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.
"Okay, next week I'm going to start eating healthy..."
"On Monday I'll start my new gym routine..."
"I swear this is my last night drinking, no more after this one..."
"No I literally have no food in the house-- I'll just order pizza tonight and start tomorrow morning..."
Sound familiar Sis?
Yes, well...as much as I LOVE Summertime, it's back-to-school already and with that often means habits similar to New Years. We're wanting to get back into routine; back to healthy eating and maybe meal prepping for school or work; back to exercise routines, and so on. But if you're not going back to those healthy habits, maybe you're someone looking to start them.
Believe me girl, I've been there! I haven't always been the holistic health enthusiast that I am today.
When I quit dance at the age of 16, I was eager to find a new means of exercise but gyms and "working out" were foreign to me.
Fast forward to 2019 and I absolutely LOVE my healthy and fit lifestyle! I eat, workout, and live in a way that is maintainable and enjoyable. My routine, eating habits, and day-to-day activities have become a healthy habit that I genuinely enjoy and practice without even thinking.
Here are some random, fun, and often overlooked simple tips to get you on your way to a sustainable and realistic healthy lifestyle this Fall! YOU GOT THIS GIRL!
Six Top Tips to Tackle Fall 2019
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There are 24 hours in a day - how are you using them? What's your relationship with time?
The most important thing to consider on this topic is how you feel and speak about time. Do you always feel rushed? Like the time flies in your day? Have you ever gone to bed feeling guilty about not finishing all that you had planned?
Let's change your relationship with time, starting now. You create time. It's all about how you perceive time, and how you manage it.
Read on to learn about the nine steps to mastering time management.
9 Steps to Mastering Time Management
1. SIMPLY REMEMBER TO BREATHE
If you're overwhelmed with even just the thought of time management, that is a-okay! Step one, breathe. Deeply. Throughout the day. Don't change anything else yet.
Breathing deep into your lower abdomen engages your parasympathetic nervous system, aka your rest and digestive system. Taking deep breathes engages the relation response and makes you feel more calm, present, and centered.
When you feel calm internally, everything externally feels much less abrasive and chaotic. You're able to handle bumps in the road, deadlines, and anything else that comes your way with a greater sense of ease, intuition, and presence.
2. CHANGE THE WAY YOU TALK ABOUT TIME
If you ever catch yourself talking about how you don't have enough time in your day, and your weekend went too fast, ground your energy and acknowledge that time is exactly what you make of it.
Say out loud the following affirmations:
"I Create Time" and "I Have As Much Time As I Need"
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, okay I said them out loud but that was a total lie?
Even if these affirmations don't feel true for you yet, start focusing your energy to operate this way, and time will expand naturally for you.
3. WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU CURRENTLY SPEND YOUR TIME ON EACH DAY
This list should include not just work, or exercise, but also personal care like showers, family responsibilities, internet and/or TV time, reading, and anything else you spend your time doing. There is absolutely no judgement here, so be honest and specific.
If this isn't a natural activity for you, or you feel like you're not being totally honest, track your activities for just one day this week. Every scroll through social media (from the time you pick up your phone, to putting it down) should be noted as well. Do this for everything you do. This will give you an accurate picture.
This list should be "bigger picture" things. Here are some examples:
1| Inspiring, conscious work
2| Optimal physical, mental, and emotional health
3| Authentic, loving, supportive, truthful friendships
4| Positivity in all actions
5| Travel and cultural immersion
Once you've made you list, compare your top five value focuses with those in your list of activities you spend time on daily. How do they contrast or line up? If you're surprised at the difference, eliminate one activity that's out of alignment. Then, continue eliminating actives and obligations as much as you can until you're doing things that align with your top five priorities.
5. FOCUS ON THREE PRIMARY PROJECTS EVERY DAY - DO THE TOUGHEST FIRST
Create your ideal day. Ready, set, go! Focus on your chosen primary projects daily, and not just those related to work. For example, your ideal day might be working out, and making dinner for your family; anything else is a bonus!
If you're worried because you have more than three things to do every day, get as close to this goal as possible. Your top three can be completed first, and if you still have time, then move on to the others. Completing the most challenging one first each morning, preferably before lunch, can give you a great sense of accomplishment and fuels you with momentum for the rest of the day.
6. USE A CALENDAR INSTEAD OF A TO-DO LIST
Writing on a calendar, makes you much more likely to get it done. you'll also be more realistic about how much time it takes, especially if you're using a digital calendar and have the option of factoring a specific time slot.
Now break your projects down into groups. For example, if you need to work out more during the week, break it down into pieces, like cardio days, arm days, legs, etc.
Most projects have multiple aspects, and it's intimidating to just write "work out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. . " on your calendar
7. DELEGATE AND AUTOMATE
I hate to break it to you, but you are not, nor will you ever be, a superwoman/man! Relieve your thoughts of beings able to do it all. Everyone, including superwoman/man, has a support team - utilize them. When you delegate and automate activities you don't love doing, you free yourself and open the space for your specialties and main focuses. This leads to flow states where work feels easier and the outcome has a much greater sense of happiness.
This can be scary. For most, we have the perception that delegating and automating is only for those on a high scale, ranking, or larger pay rate. That's completely untrue. You can get support at fairly affordable prices.
Here are some ideas to consider:
1| Drop your laundry off instead of doing it yourself. At a good place, it should only cost a few dollars more than doing it yourself and saves you hours. A lot of places offer pickup and delivery options as well.
2| Hire a smart, mature college student to help you around the house a few hours a week for $10-12 an hour.
3| Set up your finances so you bills get paid automatically.
4| Ask you kids, husband, partner, or roomie for more help. Work out a system that's beneficial for all parties; remember to voice your needs in a respectful manner.
5| Schedule all your personal appointments for the next six months, i.e. haircuts, manis/pedis, massages, or anything else you do regularly. Take out the guesswork and put everything in your calendar in one swoop.
8. GET ACCOUNTABILITY
Write down a few potential accountability buddies now and reach out to them in the coming week. Set a memorized appointment to talk with them weekly, and hold each other accountable for your intentions and calendar items. This is the definition of "walking the walking, while talking the talk".
9. RELEASE PERFECTION
Time is chaotic and might not always feel or be perfect. Let go of the need to be perfectly scheduled and productive on a daily basis. You're a human, not a robot. Use gentle language to bring yourself back after straying off path. talk to yourself like you would speak to an innocent, sweet, intelligent child. Don't judge yourself - that can cause a negative affect very quick. Stay positive and keep supporting your physical, mental, and emotional health through primary food and secondary food.
With every new month, I want to make more of an effort to set intentions. Similar to New Year's resolutions, but less of a commitment - one's that are more reasonable, more easily obtainable.
So. November, equals Autumn; the day's are getting crisper, and the night's are getting colder. My schedule at work has changed to 6:45am to about 3:15pm, per my choice, and boy is it getting harder to wake up with motivation when the sun doesn't rise until I've already been in the office for an hour. The perks: out early = gym early = home early = bed early!
Last month, I accepted a new position in my office, and while I don't feel stressed with my full time job, I am noticing more and more that my relationship with time is not the greatest. Two days ago I was chatting with a co-worker and found myself saying, "Ya know, time really flys by here. . like, before this full time gig, I really didn't pay attention to time, but here- I mean one day it's Monday, and the next it's Friday! Or worse, one second it's 2:30pm, and the next it's 10pm, and then it's 5am the next day and we're back here again!"
This November, I want to set the intention to BREATHE. To really not just evolve in my life, but be present. To feel present.
I created a list this week of my intentions for November, and whenever I feel like I need a reminder, I can look back - and breathe of course, while doing so. I'm not making any promises here, and I won't beat myself up if I'm not able to accomplish the following, but at least I have put my intentions out there. I am #manifesting what I want. It is now up to me to figure out what #actions I need to take.
1. Be lighthearted in the face of stress and change
2. Be mindful of indulgences and comforts in excess
3. Be compassionate towards others and avoid giving advice
4. Be flexible and ready for anything; bend; grow with the flow
5. Take time and pause
7. Focus on breathing for 5 minutes a day
8. Hydrate to fuel the body
9. Be grateful ~ reflect: for what? for whom?
10. Keep it simple
NEW MONTH . NEW MINDSET . NEW FOCUS . NEW RESULTS
I've never shared with anyone what I'm about to unveil. This is me being very real, and very vulnerable. After all, that's one of the reasons I started blogging; you can just write it all down and get your thoughts out there and judgements are made, but not to you physically. I haven't always been a holistic-philosophy-mindset girl, nor did I become one overnight.
I'm sharing my holistic journey in hopes that it might help you to 1) feel less alone in whatever path you're currently on and 2) recognize how important a whole mind-body connected mindset is.
After returning from a semester of traveling abroad in Southeast Thailand, and after that a semester off recovering, working, and planning my next motive, I went through a period of being too concerned with the health of my body (let me be more specific, the shape of my body) that led to an obsession with being 'healthy'.
Living with this mindset, I soon realized that while my body looked healthy (though still not up to my mind's standards) I was living the total opposite of my intention. My intentions upon my return from my Gap Year were to get grounded, get my appetite back for a clean eating habit, get back to a workout routine, go to college, etc.
I was working out multiple times a day, whether it was running in the morning and then hitting the gym in the evening, or two runs in a day, etc. On top of (what I now acknowledge as over-working out) what I thought was smart and what my body needed, I was restricting my diet - limiting carbs, minimal dairy, sweets occasionally, hardly any protein (plant-based vegetarian at the time). . . as you can see, a totally non-sustainable and "gigi friendly" way of life.
Life was evolving per usual, I was going through things emotionally with family, friends, etc. and ultimately I took it upon myself to essentially take out my stress, anger, frustration, confusion, and sadness (the list could go on) towards my physical well-being.
I had crossed the line. I was so focused on healthy eating and healthy exercise, that I was actually putting my health at risk. People with this condition of needing to only eat healthy, clean or pure foods are referred to as orthorexic. Other symptoms might include low self-esteem, poor body image, and compulsive traits alongside over-exercising.
Good news is that those who come to realization of their behavior and who put in the effort to recover, have some of the healthiest relationships with exercise and food. I’m not saying I have 100 percent recovered myself, but I am aware, I have slowed down and truly feel and think more intuitively with my body. I have lowered my running craze drastically and gone from using it as a coping mechanism to rid my stress and anxiety, and instead found a way to feel balanced physically and mentally. People ask if I meditate and lately I’ve been thinking that you know what, while I don’t sit and meditate in a traditional manner, I do meditate when I run, go for walks, practice yoga – it all brings me joy, and in that state I feel light, happy, energized, as if in a meditative-state.