The “Slow Living” bandwagon and what it means to (my) mental health


I am keen on this “Slow living” thing. In fact, I have been keen on it for the past 8 years, even before it was a thing.

Today a simple google search will bring up countless (I’m talking 856,000,000 of them) Slow living websites, articles and books on the subject.

It’s because it is such a trend right now that kinda irks me. It’s almost as if it is just another New Years resolution. “Ok, it’s 2019 what will I say I’m doing this year?”

Don’t get me wrong, it is great that people are connecting to the lifestyle but how many will actually stick with it? How many will claim to be following the movement but in reality are just trying to fit in with the latest? How long before it becomes too much to handle?

For me it started as a way to UN-complicate my life. I was working in a demanding job, in a fast paced city and everything was go, go, go.

Working as an Interior Designer in one of Canada’s top Design firms did not come without a cost. I was working long hours, under insane deadlines. While I loved my job, the industry itself could oftentimes be backstabbing, petty and intense.

This affected my mental health. Dealing with anxiety and depression, my life, I felt at this time was getting out of hand. My eyesight was deteriorating, my work was suffering because of it therefore my anxiety was through the roof. . Something big changes were on the horizon and I needed to face them.

Once I ‘retired” and my life was calmer I thought I would be happy. (My post about that is here).

Simplicity was what I needed.

Less distractions, less clutter, less noise, less pollution….just less.

I needed more of the simple things

It was obvious to me that I should pare back. Purge. De-clutter. Donate stuff. Sell stuff. Throw shit out. It felt liberating. In doing all this it appeared that I had inadvertently discovered Slow Living. Or as I called it, Living Simply. Now I didn’t get carried away and throw away so much stuff that all I was left with was a chair and a pair of socks. I wasn’t being a minimalist!

“Throw shit out.”

The Blind Thistle

Once that first step was complete I could focus on Slow Living for myself and my mental health. The steps were almost the same as the physical purge. I let things go- such as past grudges. Pared back- this meant dropping some (negative) people from my life. Declutter- not taking on to many projects or hobbies at one time.

This didn’t happen overnight. In all honesty it is a process and I am still working on it.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of how Slow living and mental health are made for each other.

In the meantime, take care of yourself 🧡