Downshifting – an escape from work or a way to find balance in life?

Downshifting. It is believed that this term originated in Western countries at the end of the 90th century with the publication of the article “Life in a low gear: downshifting and a new look at success in the XNUMXs.” This word came to Russia recently, and still causes bewilderment. What is downshifting?

Downshifting is a social phenomenon in which people make the decision to live simpler in order to free themselves from the endless running after wealth, fame and fashionable things and devote their lives to something really important. In other words, it is a way to find a balance between work and leisure. It provides an opportunity to focus more on developing one’s own potential and protest against the modern consumer society with its materialism and endless “rat race” for money.

What is downshifting?

In search of a better balance between work and the rest of their lives, downshifters may take one or more of the following steps:

– reduce the number of working hours so that you have more time for yourself and less stress

– reduce your expenses and the number of things consumed to compensate for the decrease in income and break out of the cycle of endless consumption

– find a job that is more in line with life values ​​in order to feel better at work and fulfill yourself as a person

– start spending more time with family and friends, as well as the local community, which helps to get a sense of satisfaction and happiness in relationships and in the service of society, and not in material things.

What is downshifting not?

Downshifting is not an escape from society or work, especially if you really like your work. It also doesn’t mean that you have to sell out all your stuff and never go shopping or buy anything again. And this does not mean that, having become a downshifter, you should drastically change your career plans or from now on work only for non-profit organizations, taking care of society, but not about yourself. This is a search for yourself, a search for your own goal, balance, happiness. And downshifters believe that this search needs more time and less concern for material things. Only and everything. 

Steps to downshifting.  

The best downshifting is a well-planned downshifting. If you quit your job and are left without money, then as a result you will not be able to do what you really like, but will be forced to look for a livelihood. To better plan your downshift, you can take the following steps.

1. Think about your ideal life and who you want to be. Ask yourself some questions. For example, do I want to work less and have more free time? Am I coping with stress? Am I happy?

2. Understand what you are missing? Can downshifting help you?

3. Decide when you will begin to take the first steps towards downshifting and how you will achieve this. Talk to family and friends about this.

4. Consider how you can live the life you love if your income decreases due to downshifting. Or think about the kind of work that brings you pleasure and which can bring money.

5. Decide what you will do in your free time. Will you spend more time with your family, or will you travel? Will you take up your hobby or start working in volunteer organizations?

Instead of confinement …

Downshifting is not only about finding balance in life. This is a search for yourself. In recent years, many people have decided for themselves that what matters to them is not money and the prestige of their profession, but personal happiness.

One person can change a lot… History proves it. Downshifting is a way to change your lifestyle, so that later, perhaps, change yourself and the world around you for the better. 

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