Daily life is increasingly fast-paced with more work and life demands plus the mental energy it takes being always connected through our phones and social media. Additionally consumption has sped up and we’ve been seeing an increase in cheap, disposable products over quality and craftsmanship. I don’t think this speed is physically, mentally, or financially healthy and also puts more pressure on our planet and resources.
For years I’ve been working on slowing down different aspects of life, from the food I eat, to my wardrobe, to how I spend my time. Sometimes I’m great at being mindful and intentional, sometimes it’s a challenge, but it’s still been one of the best things I’ve done.
The slow movement really began and grew legs through food. People started realising processed, packaged, and fast food, while convenient, doesn’t nourish our bodies or minds in the same way. I think food has a beautiful ability to connect us to the environment and cultures we live in, and to the people around us through sharing meals.
My approach to slowing down food is to cook meals from scratch whenever possible and try to source whole, healthy ingredients, especially local and organic when I can. For me a perfect evening is cooking dinner together with my husband or friends and sharing the meal together, chatting over drinks into the evening.
Slowing down my approach to food not only means we eat healthier and more sustainably but I also get a lot of enjoyment and accomplishment from cooking, trying new recipes, learning new skills, and making something delicious for myself and others.
This is the area I focus on most with My Green Closet and honestly, slowing down my wardrobe and changing my fast fashion shopping habits has really changed my life. Our clothing has such a far reaching environmental and social impact, from the materials used, to the workers who make the textiles and cut and sew the clothes, to the wearer and how the garment is cared for and disposed of.
Having clothing that you love and can wear for years not only greatly reduces the environmental and ethical impacts of your wardrobe, but can also help you develop your personal style and find more joy and contentment with your clothing. This is in direct opposition to fast fashion which is built upon constantly shopping and disposing of clothes and therefore needs you to always want more and newer pieces. I have an ebook/workbook all about quitting fast fashion and slowing down your wardrobe if you’d like some guidance with that process.
Son de Flor is a great example of a brand who takes a slow fashion approach to their garments. They have a season-less collection with all the pieces designed to be timeless classics. Their garments are made from locally sourced linen, which is one of the most sustainable fibres, (I’ve talked before about how much I love linen) and are Oeko-Tex certified as well to ensure no harmful chemicals or dyes were used. Their production all happens in the EU, with many garments made-to-order (which reduces waste), and they ship everything without plastic packaging.
I love their dresses and this linen wrap dress is a romantic style that I’m sure will become a wardrobe staple for me. It’s been comfortable and easy for pregnancy, and I expect the wrap style will also be very helpful for easy nursing when the baby arrives. They also have other really gorgeous dress styles to check out!
Slowing down your life and how you spend your time can be amazing for stress-relief, mental clarity, physical health, happiness, and so much more.
Studies have found that trying to do too much at once not only means you give less attention to each task but can also increase stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue. On the other side “mono-tasking” (focusing on one thing at a time) helps us not only perform our tasks better but is also better for our mental health. Being mindful about what we’re doing with our time can be challenging with such fast-paced lifestyles, but the benefits definitely make it worth the effort.
It’s important to make time for things you enjoy (and try to do them without distractions). We all need time for relaxation, self-care, and to “recharge” – it’s helpful to plan that time into your day or week instead of putting it on the back burner.
The things I personally find most beneficial for a mental break from work and daily life are going for a walk, reading, or doing a creative project. Even if it’s just for 15-20 minutes, it can really help.
I also think it’s incredibly valuable to your relationships to plan time with your partner or family/friends – ideally turning those phones and distractions off and just enjoying each other’s company.
We have also experienced amazing benefits from slow travel – really spending time and experiencing a place instead of zipping from sight to sight and trying to do as much as possible. It has made our travels so much more relaxing, enriching, and memorable.
Finally pregnancy has been a big lesson in slowing down for me, as my pregnancy progresses simple things have become harder and more tiring forcing me to slow down. I’m trying to mentally prepare for when the baby comes and we have way less time than we currently do, but I still want to try my best to slow down and enjoy all the moments.
No matter how chaotic your life is, even incorporating small moments of mindfulness and trying to slow down where possible can be beneficial. From what we consume, to how we spend our time, there are so many areas where slowing down not only positively impacts our personal lives but can also positively impact our relationships, community, and planet.
I’d love to know in the comments if there are things you’re working on slowing down and being more mindful of!
Huge thanks to Son de Flor for partnering with me on this post. You can check out their beautiful linen, slow fashion pieces here! Also see how other people style their Son de Flor garments or share your own with #MySondeFlor