It's never been easier to connect with someone on the other side of the world, yet it's so easy to feel disconnected from the people closest to us. We have more tools than ever to simplify tasks and accomplish more things quickly, yet our to-do lists have never been longer. Life is short, and time flies, especially in today's fast-paced world. These exercises are meant to help you S L O W down, enjoy life, and focus on the important things.
Top 10 Tips to Slow Down
#1 TAKE TIME TO PRIORITIZE DAILY OBJECTIVES
By focusing on the most important tasks to get done, we eliminate the stress of trying to accomplish everything at once. Just yesterday, my boyfriend walked by our hall table and said, "oh my gosh you have lists everywhere!" It's true - I keep lists on scrap paper all over our apartment, in my planner, on my phone, etc. And it's because I like to keep track of 1) when it's time to go to the store, 2) when it's time to pay the bills and which bills to pay, 3) daily to-do's, 4) emails that need to be sent and to who, etc. etc.
I highly recommend investing in a daily planner if you're a pen to paper kind of girl. I buy mine for less than $10 at TJMaxx or Home Goods, and it is the most satisfying thing to be able to write a list for that day, week, month, or whenever - and then cross it off as you conquer things!
#2 CUT PERSONAL INTERNET USE IN HALF
Technology has become a major element in most of our lives. Social networking, email, and web surfing hinder our ability to focus by throwing hundreds of ideas at us. Reduce your internet use by 50% and use that time to explore new hobbies, exercise, or meditate.
Okay out of all of these tips, I know this one is my greatest struggle. Especially since most of my day revolves around being on my phone, computer, and camera - so that I can create content for my business. When I spent time with my mum over the holidays, I told her I wanted to get back into knitting - so I can keep busy at night. I kid you not, almost every night after dinner you can find me watching Netflix on my computer, while starring and scrolling mindlessly on my phone -- whaaaat! I want to improve this habit asap and I think a knitting project is a great place to start.
#3 ENJOY NATURE, GET OUTSIDE MORE
Take a 5-10 minute break to step outside and breathe fresh air. Disconnect from the rest of the world and admire the beauty of nature.
Being outside is an instant mood booster! It's a free stress reliever, good for mental health, puts a smile on your face, you're less likely to pick up a virus since you're not breathing the same recycled indoor air, plus it allows you to be grateful for all the beauty this earth has to offer. Don't believe me, try it.
#4 EAT SLOWER
A lot of us speed through meals, missing the chance to appreciate our food's textures and flavors. Start to chew slower and fully experience the smell, taste, and texture of your food. Another reason to eat slower and chew more? Better digestion friends! Yep, it's true.
No one can serve well if they are bloated and constipated and experiencing acid reflux meal after meal. Studies suggest chewing for 30 counts, but I say chew until your food feels mushy and I'd say you're good to go. Also, practice putting down your utensil each time you take a bite; this forces you to slow down, chew, and then get more, vs. just shoveling more and more food in!
#5 CONNECT WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS
We all want to spend quality time with close friends and family, but how often do we get to truly listen and connect? Put away the cell phones and steer clear of noisy environments. Connect on a deeper level.
Have you ever tried the rule at a family/friend dinner where everyone stacks their phone in the middle of the table, and whoever reaches and looks at their phone first, pays the bill?! It's a good one.
#6 MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
When did you last spend valuable time with yourself? Take a night to find a new book, watch a favorite movie, try yoga, meditate, or cook a new recipe. I love creating content for my social media, blog, emails, etc. but it can be exhausting and overwhelming. Insert my knitting idea here also!!
#7 GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME
Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you're jotting down new tasks in your planner, factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks.
#8 TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE
Next time you're driving somewhere, take the scenic route. Driving through open fields, mountains, or in view of a city skyline can be very relaxing. Or maybe you're like me, living in a new and unfamiliar area, every time I get in my car I have to use my GPS... maybe I'll try to not rely on immediate direction and get lost!
#9 SIT WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED BEFORE STARTING WORK
Even just a few moments of meditation can set the tone for the rest of your day. Try to empty your mind and take deep breaths before jumping into your tasks.
For about 3 years now, I've been greeted with anxiety attacks in some of the most inconvenient situations. How do I overcome those and move along with the rest of my day? Deep breaths. Inhale for 6 counts, exhale for 4 counts. This exercise brings me back to my feet in some of the darkest times.
#10 REMEMBER YOUR GOALS & ASPIRATIONS
Each morning when you wake up, take a few moments to think about your life goals and aspirations. Recall the milestones you've already reached in your life, and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for five minutes before getting out of bed to start your day.
I can't be the only one who reaches for my phone within the first couple of minutes I'm awake in the morning. . . anyone else? It's something I'm aware of and something I know I need to improve. One thing that I've been thinking might help would be to invest in a simple clock where I can set an alarm instead of my phone, and that will cut back on how soon i'm starting screen and scrolling time!
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If you are ready to finally break old habits and to create the life and body that you want, reach out for a free consultation today! I would love to chat with you and see you improve in so many areas of your life. Contact me today.
Disclaimer: this post was written with notes from my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Images are my own.