Whether it’s your social life or a side hustle, the fast and furious way of life we’ve become so accustomed to is unnecessary at best – at worst dangerous to our health and wellbeing.

Since the pandemic forced us to stop and take stock, we’ve all come to a stark realisation: Busier doesn’t mean happier and faster doesn’t mean better.

So, is it time we all hit reset?

What is slow living?

A movement, an uprising, a way of life. Whatever you want to call it, the concept of slow living has been born from a direct pushback to burnout and busyness; an instinctive reaction to slow things down.

It’s the idea that life is more meaningful when we slow down; make more time for the things that bring us joy and less time for the things that don’t.

On Instagram alone, there are more than 3.5 million posts using #theartofslowliving. Type it into any social media channel and your screen will be filled with romantic cityscapes and peaceful woodlands, cosy indoor scenes, hearty meals and steaming hot drinks.

Slower, more mindful, good-for-the-soul stuff.

Advocates of slow living promise that by adopting this simpler, more minimalist way of life, you’ll:

  • Be happier
  • Experience less stress and anxiety
  • Have more time to do the things you enjoy
  • Be more effective and efficient
  • Have better personal relationships

It sounds simple enough. But how easy it is in practice?

And how can it help you to play better golf?

Live slower, play more golf: My new mantra

Slow living has been trending for a while now on social media. But I don’t think it’s something I’ve given a second thought to until now.

I was very fortunate to be able to keep working throughout the lockdowns. And I bought my first house.

So between work and home renovations, the dog and online furniture shopping (for said new house), I kept pretty busy.

I bought a bike, played a bit of golf, and signed up to some online fitness apps. I even went to the driving range. I fell into a new routine that I absolutely didn’t appreciate until now.

With life returning to normal (or at least as close to normal as it’s been for a while), my diary is crammed, my time filled by the minute.

Without even realising it, I’ve slipped back into my pre-COVID ways, with the same old stress, exhaustion and anxiety rearing creeping up yet again.  

And what has slipped off my calendar as quickly as it appeared? Golf.

This is usually where I’d say; “I just don’t have time”.

But the new, slow-living me has different ideas.

I’m starting to make time. Because I enjoy playing golf. And it’s good for me – on so many levels; exercise, being outdoors, mental health … I could go on.

Embracing slow living

I've definitely not quite cracked this yet. But there are some small steps I'm taking and I'm already feeling better: less overwhelmed and generally a bit lighter.

Here's what I'm doing:

  • Thinking twice before I say “yes” (this is hard for a people pleaser!)
  • Saying “no” to things I know I won’t enjoy or don’t 100% want to do
  • I’ve switched off notifications on my phone so I’m less distracted
  • I’m taking tech breaks and limiting screen-time (confession: this is harder than I thought)
  • I’ve joined the local library and I’m using my reclaimed time to read more (this one I haven’t struggled with one bit)
  • Committing to spending more time outdoors (now I have one more reason to get on the golf course)

So, this Sunday, I’ve cleared my diary and booked a game of golf with my husband. Nothing else. I won’t squeeze anything in before I go and I won’t rush back for anything else. I know it will be freezing (really freezing) cold and I know I probably won’t play very well, but that’s ok.

This is the start of my new, slower life. Making sure I really enjoy things rather than rushing from one thing to the next.

I’ll let you know how it goes … Wish me luck!

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