Do you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed? Is your schedule overloaded? Do you wonder where the energy will come from to get it all done? You’re not alone. Taking time to slow down is a popular topic that comes up with some of my clients. After working together, many of them discover that we all need to internally slow down in our minds, slow down in our schedules and slow down in our activity.
It is usually our resistance to slowing down that causes the anxiety, fear and overwhelming feelings. When you think about slowing down, what comes up for you? Some people have a fear that they won’t get everything done. Others fear they will miss out on something. It is important to take a look at what slowing down really means to you. This might help to shift your perspective. (Even the Energizer Bunny needs to change batteries at some point!) By slowing down, most of us end up feeling more energized, less stressed and a little lighter. Doesn’t that sound nice? The good news is that it is totally possible. Here are 7 slow down strategies you might find helpful:
- Breath. By consciously taking loooong, slooow, deeeeep breaths we can begin to slow down the heart rate and our racing thoughts as well. Control over our breathing is something that is always available to us, no matter what the circumstances might be.
- Recognize limitations. Be gentle with yourself. Something has to give and sometimes it’s your very own expectations that apply the pressure to keep going and not slowing down.
- Schedule time to relax. Block time on your busy calendar for YOU. By planning a date and time on your calendar, you are making a commitment to take care of yourself. Be sure to keep the date! Do something relaxing during your time like taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, reading, meditating or listening to soothing music.
- Make a list. Do a brain dump and write down all of the things you have on your mind. There’s no need to worry about writing out sentences, correcting spelling or punctuation. Just write it out. This will release the mental clutter and your thoughts will slow down.
- Avoid too much caffeine. The extra energy you get from the morning cup of java can also increase anxiety. Try ordering a decaf coffee in the afternoon or evening. Cutting back on the energy drinks will help as well.
- Connect with Nature. Disconnect from the electronics and spend some time with nature. Take a walk in a park. Make time for a hike. Sit outside and observe Mother Nature. What kind of trees and flowers do you see. What the birds, squirrels and other creatures in their natural habitats. Connecting with nature will bring a calmness to you. In turn, it will allow you to let go of the stress and slow down.
- Remain grateful. We all have so many blessings to be grateful for in our lives. The universe is taking care of us all the time. Focusing on gratitude will help you to internally slow down and reconnect with your spirit.
It is important to give yourself permission to slow down. I challenge you to pick a few slow down strategies from the above list to practice on a regular basis. There are many other ways to slow down, so feel free to do whatever works best for you. The goal is to slow down. After you start slowing down, make sure you recognize the positive difference it makes in your life.
Which slow down strategies will you focus on today?