We all know the feeling of burnout that can come with our day-to-day routines. Traffic, pollution, deadlines, ringing phones, crowds, packed schedules… all of the daily stressors of living in the city plus occupational overload which many of us experience can lead to mental and physical exhaustion. Many people find that after years of city living, a move to the mountains can help facilitate a transition to slow living – a slower pace of life and a more relaxed overall lifestyle. It is, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.
The slow living movement is all about slowing down the pace of life and taking time to savor the moment rather than constantly rushing through the day. This a recent response to the widespread burnout that affects a huge percentage of the population. Slow living simply helps to encourage a more intentional life, and is often also associated with minimalism and simplicity.
Slow Your Pace
Most people find that mountain locations are quite places, perfect to help reflect and rediscover inner calm that allow you to step back from a frantic pace and instead let go of the ever-mounting pressures of life. The slower pace reflected in nature all around you can help you slow down as well, which opens up opportunities for more connection, peace, and satisfaction. It can also create space in your life for new hobbies and time with family, and allow time for recovery and wellness.
Peace and Quiet
Living in the mountains typically means rural living, which is synonymous with calm and quiet. You won’t find large crowds, frequent loud noises, or dizzying traffic to contend with, but you are certainly likely to enjoy scenic drives on country roads, privacy at home, and awe-inspiring mountain views. For many, finding a sanctuary in the mountains also mean finding their oasis of calm.
Reconnect with Nature
The mountains can help inspire you to reconnect with nature and open your awareness to its healing rhythms. Seeing the sparkle of snow, hearing the sounds of birds, enjoying the alpenglow on the mountainside along with the intense play of colors in the clouds at sunset – these spectacular displays delight the senses and bring reminders of just how much joy is present in small, simple moments.
Health Benefits of Mountain Living
Studies have shown over and over again that time spent in nature is beneficial not only to your mental health, but also to your physical wellbeing. Just being surrounded by a natural environment is good for you, even if you aren’t all that physically active, because being outside in nature provides more therapeutic effects than exercise alone.
The health benefits of spending time outside are numerous:
- Breathing fresh air with little or no air pollution increases the occurrence of phytoncides in the body, which positively impacts natural cancer prevention, boosts the immune system and lowers blood pressure.
- Outdoor exercise such as climbing, biking or hiking can improve self-esteem, quality of sleep, appetite, lung health, and can reduce depression and improve your mood. Activity at higher altitudes also burns more calories, thus supporting a healthy weight. Being in nature lowers cortisol levels better than exercise alone, which helps your body to regulate stress.
- Spending extended periods of time at a higher elevation not only promotes health and happiness, some studies have suggested that it also lowers the risk of heart disease, improves short-term memory, increases focus, and even gives us a longer lifespan.
Whatever the location, moving to the mountains inspires slow living and opens the door to creating a more sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle. You’ll want to be prepared for the changes and challenges that will come with moving to higher altitudes, but if less stress, a slower pace of life, and more time in nature appeal to you, mountain living is something you won’t regret.
Root Architecture has extensive experience designing and building beautiful mountain homes in the Rocky Mountain Front Range. Take a look at several of our recent mountain home designs and contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help build your dream home in the mountains.