Dear Mr & Mrs Jones, I am writing to inform you of my withdrawal from the race to keep up with you . . .

I’ve been reading Brooke McAlary’s new book – SLOW and recommend it to others who sometimes feel overwhelmed by a stressful, materialistic, always connected society.

Brooke McAlary is a slow living devotee and creator of the Slow Your Home podcast. In SLOW, Brooke gently encourages readers to find pleasure and value in a simpler life, sharing the practical tips and practices that have helped her and her family become happier and more fulfilled. This part

It’s a fascinating read which extols the practices of decluttering, simplifying, mindfulness and reconnecting. A devotee of Marie Kondeo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I feel that I have a pretty good handle on decluttering and have spent much time in the past year, ridding our home of things we no longer need.

However, where I find SLOW most valuable are the chapters on slow living, which really resonated with me. As Brooke states, ‘slow living provides an opportunity to step back, pay attention and question the ways we use technology, to re-calibrate our relationship with the constantly switched-on, logged-in world. It offers us an opportunity to disconnect, in order to reconnect.”

Her probing questions and practical tips provide a template to simplify and slow down your life. It better helps you understand what kind of life you wish to lead and how to best get there.

I recommend reading this book slowly to absorb and apply the content. In the chapter on mindfulness, Brooke suggests a few ways to practice mindfulness including being creative, getting outside and doing nothing. After I read this section, I allocated time to focus on creative pursuits like sketching and baking as well as going for early morning walks. I have to admit doing nothing was a harder slog. When you’re a busy parent and so used to feeling like a hamster on a wheel, actually stopping to be in the moment is a challenge but worth it. I can definitely feel a change in my life since I’ve consciously made an effort to slow down and just be.

Brooke’s new book SLOW is published by Allen & Unwin. RRP $32.99 and available wherever good books are sold.