Need to slow down? Here’s how to do it
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Saturday 23rd October 2021
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Need to slow down? Here’s how to do it
While we’ve all collectively been forced to slow down our fast-paced lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us could benefit from keeping some of these new habits moving forward, in order to have a more balanced approach to our lives. Here’s how to slow down and move towards a slow-living approach in life, even once life returns to “normal.”
- Do less
Most of us spend our days rushing from one task to the next, but by simply doing less, we can slow down the pace of our daily life. This could mean saying no to things and people that aren’t in line with your priorities, but it’s worth it for your mental health.
- Be present
Once you start doing less, it’s important to make the effort to be fully present in whatever it is you’re doing. This level of mindfulness takes practice, but is essential to lessen your pace.
- Take tech breaks
Disconnecting from technology—whether you turn off your phone during set periods of time, or leave your devices at home—means fewer interruptions, and less information overload. Start slow, with just a daily hour that is tech-free.
- Spend time in nature
There’s a Zen saying that you should spend 20 minutes in nature each day, unless you’re busy—then you should spend an hour. Taking a break outdoors to breathe fresh air, get some sunshine on your face, and see and hear the birds can help ground you.
- Savour your morning cuppa
Rather than guzzling your coffee as quickly as possible, spend 15 minutes or more sitting down and really savouring each sip. This quiet time is a nice way to start your day, and an excellent way to enjoy a little guilty pleasure.
- Eat slower
Taking the time to prepare a delicious meal and sitting down to enjoy it is an excellent way to slow down. While you’re cooking, you need to be 100% present to the task or you could ruin your dish. Take your time at the table and really appreciate all the flavours and textures of your food.
- Wake up earlier
If you find yourself rushing around in the morning getting ready for the day, try waking up earlier. Even just a 15-minute head start on your day can help give you a bit of a buffer to move at a more relaxed pace.
Single-tasking is the opposite of multi-tasking, and requires focusing on just one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is complicated, harried, and actually less productive than focusing on a single task at a time. Give time-blocking a try to help keep yourself on track with your to-do list.
When you find yourself moving at a frantic pace, stop for a moment and take a few deep breaths. This pause and connection with your body can help you slow down and bring you into the present moment.
- Enjoy simple pleasures
Acknowledging and making time for simple pleasures is an excellent way to be fully present and slow down. It can be something as simple as reading a chapter in a book, taking a relaxing bath, or walking the dog around the block.
- Make time for self-care
Taking a moment to check in with yourself about what you need and then making that a priority is another excellent way to slow down. Self-care might look a little different these days, but you can still do things like mani/pedis at home, or even a soothing face mask. Going to bed early is a simple self-care idea anyone can manage!
- Do what you enjoy
Figure out what sort of things you enjoy, and then make time to do them. Hobbies are an excellent way to practise mindfulness while expressing your creative side. Consider sketching, crafting, baking, or some other pursuit.
- Write with pen and paper
While today’s computers make writing (and editing) words a breeze, going old school with a pen and paper helps slow you down, gather your thoughts, and really think before you commit them to paper.
- Schedule “do nothing” time
You might think that having time where you intentionally do nothing means you’re not being productive, but that’s hustle culture talking. Scheduling time to actively do nothing and simply sit with your thoughts and daydreams can actually help you come back to your tasks more focused and productive.
- Pick low-stimulus activities
If you’re constantly giving your brain high-stimulus activities such as watching television or spin classes, you might find it hard to slow down. Try a short meditation or yoga class, or take a leisurely walk around your neighbourhood instead.
- Prioritize people
Spending time with the people you love—even if that’s just a phone or video call—can help remind you what matters most in life, and make you step away from some of the busyness of day-to-day life.
- Drive slower
Speeding is a common bad habit in today’s world; it seems like everyone is always late for something. By intentionally slowing down the next time you get behind the wheel, you’ll lessen your risk of accidents and save fuel.
- Turn off noisemakers
It can be tempting to leave the TV or radio on in the background of your home as a sort of white noise, but this constant barrage of sound can leave us feeling worked up and anxious. Turning off noisemakers and enjoying a few moments of silence is an easy way to give yourself a break.
- Practise gratitude
Practising gratitude is something that can be done anywhere at any time, and is an excellent way to slow down and really acknowledge and appreciate all the good things in your life. You can acknowledge something big, like your health and home, or something small, like a sunny day or sleeping on clean sheets.
- Shift your perspective
Finally, one of the best ways to slow down is to shift your perspective about slowing down. Most of us feel guilty for taking breaks and doing less, but we shouldn’t—especially when the research is clear that slowing down can actually help us be happier, healthier, and more successful.
TOP TEN OF THE DAY
10 Most Empowering Songs For Various Causes
Today we live in a very political era where it’s important to stand for causes you believe in. Luckily we have artists who have done so as role models and it has inspired us to create our list of the 10 Most Empowering Songs For Various Causes.
From simple songs that give us the extra strength or push we need to move on with our day, to those that inspire to make a change, we have a little something for everyone. Of course, the great Bob Marley was one of the biggest supporters of empowering music.
Nothing brings people together like the gift of music. It’s able to transform the way we think or even deliver a message that inspires change. So, check out our list of 10 Most Empowering Songs For Various Causes.
- “Lions” by Skip Marley
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Skip Marley created a new song of empowerment for the new generation. The lyric video for the track pretty much includes every message and cause Marley is speaking out for.
- “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley
“Get Up, Stand Up” is the definition of an empowering song. Bob Marley got plenty of people off of their butts and out standing up and marching for what they believe in.
- “Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
“Scars To Your Beautiful” is quite possibly one of the most important and empowering songs for the youth, in terms of image. The age of Instagram has been amazing, however, it has also caused plenty of young men and women to feel a little self-conscious or hold their image up to someone else. Cara’s song speaks to us all and lets us know that our imperfections make us beautiful.
- “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
The “Fight Song” has inspired so many people to push through whatever they are dealing with in life. From sickness to heartbreak, Rachel Platten inspired and empowered us all to keep fighting.
- “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
Like Sia, Kelly Clarkson knows a thing or two about be strong. This is another track that inspires that mentality to the fullest, especially for women.
- “I Can” by Nas
Nas can be pretty gritty with his raps, however, he took a break from that to become a positive voice for children. Together, he and a select group of kids in the music video proved that they could be whatever they wanted to be.
- “Chains” Usher ft. Nas and Bibi Bourelly
In “Chains,” Usher, Nas and Bibi Bourelly collaboratively highlighted the struggles that African Americans and minorities face today. The “Chains” were a symbol of oppression, oppression that still exists in various forms.
- “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera
If someone has broken you, Christina Aguilera reminded you that you’re a “Fighter.” Here is another track that speaks to the strength of a human being.
- “Titanium” by Sia
Sia has become synonymous with songs of strength. In “Titanium” she sets the tone for a strong individual who can dish out anything the world or individuals throw her way.
- “Firework” by Katy Perry
We all need that little push sometimes to realize that we are special. Katy Perry inspired us to burst out of our shells like a “Firework” with her hit track. Simple message but great meaning.
REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
– Nicolas Chamfort
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“No wind favours he who has no destined port.” —Montaigne
Happiness is…a slower pace of life.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?
Love is…something you need on a life’s journey.
A time to live life to its full…A time to slow life down a little
©2021 Phil M Robinson