The Slow Life movement is a cultural current that defends a change in the current life system. The Slow culture promotes deceleration and take control of time to achieve greater enjoyment and life quality.
The current pace of life
Today, we live at full speed, immersed in a world that is moving faster and faster. Especially in urban environments, we live with the speed of day to day, mired in a frenetic and constant rhythm. Every day we strive to be more efficient, to do more things and do them faster.
But this culture of speed, although in urban environments is given with greater intensity, is not exclusive to big cities. Globalization has spread throughout the world the acceleration of the pace of life, creating a world obsessed with speed, with doing more and more in less time. Every moment of the day feels like a race against the clock, and even the most everyday actions have accelerated: eat, walk, read… This “fast culture” permeates us so deeply that we did not perceive how it affects every aspect of our lives.
In fact, the current pace of life is not harmless: it affects our work, our diet, our personal relationships, the environment, our health, etc. When we exceed our limit, health is reduced, and our body and mind warn us that we lead an uncontrolled way of life and above our own human limitations.
What is the Slow Life Movement?
The Slow Movement is a cultural trend of global reach that promotes calming human activities. His proposal is to regain control of time instead of living under his tyranny, giving priority to activities that have an impact on personal development. We must strike a balance between the use of technology as a method of productivity and time savings and find the pause to enjoy relaxing or enriching activities.
Thus, the movement does not deny the technological advance itself, but the use we make of it, since, although it allows to optimize work, production and other human activities, the really important aspects of life should not be accelerated.
In the last decades the tendency to produce during all the hours of the day, every day of the year has spread throughout the planet. A sample is found in a tradition, still recent, that is disappearing in Western countries: the weekly rest day where there was hardly any trade or production. This increase in general activity has pushed global thinking towards the idea that it is necessary to do maximum things at all times.
Against this background, the Slow Life movement represents knowing how to stop, leaving aside the maelstrom of the world around us. The “slow” life system proposes to savor an ephemeral present to which we do not usually devote much attention.
But this does not mean not acting or being vague, it does not imply passivity. What this new philosophy of life defends is to take life in a different way, far from the rush that surrounds our day to day and overwhelms us. It means enjoying every action, every moment and every person, and extends to all areas of life.
In short, the focus of this movement is to be selective in acting, to be fully aware of how we invest our time and in the awareness that less can be more.
Some ways to slow down the daily hustle and bustle are: check the clock less during the rest periods, reduce the pace in our daily activity and reserve time for hobbies or activities that make us feel good like read, walk, enjoy a massage, or just eat with friends.
Slow Movement history
While the Slow Movement has appeared in various forms and manifestations since (and partly as a result of) the Industrial Revolution, it was since the late 1980s when its popularity began a remarkable growth, with the establishment in Europe of Slow Food and Cittaslow, which we explain in the next point.
In 1986 in Italy, journalist Carlo Petrini started a campaign against junk food because of the opening of an establishment of the American McDonald’s fast food chain in España square in Rome.
Petrini saw in this a threat against healthy traditional Italian food and the Mediterranean diet, which led him to mobilize, giving rise to what has since been called “Slow Food”.
At the same time as this emergence in Europe, other Slow initiatives spread rapidly through Australia and Japan until reaching a global impact.
Slow Life Movement Details
The Slow Life Movement is a philosophy of life, a way of understanding the world around us and the way of living day to day. That is why it encompasses a multitude of fields and promotes both modifying our daily way of acting (our attitude towards life) and the way we interact with the planet, in favor of greater sustainability and quality of life.
We have already mentioned the Slow Food Movement as a precursor to the current slow philosophy. Against the Fast Food culture, the movement known as Slow Food promotes the enjoyment of local products and traditional foods, with ingredients grown in a way that respects the environment and the times that the countryside needs.
And this is one of the most important motivations for the struggle of the Slow Food movement: the future of food in the world. In this very important aspect, the Slow Movement tries to defend the diversity of crops and raw materials against globalized industrial agriculture, which with monocultures and centralized distribution systems contributes greatly to climate change.
And of course, Slow Food also promotes the enjoyment of that meal, by consuming without haste and savoring it with awareness and the necessary attention.
The Cittaslow movement was born in Italy in 1999 to extend the philosophy of Slow Food to small towns, with the purpose of bringing them closer to the concept of good living and putting it into practice in everyday life. Among its objectives is resistance to homogenization and globalization, enhancing happiness and self-determination and preserving traditional and sustainable ways of life.
Cittaslow is a commitment to promote municipalities with a slowed pace of life. It is intended to create environments that generate tranquility, with an urban planning that enhances pedestrian spaces, where citizens can walk, talk and enjoy taking the necessary time for the people and activities they enjoy.
En España, algunos municipios han optado por esta filosofía y se han unido al movimiento internacional por una calidad de vida Cittaslow. Es toda una declaración de principios que guía la actividad municipal y busca el bienestar de sus vecinos atendiendo a principios alejados de los ritmos habituales de las grandes ciudades.
With the snail as a logo of this movement, it represents very graphically its commitment to a slow, sustainable, full and more human life.
Directly related to the previous point, because of how it affects the daily life of those towns that constitute a tourist destination, one of the principles of the Slow Movement is to encourage Slow Tourism.
The intention is to promote a type of sustainable and responsible tourism, which is respectful of the values of a community, with the natural, heritage and social environment. It is about minimizing the negative social, economic and environmental impacts that tourism can entail, and at the same time improve the quality of tourism activity.
There is a different way to visit and discover new places in the world, without hurry, and taking contact with the local people and culture.
In big cities like Barcelona, where the pace of life runs at full speed, the negative impact that uncontrolled or irresponsible tourism can have for life in the city is well known. Aspects such as overpopulation, the excessive increase in the rental price, or the consequent displacement of the inhabitants of the city center towards peripheral areas are major inconveniences to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Increasingly, driven by the Slow philosophy, there are some exceptional and small proposals in the big cities that offer places to relax outside the urban bustle, such as SLOW SPA, a new spa in Barcelona, a space of well-being inspired by Asia, cozy and comfortable, located in the heart of Barcelona’s Eixample. Also in recent years, restaurants that promote Slow Food have proliferated, offering options to enjoy food based on quality, proximity and sustainability in a slow way.
The term Slow Fashion was created by British designer Kate Fletcher in 2007, referring to a sustainable fashion movement that has since gained followers.
Slow Fashion is born as opposed to massively produced fashion and the practice of buy-use-throw out, and all in the same season. And it should be noted that the fashion industry is currently one of the most polluting on the planet.
That is why the Slow Fashion movement is committed to sustainable fashion, with quality garments for its greater durability, that transcend trends (a more timeless style), and are repairable and customizable to extend the useful cycle of clothing. It also advocates responsible purchasing (less clothing and less frequently), preferably from sustainable and ethical production methods (artisanal or from local or fair trade).
Slow Life, a way of life
An important feature of the Slow movement is that its promotion and maintenance comes from individuals that constitute a global community that tends to expand, and that it is a movement not organized or controlled by an organization as such. Canadian journalist Carl Honoré, author of “In Praise of Slowness” (HarperCollins publishers, 2005) is one of the main promoters of this movement in the world. In the following video he explains more about the Slow Life:
As you can see, following this philosophy of life requires some changes in the way we focus various areas of everyday life to enjoy with all our senses what life offers us.
We must get rid of the rush and stress, to devote more attention to ourselves, our environment and the people we live with.
The principles of the Slow Life Movement question many of the pillars of the current way of life, and it invites us to a more leisurely life, more selective with our priorities for action and more conscious, all to achieve a healthier and happier life.
Now that you know a little more about the slow philosophy, remember that when you need to slow down we wait for you at Slow Spa 😉