leisure

Embracing a Leisurely Lifestyle in Practice

FIRST PUBLISHED:

July 1, 2021

Embracing a Slow Lifestyle - Philosophy of Leisure

As we’ve detailed in a post about our philosophy here, our ethos is largely centered around the notion of leisure and embracing a lifestyle of a slower, gentler footprint, and also a mindset of ease and equanimity.

It values craftsman, artisanal practices over fast, mass-produced goods, with the phrase “buy less, choose well, make it last”, serving as a guiding phrase for all consumer purchases.

“Buy less, choose well, make it last.”

– DAME VIVIENNE WESTOOD, Fashion Designer

Slow Fashion

It seeks classic, tailored, and relaxed looks—whether of designer quality; or whether it reflects a similar sense of relaxed sophistication and consideration for sustainability at a much more affordable price point. Think: the perfect button down, lightweight organic cotton dresses and loungewear, comfortable and classic denim in a timeless silhouette, linen anything, the perfect little black dress, or a black one piece swimsuit, and season-appropriate layers and accessories that feel effortlessly beautiful and functional – these can all be found in iconic collections, thrift shops, clothes rental companies or on the high street, to suit one’s taste and one’s financial priorities.

The goal is to build a wardrobe you love, that makes getting dressed each day uncomplicated, yet a joy, with far less overchoice to overwhelm or distract you.

With a lean towards minimalism, we’re big fans of donating, reselling or giving a piece away, whenever it comes time to replace it or to add to your closet; keeping the number of items in one’s wardrobe static.

We don’t need larger closets, we need smaller, more loved and more sustainable wardrobes.

Slow Food

With origins and roots in Italy, as discussed in Volume 01. of our Lifestyle Guide, the slow food movement advocates for clean, fair, food for all. There are many ways to get involved and better embrace slow food and they can be as simple as stepping away from the screen to actually eat lunch at the table, al fresco, or shared with a friend.

It’s avoiding packaged and processed foods whenever possible in favor of locally bought, fresh ingredients, which doesn’t need to be mistaken for creating a complex meal for those of us who don’t find that to be ‘leisurely’ in the slightest. Some of the best dishes can be made with a simple combination of a handful (or less!) whole foods. It’s also enjoying small-batch and biodiverse wines, made without unnecessary additives or destruction of the soil.

The Slow Food Movement also advocates for food security in the community, as we live in a world that has more than enough resources for everyone, but they aren’t always shared equitably. There’s also still far too much waste, as millions of pounds of food and groceries are thrown away each year, but we continue to believe that legislation like the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, and the EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food program, both in the US, can help in many ways to tackle the problems of hunger and food insecurity.

Slow food equally taps into knowing yourself and practicing intuitive eating—learning when to mindfully enjoy and imbibe, and when to listen to your body’s cues to resist at fullness, which helps to build not only one’s own health, but to aid in the battle of food waste, as well.

Slow Travel

As the world works to open back up after a staggering loss to travel and tourism in 2020 and much of 2021, there’s been a number of interesting and even positive impacts to consider before we start racking up the frequent flyer miles again. 

From the infamous dolphins spotted swimming in Venice, Italy to other species making an appearance in otherwise densely populated city centers.

Yet the love of and benefits of travel, not to mention the sheer thrill of adventure and exploring our planet, is strong and brings with it a number of equally positive trade-offs. 

So then, we feel the key is to travel mindfully, slowly and sustainably, and with the lightest footprint possible.

One of the best ways to do so is to work with small travel organizations who share a similar philosophy and who can help you plan accordingly, with great finds like a quaint bed and breakfast in an idyllic location, or a local apartment rental, or an ecotour or agritourism adventure, rather than a towering hotel.

Slow Wealth

Of course, all of these feed into how we spend and invest not only our time, but our dollars, as well. Stemming first from our culturally ingrained beliefs that we always need to be making more, upgrading, and upleveling our lifestyle, and doing it as quickly as possible.

As much as we want to believe a higher salary, and the ensuing hustle to stay on top, will equate to increased happiness and contentment, it simply isn’t the case. In fact, there’s even an income threshold at which quality of life and one’s sense of fulfillment statistically starts to go down, based on the required, and ever-increasing working hours to be able to maintain that lifestyle.

“Instead of working toward retirement, work toward your ideal lifestyle. There is usually a path to get there in a few years instead of a few decades.”

-JAMES CLEAR

Many people believe that financial freedom is only about how much one earns, invests, saves and spends. In all honesty, it’s equally about taking the time to appreciate what we have, remaining grounded in more simple pursuits, having time freedom to enjoy what we do have, and not acquiring so much that we become financial prisoners to its care, upkeep or maintenance. We’ll have greater financial freedom, and the ability to make choices about working less, or working differently, when we haven’t tied ourselves down by debt, too.

The bottom line is – We can’t earn, spend, save or invest our way out of a fractured relationship with money, or consumption, the mindset must be repaired first.

Why do we believe so deeply in this lifestyle? Because the end game of it all is causeless joy, which isn’t dependent on the next promotion, new car, bank balance or trip abroad, but which begins to happen naturally as we return to the enjoyment of others, of leisure and of experiences, which we loved as children, and that are core to our happiness as humans.

And the best part? It’s better for our own children, our community, our country, other cultures and the planet, as a whole, as we become more soulful contributors, more rested and engaged partners and parents, more conscious travelers and consumers, more mindful ESG investors, and more creative and innovative careerists, all whilst leaving more room for others to take their place at the table of success, and having enough, as we aren’t hoarding it all for ourselves.

This lifestyle is here to embrace, right here, right now.

You can also find 100 tips and suggestions for simplifying your day-to-day lifestyle in our free guide, 100 Ways to Uncomplicate Life.

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