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Slow Down

You may have noticed that I've been a little MIA from sending my blog lately.. You may have thought that I gave up, quit, or fell down a well, but the truth is, this summer I've had a lot going on. We moved into our new home, did some vacationing, spent time with family, worked on some new projects, I actually read a couple of books for pleasure (GASP!) and before I turned around it was September. Time just seems to be flying by so fast.

I had been feeling pretty guilty not keeping up with my newsletters and blog posts. Then I thought, you know what? It's OK! Instead of beating myself up over it, I decided to step back and reflect on all I have done and find a way to slow things down a bit.

I saw a meme on the internet that really summed up our current state of affairs. It said "Busy is the New Fine." I thought about how true that statement was. How often do you ask someone how they're doing and they respond "busy". It seems that being busy is the acceptable "norm" and anything else is preposterous. I mean imagine if you ran into someone and ask how they've been and they answered, "Great! I've spend the entire summer doing nothing." Preposterous indeed. Or is it?

As a Health and Lifestyle Coach, I often work with clients that seemingly have little or no time for self-care, exercise, meal prep, reading, connecting with nature, pretty much anything for themselves. No wonder they aren't living their happiest, healthiest lives! Don't you think it's time to slow down?

Here are my top 10 tips to slow down each day.

  1. Prioritize. Make sure the most important things on your daily to-do list are put first. Some of the other menial tasks may have to fall by the wayside, but that's OK, at least the bigger tasks are at the forefront.

  2. Unplug. Technology has become such a major part of our daily lives. It's easy to lose hours scrolling through newsfeeds. Between social media, surfing the web and checking email, you may be wasting more time than you think. Try limiting your screen time and check email at specific times each day.

  3. Connect with nature. In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, often days can pass without even noticing the simple pleasures of nature. Have your morning cup of coffee outside on the deck, talk a walk after dinner, or take your workout outside.

  4. Drive slower. Have you taken the same road day after day and year after year and never really noticed your surroundings? Take a new route to work or school and take the time to really enjoy the beauty you pass by every day.

  5. Single-task. We spend so much time each day juggling responsibilities, that we often multi-task in order to complete our work. Single-tasking is the opposite of multi-tasking. Taking time to focus on one task at a time can actually increase your productivity.

  6. Breathe. Although we get through most of our lives by breathing without even thinking about it (Thankfully!) Take some time to focus on your breath. Try some breathing exercises or simply spend some time breathing while your computer boots up.

  7. Block free time in your calendar. We all have appointments blocked out on our daily schedules. Try a 1/2 hour block of "free time" to read a book, call a friend, or journal about your day.

  8. Schedule family time. Especially this time of year, it's so easy to get caught up in back-to-school activities, sports, homework, and bed times that we often forget to just spend time with our loved ones. Schedule some time each night to talk about your day, reflect on the good things that happened, or just play a game together.

  9. Say "no". By saying 'no' to things you don't really want to do, you make time to say 'yes' to the things you really want to spend your time on.

  10. Let go. We all have tasks throughout the day that we just don't want to do, but if there is something that just sucks the life out of you, something that steals your joy, it may be time to let go. Have a friend that constantly brings you down? Let them go. Maybe you find laundry or cleaning far too daunting each day, hire someone else to do it or better yet, create a chore chart and teach the kids some responsibility!

By adding one or more of the above things to your daily life, you may free up some time to spend taking care of YOU. We all get the same 24 hours in each day, how can you spend yours to create a happier, healthier you?

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