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Are You Living for Yourself? “Slow Summer” Can Help You Reset

Chronic Evolution Issue 14

Hello! 👋 

Welcome to Issue 14 of the weekly Chronic Evolution newsletter, where I share mindfulness tips, tricks, and anecdotes to help you evolve your mindset in 5 minutes or less.

Let’s get right into it.

Are You Living for Yourself? “Slow Summer” Can Help You Reset

Picture this: You hold your arms, sticky with the humidity of the evening summer air, close to your body so you don’t brush up against anyone else’s damp skin. You just had your first bite of the barbeque chicken. It’s good, but all you can think about is the fresh bruschetta you have in your fridge. Your friend makes a gossipy comment, and you smile because you feel like you should. Everyone else around you is too busy tapping away on their phones. Internally, you’re calculating how many more minutes need to pass before it’s polite to leave.

Sound familiar?

It doesn’t have to be a barbeque – sub in any sort of activity that you felt socially obligated to show up to but secretly held no desire to attend.

We all do it. Probably because we feel like it’s the right thing to do.

But right for who?

What if, for one summer, we had the courage to live a different sort of life? A slower life filled with soul-nourishing activities that actually excite us.

That’s exactly what I’ve decided to do this summer. Limited plans. More going with the flow. Zero guilt or pressure to be productive. I’ve deemed it my Slow Summer and embracing it has become a huge relief.

If you want to join me in hopping off the neverending treadmill, here are seven suggestions and tips to help your embrace Slow Summer in your own way.

There’s no “wrong” way to do it

I recognize that Slow Summer is a privilege. Not all of us have the means to embrace it. Cultural norms, job obligations, financial means, support (or lack thereof) from loved ones – all of these will influence your ability to adopt a slower pace of living.

I encourage you to seize whatever pockets of time you can carve out for yourself based on your unique circumstances. For some, Slow Summer might mean a consecutive two months unplugged. For others, it’s about finding 20 minutes a day for themselves – even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom to do so.

There’s no right or wrong way to implement the Slow Summer philosophy.

Having fun is your birthright

Slow Summer is about giving yourself permission to rest, recharge, and simply be – but not with the intention of replenishing your drained batteries to boost future productivity. Embracing a slower pace of living in whatever way works for you doesn’t have to be a rest stop on your way back to hustle culture. You were not put on this earth to be productive and cross items off a to-do list – you’re here to have fun. For me, slowing down and embracing that is a work in progress, but it’s a lesson I’m trying hard to learn.

“Life is supposed to be fun! When you're having fun, you feel great and you receive great things! Having fun brings the life you want, and taking things too seriously brings a life you have to take seriously.”

— Rhonda Byrne

It might make you squirm a bit

If you want to experience life at a slower pace but everyone around you is going at mach speed – you’re going to have to get comfortable saying one (very uncomfortable) word.


No, I don’t want to go camping for the long weekend. No, I don’t want to come to your barbeque or go for a hike or play tennis with you. If you don’t want to do something, be honest about that – even if it feels uncomfortable settings those boundaries. You can be kind in your refusal while recognizing that you don’t have to say yes to “be nice.” Choose to put yourself first.

“It’s not rude to need time in silence, to not feel like engaging, or to take breaks at social events.”

– The Holistic Psychologist

Be unapologetic in your pursuit of play

What would you do today if you threw “should” out the window? If you let your intuition guide you and listened to your gut feeling? Go do that.

Unapologetically doing what you want to be doing will help you return to a childlike sense of wonder and play – and give those around you permission to do the same. And my god, it feels freeing.

Forget what you “should” be doing to make the most of your summer, and do what you want to do in order to make the most of this moment.

Genuine moments > curated ones

I love putting my phone on airplane mode when I’m sitting at home. And just like that, I’m as unreachable as if I were 40,000 feet in the air, fully focused on giving my cat my undivided attention and the chin scritches she deserves.

You don’t have to go to these extremes, but consider what your day would look like without the constant distractions and interruptions.

Just taking social media alone out of the picture means there’s no more comparing yourself to others. No more analyzing their “exciting” summers as you scroll through highlight reels that don’t tell the whole story, quietly wondering whether they’re having a better time than you.

Try taking a break from social media in order to create genuine moments of happiness, not curated ones.

It’s worthwhile to “waste” time

The Holistic Psychologist says the reason we hear a little voice in our heads shaming us into doing something “worthwhile” when we slow down is because we grew up not being able to relax. Instead of stillness being encouraged, we were often called lazy and told to do something productive.

But time spent on “meaningless” pursuits is not wasteful – it’s nourishing. This Sunday, I spent the better part of the day curled up with my cat on my chest, reading a good book from a dear friend. It was bliss. A past version of myself would have felt guilty about “wasting” that time. Present-day me relished in the silence, seeing it for what it was: A gift I was giving to myself.

Bottom line: Keep your calling card somewhat open this summer rather than filling your days with social engagements or endless to-do lists.

Seek satisfaction over stimulation

We live in a mentally overstimulating world – alongside social media, streaming greatly contributes to that. What would your evening look like without Netflix? What could you do instead that was more satisfying, helping you relax by checking in rather than checking out?

Blogger and founder Mallory Rowan talks openly about quitting Netflix. She was tired of using it to disassociate and decided to axe the constant stimulation. Here are some of the things she does instead when she feels like streaming:

  • Go for a walk

  • Play with her dog

  • Take a nap

  • Clean with music on

  • Do something creative

I still watch Netflix, but I’m more intentional in my approach. I don’t turn it on for background noise or scroll my phone while watching. My attention is on the show, or the tv isn’t on. That’s what works for me.

Is slow summer for you?

Try Slow Summer, or don’t. The point of this article isn’t to indoctrinate you into Slow Summer as the only way of life. It’s about helping you tap into your intuition and assess whether you’re living a life that supports your best self and is aligned with your values – and offering suggestions on how to regroup if you find change necessary.

You might find slowing down uncomfortable, especially if you have an inner restlessness or aren’t accustomed to moments of stillness. Try not to judge yourself too harshly if feelings of resistance come up.

At the same time, putting too much pressure on yourself to have a Slow Summer can paradoxically create added stress and pressure. There is no “ideal” Slow Summer. Simply try to flow with the natural rhythm of the season, giving yourself permission and space to be present in the moment.

“And if the only reward for racing through life is death, then may I forever savor the long way around; languidly stretching myself across every detour and backroad, for if the destination is all the same, at least may the journey be a slow and scenic one.”

– Liz Fair

To your chronic evolution,


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