With the constant glorification of busyness, I have to say that sometimes it feels like my brain has way to many tabs opened at once. I don't want to close any of them just in case I have to go back & re-visit one or two, yet there always seems to be more & more.
We're always trying to fill up space which sometimes needs to be left empty, while also forgetting that being busy doesn't always equal productive.
Having some of that empty space in your is good. Slowing down, unplugging & actually being present can help you see the truly important things in life. It can also help you reduce stress, gain clarity, build stronger relationships, be more productive & bring more joy & happiness into your day to day life.
Slowing down doesn't have to be complicated but it does require you to make a conscious effort. Living a slower paced life can bring more joy & appreciation into your life.
Create A Morning Ritual
To a lot of us, early morning is the only time we get just to ourselves. Think about it. How do you really feel each morning when you open your eyes? The way you start you day makes a big impact on your mood & stress levels. Are you always in a hurry, rushing out the door? If you do find yourself always being in a rush, chances are your mornings are a lot more stressful than for someone who gets up that extra 30 minutes early, takes their time & makes more of an effort to be gentle with themselves.
Create a morning ritual for yourself where you have something pleasant to look forward to. Read a few chapters of a book, prepare a nice breakfast, go for a morning walk, have a cup of tea or two & set your intentions for the day. Your mornings don't have to be hectic & stressful.
Focus on others. This is an important habit for keeping relationships strong. Spend time with others. Notice how their eyes widen & twinkle when they talk about something their excited or passionate about. We all tend to like to talk about ourselves & sometimes it feels like we have so much to say. But we should all learn to listen. Once you make an effort to actually listen to the other person, your connection is deeper & stronger rather than constantly being distracted & not really 'being' there with them.
In food, in that book you're reading, in conversations with other people. Savor your food instead of rushing through your meals. Avoid eating in a rush, at your desk or when driving. Bring more joy into your life by allowing yourself time to slow down & enjoy those simple tasks.
Schedule In Some Self Care
The more you think you don't have time for things like mediation, exercise, a regular emotional check-in like journaling or any other form of self care, the more you need it. Self care looks different to all of us & there is no wrong way of doing it. It is, however, important to make it a habit in order to avoid running on empty. The best way to avoid a burnout is to prevent it by knowing when to slow down & take care of yourself.
Make it a habit to disconnect from your electronic devices at least once a week for a few hours. Okay, so ideally this would be every day but once a week is a great place to start. Set a specific time when you unplug from all your electronic devices. Give your mind & body a break from being constantly plugged & connected. Use that time to spend with others, being outdoors, reading, cooking - whatever it is that you like doing.
Wind Down Before Bed
This is the ultimate place where you should really be slowing down. At the end of the day, you should be able to switch off from work mode, unwind & get that well deserved rest. Give yourself some time to unwind before trying to fall asleep. Your bedroom should be only used for sleep, that way when you get into your bed, your body naturally knows it's time to fall asleep. Don't bring things like your laptop or other electronics to bed. You don't want your brain yo associate your bed with things like work. Use this time to shut your brain down. Take a warm bath, mediate, read a book, apply a face mask - whatever it is that calms, relaxes you & helps you slow down.
Remember those day when things used to be less hectic? Days when even the simplest of things would make you smile? Well, those simple things are still there, they're still apart of your life. We just somehow lost our appreciation for them.
If you find yourself being in a rush constantly, if you often feel overwhelmed, tired or burned out, it's time to slow down.