Ready to learn how to slow down?
On Aug. 11 at Barnes & Noble in Savannah, podcaster and author Brooke McAlary will share her new book “SLOW: Simple Living for a Frantic World.”
Born in Australia, McAlary began experimenting with the idea of slow living seven years ago, after being diagnosed with severe postpartum depression after the birth of her second child.
“My life on paper looked great: I had a loving husband with a great job, started a family, new car, and I wasn't happy,” said McAlary.
It was at the end of 2010, when she found herself looking in the mirror, repeatedly screaming at her reflection, "I hate you,” that she knew something was wrong.
“Looking back at my mental health, from my mid-20s forward, I think I was dealing with depression and had become numb with what life had become,” said McAlary. "I just thought this is what all parents felt after having kids.”
After being diagnosed with severe postpartum depression in 2011, McAlary began speaking to a therapist and complained about feeling that she was always too busy to spend enough quality time with her husband and children. That led her therapist to ask if she had ever considered doing less.
“At first I was offended by the question and thought she was saying I couldn't cope with life,” said McAlary.
The question was the spark that led McAlary down the path to simple and/or slow living in today’s frantic world.
“The idea of slow living, I focus on the slow part of the phrase … I figure out what is worth caring about and what I can care less about,” said McAlary. “For me, decluttering was the first process, and that led to finding out who I was, and that led me to the concept of mindfulness.”
She has since sold her home in Australia to experiment with the idea of letting go of ownership and is now embarking on a book tour with her two children and husband, with stops in over 30 cities across the U.S.
“The book is partly my own story because I made a lot of mistakes through this process and want to help others not make the same ones I did,” said McAlary. “It also offers really small strategies to start to slow down.”
“SLOW: Simple Living for a Frantic World” covers a wide range of ways to slow down, such as decluttering, mindfulness, dealing with technology and how to obtain longevity in life balance.
At the Savannah event, McAlary will take the audience through exercises to start questioning what is really, truly important, including ideas like "What is my why?" and "What are my personal priorities in life?"
“People can say they are too busy, but if someone can carve out five minutes of their day to just simply sit and pay attention to what's around them, it's in that place where they can start to slow down,” said McAlary.