These days, doesn’t it feel like we’re being made to play tug-of-war with the concept of success and the concern for our health and wellbeing?
A world that burns bright with opportunity can also come at a cost to our energy and valuable free time, so the idea of slow living versus embracing one’s entrepreneurial spirit seems like a relatively ill-matched pairing for maintaining both prosperity and personal wellbeing. But, amongst the calamity and yet insatiable curiosity that characterises today’s society, is it actually doable?
The slow living movement stems back to the 1980’s phenomenon of ‘slow food’, pioneered by Carlo Petrini when the picturesque location of Rome’s Spanish Steps was threatened by the intrusive construction of a large fast-food chain. Italian culture is one of tradition, family values and gastronomic pleasure. The thought of an unfamiliar establishment capitalising off food sales from a vastly different economic and regional realm was, frankly, unnerving, because supporting the local enterprises was solidified in the local way of life. Thus, the slow food movement began.
Translated over our lifestyles as a whole, slow living is a specific way of thinking and being. It’s about remembering to take time out from the daily hustle, appreciating life as it is in the moment and being mindful, giving ourselves ample time to rejuvenate, to nourish our bodies with nutritious food and to participate in self-care rituals.
As entrepreneurs, we always strive for some form of success, whether it be personal fulfilment or financial gain. We tend to internalise their business and, more often than not nowadays through the growth of online influencers, an entrepreneurs’ very being is the business.
How, then, can we apply slow, thoughtful living to our daily lives, when all that we know and do is fast, busy, responsive, challenging and thrilling?
When running our own businesses, it’s hard to know when to draw the line. After all, when do we really ever stop working for, or thinking about, what we want to achieve in our business endeavours? Too much of this, if we’re not careful, could lead to feeling run down and uninspired, both in mind and body.
This is where slow living comes in. Just like the slow food movement, where health, wellbeing and strong community values are at the core, slow living is all about making time to care for ourselves and others, where no phones are needed, no business talk is spoken. Simply, free time is spent gathering some inspiration with a hobby, spending quality time with loved ones or enjoying a well-earned morning in bed. The result is a brighter, calmer outlook on life with a new burst of energy to thrive off.
At first, leading a slow lifestyle might not seem feasible as an entrepreneur, but there are ways we can incorporate simple activities into our daily routine to ensure we’re getting the right balance of both personal and business fulfilment. For example, we could try to set aside the weekend to focus on our creativity or bodily health and wellbeing, rather than working overtime on the business.
As entrepreneurs, we know it’s difficult to clock off at five and not work again until 9 am the next working day, but allocating time away from work is so important if we are to continue to feel motivated and inspired. After all, motivation and inspiration are two of the most important factors that lead to entrepreneurial success, aren’t they?