Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m always just trying to get somewhere. I rush from one place to the next, not stopping to think about the pieces of my life, and if I am taking full advantage of each moment. I think it is a product of our culture. I work at home, so I spend most of my time face to face with a computer monitor, not seeing my coworkers more than about five times a year. In the evenings, I’m often too exhausted to do anything but sit in front of the television. I’ve recently decided that I need to slow things down. Appreciate those things that make me truly happy and start taking advantage of all that life offers.
That is why I have decided to join the Slow Entertainment Movement (okay, so it is more of a concept than a movement at this point, but we can dream, right?). The name is coined off of the ‘Slow Food Movement’; an Italian organization dedicated more mindful eating (also known as the opposite of fast food). Slow entertainment is the type of entertainment that challenges you mentally and/ or physically, allows you to become fully involved in the entertainment process and, helps you create long-term connections with other people, basically, active entertainment rather than passive. Yes, just like slow food, this will probably take more time and more effort on the front end, but the long- and short-term rewards will make it worth it. In fact, there are a lot of parallels between food and entertainment. They can both strongly affect your emotional health, they both offer opportunities to connect with other people and they have both changed dramatically in the last fifty years in this country.
Taking time for more meaningful entertainment experiences, doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, in fact, some of the more simple things I am doing allow me and my friends to interject more of our personalities in to the experience. Play a game, join a sports team, go on a walk, take a class, these are all simple ideas that leave me more invigorated and more connected. You will also notice that there are other benefits to entertainment choices like these—they are cheaper, they are better for the environment and they exercise either your body or your mind.
This isn’t to say that I will never watch another TV show or play on YouTube, but I will be more mindful of the time and costs when I do. I don’t know about you, despite the bit of extra work, I would take a homemade picnic and board game over a bag of fast food and a sitcom re-run any night!