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emotional health and well-being

Six Ways to Slow Down, Way Down

October 16, 2022

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Sunday is set aside as a day of rest.  Or at least, it is supposed to be.  Sometimes, Sunday is used to catch up on things left undone from the previous week and/or to prepare for the upcoming week.  It also is a day that can be riddled with anxiety, thanks to the Sunday scaries.

One day of rest, especially when it leaves us feeling anything but rested, is not enough and creates unrealistic expectations for this one day each week.  

Our world may reward those who finish first and those who complete tasks and goals the fastest, but there can be a high cost for this faster is better mentality.  Burnout.  Anxiety.  Stress  Just like the tortoise learned when he raced the hare, sometimes, slow and steady really does win the race.

There are ways that we can incorporate slowing down in our daily lives that will improve our physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being, not just on Sunday, but any day of the week: 

Give yourself enough time in the morning.  Our morning routine can set the tone for the rest of our day.  If you are not a morning person, it can be very tempting to hit the snooze button repeatedly to postpone facing the day for as long as you can or to set your alarm to go off at the last possible second that will still allow you to get out the door on time.  If rushing out the door and arriving at work or school in a frenzy are not how you want to start your day, revisit your morning routine to explore how much time you actually need to get ready, eat breakfast, and commute to arrive on time and feeling calm, cool, and collected.  This may involve some trial and error, but keep playing around with it, until you find a morning routine and timeframe that work well for you.  

Eat slowly.  In our never-ending quest to save time, we often skimp on mealtime.  Instead of savoring each bite of food, we eat on the go, at our desk, or standing up in the kitchen.  Sometimes, we scarf down a meal or snack so quickly that we barely taste it.  Food may be ready in no time, but that doesn’t mean that it should be consumed in no time, as well.  It takes the brain twenty minutes from the time we begin eating until the time we stop to signal that we are full.  So, slowing down to eat will help to prevent overeating and help us to enjoy our food more, and we can also use mealtime to either connect with others or to take time for a bit of solitude.  

Walk, instead of drive.  During the pandemic, I discovered that a whole new world existed within walking distance of our home, and I began leaving my car at home when I ran errands.  The habit of walking, instead of driving, to do my errands is a practice that I have continued.  In addition, to being environmentally friendly, it also provides me with additional exercise and more time outdoors.  It makes doing routine errands so much more pleasant.

Take the scenic route.  Recently, my husband and I chose to take a road trip, instead of hopping on a plane, to reach our destination.  When we have the time and flexibility to do so, we take advantage of road trips.  This allows us to travel at our own pace, take it the scenery, spend uninterrupted time together, and simply unplug.  I also like to take the scenic route around town, whenever possible, to give my senses a respite from the hustle and bustle of congested roadways, construction, and traffic. 

Schedule time for something enjoyable.  If you read that sentence, and immediately, thought, I don’t have time for something that I enjoy, then, this is suggestion for slowing down is especially for you.  We need downtime mentally and physically on a regular basis, instead of scheduling ourselves from sun up to sundown with tasks that deplete us.  If you add one more thing to your schedule, let it be time to for something that you really enjoy.  Read.  Meditate.  Exercise. Garden. Paint. Write. Nap.  Whatever it is that leaves you feeling re-energized, relaxed, or just happy, take time to make it part of your day whenever you can.

End the day on a peaceful note.  Just like our morning routine sets the tone for our day, our evening routine can salvage a bad day and set us up for a good start to the next day.  Allow time to prepare for tomorrow by making sure that everything you need to start your day and get out the door, such as your outfit, keys, bag, lunch, etc., are ready and waiting, and set your alarm, allowing ample time to complete your morning routine. It also is very important to take time to unplug from electronics, brush your teeth, wash up, change into comfortable sleep attire, and mentally and physically unwind before climbing into bed at a reasonable hour.  Doing so will help us to sleep better and to wake up feeling well-rested and prepared for the day ahead of us.  

It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but starting today, I hope that we all can commit finding ways to slow down and make our daily lives easy like Sunday morning. 

#slowdown #slowyourroll #slowandsteadywinstherace #relax #rest #regroup #pause #sixwaystoslowdown #lifecoach #lifecoaching #elev8lifecoaching

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emotional health and well-being

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