Life moves so fast. Between caring for our children and aging parents, meeting career demands, keeping a house and the never-ending list of errands, it’s no wonder we rarely get opportunities to slow down and take time for ourselves.
You wake up to the alarm clock, rush to get the kids off to school and yourself off to work. Lunch is eaten at your desk since the never-ending to-do list doesn’t allow for a break. You run late to appointments because your mom keeps calling to complain about her new doctor. By the time everyone is back home for dinner you haven’t had a moment to even think about what’s for dinner, let alone the energy for cooking. You order a pizza, get the kids off to bed, watch a little TV, then try to get the chatter in your mind to slow down long enough to get some sleep and start all over again in the morning.
When day after day we’re constantly on the move, there’s little time left for the things that really matter.
Things like connecting with loved ones, eating healthy meals and time for ourselves.
Before we know it, the kids are living their own lives, mom and dad are gone, and we’re left with tired minds and worn-out bodies wondering where all the time went. Follow the tips below to steal some moments of living before your life takes over.
10 Ways to Slow Down
Prioritize daily objectives. Take a moment before each day to decide what you need to be sure to address and let the rest go.
Give yourself more time. When you’re planning your day, give yourself more time than you think you need for each activity so you’re not rushing through your day.
Schedule self-care. While you’re doing your planning, make sure to put in some time for your favorite activities, like a yoga class or going to a movie. Even if you have to schedule it a couple weeks out, put it on the calendar and stick to it.
Practice saying no. Come up with some ways to say no that feel comfortable to you and use them. For example, “I’d love to take that on but I just don’t think I can give it the attention it deserves.”
Reduce screen time. Time spent on distractions like social media and TV can really add up. Consider how much time you spend each day at these activities and see if you can’t swap some of that time out for something more meaningful.
Enjoy nature. A walk in nature can be very relaxing and meditative. Even going outside and doing some deep breathing for a few minutes can give you a bit of a reset.
Move your body. Get up every 30 minutes and move around. Get a glass of water or take the long route to the bathroom. Do some quick push-ups or squats during TV commercials. Consider wearing a pedometer or Fitbit to motivate you to take more steps.
Take moments to connect. Give your loved ones your full attention whenever you can. If your mom calls in the middle of your work day, tell her you will call her back when you can really listen. If your child is telling you about their day, put away the electronics and listen.
Take the scenic route. Is there a route you can take that will be less traffic-y and more attractive? Can you take public transportation and relax on your commute?
Keep a notebook by your bed. When the bedtime mind-chatter starts, make a note to address what’s on your mind tomorrow so you can let it go and get some sleep.
We all live busy lives, often feeling like there just isn’t enough time in the day. But, by taking just one small step at a time, we can learn to slow down and enjoy life.
Try one of the above tips and let me know how it goes in the comments below. Or share what helps you to slow down!