I used to have a real issue with relaxing and I remember once going on holiday and emailing work because I was so anxious about something I thought I had forgotten to do. It would take me at least three or four days to actually appreciate the fact that I was in beautiful surroundings. By the time I did, it was time to return home! Anyone else guilty of this?
I’m much better at unwinding now and it’s because I have taught myself to slow down more. I have learnt that just because I might be doing something quickly, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m doing it efficiently. It takes time to learn how to slow down and here are seven simple ways I have learnt and that I would like to share.
Too many commitments means you’re constantly thinking about the next thing you have to do. Be nice to yourself and say no a little more. I know, this is tricky but we all need to be a little nicer to ourselves.
Every Breath You Take
Mindfulness is that fancy word that’s been bandied around for the last few years but there is a lot to be said for it. If you find you’re racing around, take a moment to check your breathing. Breathe in slowly, hold your breath for three counts then breathe out slowly. It helps slow your heart rate and will immediately make you feel better.
I’m something of a planner but I try and space things out so that if something takes longer than I anticipate I have the time to do it without getting super stressed. Try to space your tasks and give yourself enough time between them.
Less is More
I love lists. It’s a great way to prioritize and see what things can wait and what things might need to be done sooner rather than later. Try making a list and highlighting in different colors which things are urgent, which things can wait a bit and the ones that can wait a while longer.
Give me just a little more time
I always get to auditions and appointments super early because I’m so afraid of being late. I’m not saying this is a great attribute to have. If I added up all the hours I have wasted in waiting, I could have probably achieved much more in my life! I am trying to strike a balance between giving myself enough time so that I’m not late for things but not arriving places two hours early. If you think it might take an hour to get somewhere, give yourself a little extra time so that you’re not too stressed.
Back to the mindfulness. All it means is paying attention to everything you’re doing when you’re doing it. Whether you’re eating your dinner or having a cup of tea, savor every sip and morsel. Also, try not to watch TV or read at the same time.
It’s all in the detail
If you find yourself getting impatient or rushing, try taking up a hobby that requires you to slow down and pay attention. Sewing, knitting, coloring in, painting or drawing are all great examples of hobbies that require us take care and pay attention. These can really help you to relax and teach you that life doesn’t have to race at a million miles an hour. And you will create something beautiful in the process!
If you want to learn more about slowing down and getting more done in the process, check out these other great blog posts.
These are my top tips for slowing down. What are yours? I would love to hear them.