My eye was caught, during a speedy online visit to Amazon the other day, by a book entitled “In Praise of Slowness”, in which author Carl Honoré extols the virtues of eschewing the frenetic pace at which many of us live life these days.
My fleeting visit was immediately extended by some additional Googling to investigate this “slowness” concept further. My research revealed that Canadian Carl is a keen supporter of what he calls a “cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better”.
Carl reckons that the world is stuck on fast-forward mode. He cites as examples, the fact that you can even do courses in “Speed Yoga” or “Speed Meditation” these days, pointing to these apparently oxymoronic activities as symptoms of living life too fast. He goes on to describe what it feels like when you need to slow your life down:
“When you feel tired all the time and like you’re just going through the motions, getting through the many things on your to-do list but not engaging with them deeply or enjoying them very much. You don’t remember things as vividly when you rush through them. You feel like you’re racing through your life instead of actually living it. Illnesses are often the body’s way of saying ‘Enough already, slow down!'”
His words certainly provide food for thought – and if you’re looking for a perfect opportunity to really slow things down, there’s no better place to implement his maxim than at one of the UK’s leading spas where you’ll feel the fast-forward speed drop instantaneously to “time suspended” the moment you step across the threshold.
The whole modern-day spa experience is one of blissful relaxation, with an indulgent dose of pampering. So when planning your stay, take time to consider exactly which treatments you’d like to sign up for. Most spas have an extensive range of options available, and you don’t want to regret making a rush decision.
Whether your idea of heaven consists of basking in the alluringly azure waters of a health resort lagoon or receiving a spine-tingling massage while listening to soporifically soothing music, you’re sure to find a perfect bolthole at a major UK spa resort.
Today’s health hydros offer a pleasurable escape option, combining state-of-the-art treatment facilities and accommodation with the expertise of consummate health and beauty professionals. Here visitors are cocooned for a few precious hours or days in a luxurious oasis of calm, far from the stresses of the outside world,
Current spa visitor numbers would seem to suggest that despite – or perhaps even because of – the anxiety created by the credit crunch, more and more people are snatching this rare and welcome chance to live life in the slow lane and escape from family and work pressures for a while.
Meanwhile, beyond the protected spa environment, changes are afoot in the outside world. Since the birth of the Cittaslow movement at a food festival in Italy in 1999, a growing number of small towns throughout Europe have also been extolling the benefits of “slow” living.
Indeed “Cittaslow” has developed into an international network of small towns, all working to preserve their local environment by promoting less frantic lifestyles and increased use of local goods and services.
So it looks like Carl Honoré is far from being a lone voice – indeed he is part of an increasingly vociferous international chorus urging us to slow…everything …… down.