Once summer ends, it feels like everyday life picks up and goes nonstop through the holidays. Work always gets busier in the fall and so does home life with another holiday always around the corner. Once everything quiets down in the New Year, I tend to look back and regret not taking more time to slow down and enjoy moments in the busy periods too. Oftentimes my never-ending to-do lists feel overwhelming and I don’t allow myself much downtime. Over the past few months, I’ve really been trying to slow down and lead a happier life. Even if you only have 5 minutes to meditate, it can really refocus your whole day.
Here are 5 Ways To Slow Down
1. Take A Few Minutes For Mediation/Affirmation/Prayer: This is No. 1 on my list for a reason. It’s honestly made the biggest impact in helping me slow down and appreciate the little things more. When I’m feeling overwhelmed or negative, I don’t let those thoughts fester for long. I try to counteract them and think about what I’m grateful for in my life – which always helps put everything into perspective. Yes, there are challenging moments/days/periods during our lives, but there is always something to be grateful for. I’ve also been getting better about shutting down negative thoughts and developing positive mantras too. Telling myself “I am good enough” or “I am doing what I think is right” are positive affirmations that redirect those questioning thoughts that will creep in every now and then.
2. Eliminate Working Lunches: I still remember my first day as an intern on Wall Street where I quickly learned work never stops. Everyone ate lunch at their desk and I did for years too. Now that I work from home and have more flexibility (including allowing time for a lunch break), I sit down and eat a proper lunch without my computer or phone nearby. For 20-30 minutes tuning out work allows me to relax and not rush through each bite. I often return to my desk re-energized and less stressed.
3. Get over FOMO: Yes, we all have it at various times throughout our weeks and we have social media to blame. It can often make us feel not good enough or interesting enough, but this goes back to again feeling grateful for what we do have. Health, marriage, children, parents, friends, etc. are all blessings that we are lucky to have. The things that give us FOMO aren’t usually life-changing events and oftentimes they aren’t lasting memories that we’ll regret not having years from now.
4. Develop Daily Relaxing Rituals: For me, that’s burning a candle or having an afternoon break for tea. If I’m having a stressful day or if it’s cloudy out, I almost always burn a candle. It’s so relaxing and makes my office space feel cozier. An afternoon tea break always helps me relax too and unlike with coffee, I don’t feel jittery after drinking a cup. I’ve gotten really into organic medicinal teas – which are miracle workers. The “weightless” tea and “everyday detox” are my favorites from this line – they even have a “stress ease” version.
5. Go On A Walk: Getting outside in nature has a way of clearing your mind. Going on a walk or run is on my daily agenda. It doesn’t always happen of course, but on the days I miss it, I notice a difference. Phil and I have started going on morning walk/runs again (we took a break for a while when we were traveling a lot). Although it means getting up a little earlier, it makes starting the workday much more relaxing.