Slow living: enjoy the little things in life
We often hear well-known phrases such as: “time flies”, "enjoy life while you can” and the famous “life´s short". This is all true to say, however, despite such wise advice, it seems that work issues, worries about the future and pandemic-related anxiety prevent us from applying these expressions in full.
The nationwide stoppage the entire country underwent in March 2020 gave us the opportunity to reflect on the hectic, rushed lifestyle our routine imposes on us. The stress of arriving at work on time, dropping the children off at school, homework and accumulated fatigue from never-ending housework all prevent us from being aware of what is going on around us and appreciating it. After life ground to a halt, we realised that taking a break isn´t that bad. Infact, it´s necessary.
We began spending more time with our families, we learned how to play new board games to entertain our kids, we played football with rolls of toilet paper and, yes, we even tried to record the odd Tiktok dance ... We rediscovered the small pleasures of day-to-day life that we were unable to appreciate previously. Little by little, we were internalising, almost subconsciously, the importance of knowing how to live for the present - one of the cornerstones of slow living.
The origin of slow living
In the late 1980s, Carlo Petrini, a journalist, was walking through the streets of Rome when he came across a fast food restaurant next to the iconic Spanish Steps. Petrini, a true Italian and an advocate of good old low-temperature cooking, was furious about the imminent rise of fast food. This led to the slow food movement, based on eating well while respecting the planet. The idea subsequently expanded to all aspects of day-to-day life, thereby becoming an entire lifestyle.
Slow living aims to break down cultural taboos such as the negativity surrounding the adjective “slow”, which is usually associated with laziness and poor productivity, a result of the roots of nonconformity so common in human beings. We wish to give the word a new meaning: tranquility, appreciation, enjoyment, pleasure.
Petrini defends the need for us to return to grassroots so as not to lose the identity being erased by the major fast food chains. Applying this philosophy to our country, he calls for a return to the consumption of traditional food and products such as candied fruit, quince and syrup. Small pleasures that are often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
How to put slow living into practice
Everyone that takes life easy and lives for the present assures they are happier. At the end of the day, humans go through life by achieving goals and proposing new objectives. How about striving to live in a more relaxed manner?
Set time aside for leisure. Life should revolve around enjoyment and pleasure. It might be hard to find time for your hobbies during the week, but Saturdays and Sundays are ideal. Choose activities to engage in as a family and there will be no excuse for not having a great weekend.
Have breakfast at your own pace. A great opportunity for getting into slow living is a good weekend breakfast. After working round the clock from Monday to Friday, savouring a nutritious, healthy breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings will make you feel so much better. Put the biscuits aside and make yourself some toast and natural jam or start the day with yoghurt, nuts and quince.
Relax your mind. The language we use to speak to ourselves is essential to positive self-esteem. Swap “I can't” for “Yes, I can do that” and set aside a time of the day for relaxation. You could spend it listening to your favourite band or meditating.
Give slow eating a chance. People often tend to watch television at mealtimes nowadays. We need to do things in a conscientious manner, thereby ensuring we take full advantage of everything around us. Turning all electronic devices off and chatting with the family is a far better option. When no-one else is at the table, you can simply enjoy your food.
Slow living breakfast
Who said you can't enjoy a fine, healthy breakfast at home? We suggest two wholesome dishes to savour with your loved ones while the first rays of the weekend sun shine through the window, giving you a brief preview of what your day is going to be like: great.
Toast and jam with banana
The perfect breakfast for children. Eating fruit for breakfast is one of the best habits for ensuring the bowels and the digestive system perform smoothly; moreover, this combination is perfect for trying our natural jams.
1. Toast a slice of wholemeal bread and slice up a banana.
2. When the toast is golden, put it on the plate alongside the banana and spread on a little jam; we have opted for our pear and vanilla jam.
3. Place a few red berries on top.
Toast and yoghurt with avocado
If you´re one of those people that prefer a salty touch, then this is the breakfast for you. Avocado is rich in fibre and perfect for those who need to regulate their blood glucose levels. Served with a natural fruit yoghurt, this will end up being your favourite recipe.
1. Toast a slice of wholemeal bread and add some avocado with olive oil and salt if you wish.
2. Pour a natural yoghurt (ensure it´s sugar-free) into a receptacle and add some natural jam to sweeten it.
3. Choose your favourite fruit; in this case we have gone for grapes and red berries.