slow Living

A Slow Living Lifestyle Gives You More Time

Remember how I mentioned slow living is about simplifying your stuff and your schedule? One of the rewards for putting in the effort to simplify is having more time and space to spend on what matters most to you.

Before adopting a slower lifestyle, I struggled with always feeling behind. No matter how quickly I rushed through tasks, I never managed to feel like I was “caught up.” What I finally realized with a slower lifestyle is that catching up is overrated. With fewer things taking up my time and fewer belongings to keep clean and tidy, I have time to truly live.

Living Slowly Allows You To Be More Present And Aware

As you begin simplifying your lifestyle and living more intentionally, you will find more room opening up in your mind and your schedule to live fully in the present. You’ll be more aware of your health and diet, more tuned into the needs of your loved ones, and more available for the important stuff.

Slowing Down Leads To More Meaningful Relationships

With more time and a greater degree of mindfulness comes deeper, stronger, more satisfying relationships. Nobody wants to confide in someone who is perpetually busy and distracted.

When you have more time, you aren’t as stingy with the moments you spend with your loved ones, and when you’re more present and aware of their feelings and words, you will be a better friend all while making better friends for yourself.

are minimalists really happier

Slow Living Reduces Environmental Impact

Slow living’s focus on simplicity and sustainability has made me a less materialistic person. I no longer want to accumulate a lot of things for the sake of owning them, so I’m choosier about what I spend my money on. This means I don’t waste as much food, clothing, or other household stuff because I’m more careful about buying it in the first place.

Slow Living Values Help You Lead A Meaningful, Fulfilled Life

Let’s face it. All of the intentional, simple, and sustainable things you do don’t mean anything if they don’t add up to a life of enjoyment. That’s the end goal of slow living — being able to smell the roses. Isn’t that what each one of us is searching for, ultimately? An enjoyable life of happiness, meaning, fulfillment, and joy?

For me, that life comes from a less (but better), peaceful (not overflowing), present (not stressful) lifestyle. But keep the main thing here is to experiment. Figure out what works for you and brings you joy.

Kathy Gottberg

“Real luxury is not working like a maniac to take an expensive vacation — it is living a life you enjoy every day.”

– Kathy Gottberg,

Transforming Your Lifestyle With Slow Living

Transforming Your Lifestyle With Slow Living

Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you that slow living is worth the lifestyle change, let’s talk about the practical ways you can slow down your way of doing everything from eating and dressing to working and spending.

Savor Every Bite: The Slow Food Movement

We owe the concept of slow living as a whole to the start of the Slow Food Movement in the 1980s. Slow Food encourages a wholesome, locally sourced, seasonal way of eating that goes against the convenient, overly processed food readily available.

Like any aspect of slow living, eating slow looks different for everyone based on your location, time, and budget constraints, but some popular options for slow foodies (like myself) are gardening, homesteading, and frequenting farmer’s markets.

slow food

Slow Fashion: Practical Benefits And Effortless Style

Once Slow Food started people thinking about how to slow down their overall lifestyles, slow fashion became another important movement for those desiring a sustainable, less wasteful, and more personalized way of producing, choosing, and wearing clothing.

As a minimalist with a small wardrobe (really, it’s a minimalist uniform), choosing pricier clothing that is made ethically and sustainably isn’t a financial burden for me because I don’t purchase much clothing. But for some people, slow fashion means thrifting or creating a capsule wardrobe.

slow fashion

Dreams Over Deadlines: Slow Living Jobs That Work For You

One of the most important aspects of slow living, in my opinion, is finding employment that fits smoothly into your slow lifestyle and aligns with your values. Your job is a huge part of your life, and it shouldn’t be sectioned off into a box called “work life” that’s always overflowing and taking up more and more room in your “actual life.”

I intentionally chose to work toward my dream life instead of a traditional career, and as a result, I get to garden, homestead, and live minimally in a tiny home while making money teaching others about all of my passions.

slow living jobs

Slow Money: Investing In Happiness And Community

Right there with slow living jobs is slow money. I’m not here to give you financial advice, but I do think that slow living changes your perspective on earning, spending, and investing your money.

A job that fits your slow lifestyle might mean earning less but feeling happier. Your efforts at simplifying will pretty quickly lead to slower, more intentional spending. The mindfulness that comes from slow living will help you identify what you truly want from life so you can invest in your own future and happiness.

slow money

How To Know If Slow Living Is Right For You

How To Know If Slow Living Is Right For You

Still not convinced that slow living is all it’s cracked up to be? I get it. Really, I do. Slowing down in our fast-paced world can seem like a pipedream. I encourage you to dig a little deeper and try a few changes in your own life to see if it might not be as far out of reach as it seems. Here are some resources to help you get started.

Savor The Moment With Inspiring Slow Living Quotes

Reading what others have to say about the importance of a slower life will inspire you to evaluate why and how you do what you do. I want you to reap the amazing benefits of slowing down — and so many wise voices, from Henry David Thoreau to Billy Joel to Greg McKeown can help inspire you to get started.

slow living quotes

Practical Slow Living Tips

Getting started is the hardest part of anything new. Thankfully I’ve already gone through the process of shifting to a slower lifestyle and have lots of tips to help you start strong. Developing an intentional morning routine, learning how to say “no,” and indulging your desire to create are a few tidbits of advice.

slow living tips

Slow Living Books: Great Reads For Living Intentionally

Quotes are good for a pep talk, and tips are great for getting started, but for those of you like me who need a more thorough deep dive into different aspects of slow living — books are a big help.

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite slow living books that can help point you in the right direction such as Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary and The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim.

slow living books

Your Turn!

  • What benefit of slow living would bring the most joy to your life?
  • What could you cut from your life to open up more space for what you really care about?

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