You may already be familiar with my constant battle with busyness (if not you can read about it here). Spending time writing that post made me think long and hard about what exactly I could do to finally get on top of the situation and start managing my self-care a little more effectively. Well aware that many of you may be struggling with the same dilemma, I've decided to share my insights in a blog post for you. I'm going to keep this post short and sweet, below is a list of 6 things you can do (now!) to slow your life down. I know some of you are probably going to be totally against the idea of slowing down, you might even feel a little resistance come up around it. I say all the more reason to do it if you are feeling propelled in the complete opposite direction. Often we face our greatest resistance around practices and situations that are best for our personal growth, so I encourage you to at least try out a couple of the below tips.
6 TIPS FOR SLOWING DOWN NOW
1. Learn how to say no
This one's a biggie. If you are constantly saying yes to things, you will inevitably always be busy. Now you may be like me and have a problem turning down offers and commitments because you don't want to feel like it was an opportunity missed. However if you're spreading yourself so thinly that you're struggling to find time for anything, how could you possibly give 100% effort in any situation. The less you do, the more presence and commitment you can give to each task. Ultimately getting more out of those opportunities than if you had said yes to everything and tried to juggle them all.
2. Gracefully withdraw yourself from any unnecessary commitments
This goes hand in hand with learning how to say no. You may have already committed yourself to an unrealistic schedule and a gnawing sense of overwhelm is starting to settle in. Don't feel disheartened though. In my honest opinion self-care and mental health are two very valid reasons from withdrawing from commitments you feel aren't in your best interest. Obviously this is dependent on the situation and the arrangements already made, but if it's stressing the hell out of you and you aren't really feeling it (because sometimes we say yes to things we don't really want) this may be something worth considering.
3. Tech detox
Nuff' said. How often do we get caught up in what's happening on social media and the rest of the Internet. To me it can sometimes feel like a bottomless pit with no end, a black hole that is slowly sucking me inwards. This might seem a little dramatic but I can lose hours to this type of behaviour and at the end of the day I don't really gain that much from it. Extended periods using technology not only exhaust me, but also make me feel a little agitated and wound up. So do yourself a favour, ditch the tech time every now and then and opt for an inspiring book instead.
4. Take a long walk with no time restrictions
I find the simplicity of walking and being outside amongst nature so therapeutic. The beauty of not having a deadline or somewhere to be means you're able to set your own pace based on what feels right to you. You might have a destination in mind or maybe you just want to walk and see where it takes you. Either way make the most of your walk by really taking in your surroundings. On my walks I often feel like I'm seeing the true beauty of our world for the first time. When you really take time to observe the world with purpose your surroundings come alive with an intensity that will dazzle you!
5. Breathe deeply
Controlled, conscious breathe work can do wonders for your health and helps to calm frazzled nerves. Working with the breathe allows me to drop deeply into my body, becoming fully present in the now. When you consciously slow your breathe down, it's calming effect ripples throughout the body. The beauty of it all is that you're not only increasing your oxygen intake by breathing deeply, but you are also bringing awareness to the breathe. This awareness and focus helps stop mental chatter, bringing you completely into your body's sensations helping to ground you in the present moment. For anyone suffering from anxiety or panic attacks, add this practice to your self-care routine immediately!
6. Be still
Possibly the most important tip on this list. There is no greater way to slow down then to just be still in every capacity (mind, body and spirit). Now this doesn't necessarily mean you need to meditate (however meditation is a brilliant way to cultivate stillness!). You can achieve stillness quite easily just by taking some time out free from commitments. My favourite way to create stillness is to turn on some chilled music, light a few candles and sink into a blissful bubble bath. The effects are almost instantaneous! Another beautiful way to achieve stillness could be to lie or sit outside amongst nature and watch the world around you. Obviously choose your surroundings appropriately as some locations might just work you up more, but some great places to start could be a secluded park or even a smaller local beach.
These 6 tips have become crucial elements in my own self-care routine. They are practices that I draw on whenever I'm starting to feel run down, exhausted or even just when I'm feeling like I need to show myself a little more love.
Now over to you lovelies. Do you have any go to practices for cultivating peace and slowing down? I'd love for you to share them with the community in the comments below!