WHY YOU SHOULD SLOW DOWN SOMETIMES
Much of life requires us to take action but there are times when it’s better to press pause and just stop to think. A simpler life gives us space to do this and in this post I share why you should slow down sometimes.
THE IDEA OF SLOWING DOWN
Sometimes we’re required to take action in our lives. Maybe things need to change. Big changes that require a whole paradigm shift in our thinking and lifestyle or little changes that are simply small tweaks here and there.
I’m an action-taker, a do-er. If something’s not right, then I like to make changes to get it right. I frustrate and annoy myself when I procrastinate and feel guilty sometimes (even though I know I shouldn’t!) when I take things easy.
Yet, there are times when I also recognise that the best thing to do is to do nothing at all. This post is my invitation to you to also do nothing at all… at least on the surface.
I’d like to give you permission, if you need it, to slow down. Press pause. Stop what you’re doing.
WHEN DOING NOTHING IS THE BEST THING TO DO
Doing nothing can seem the complete opposite of our usual instinct. When we hit a problem, some of us can be the ostrich putting our head in the sand or (like I tend to do) we go into overdrive. We wrestle the problem until it’s a problem no more!
Sometimes though, it’s best to take a different approach. A bit like the ‘less is more’ philosophy of a simpler, minimalist lifestyle that I love to share.
Sometimes it’s best to stop and reflect. Maybe it’s when…
- Things are too busy – You’re in overdrive and going around in circles but not getting as much done as you’d like.
- You’re feeling low – Negative emotions lead us to misinterpret our needs and we act on the wrong things at the wrong time.
- You’ve got too many decisions – Each choice is vying for your attention, you’re unsure what to do first and only the ones that shout the loudest get heard.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SLOW DOWN
There are many benefits to slowing down but I’d like to give you an example.
As I’m writing this we’re heading towards Christmas. There’s so many things to do, people to see, presents to buy and places to be. I’m juggling work, school, home and Christmas in the mix.
I’ve planned as much as possible, simplified all that I can and I’m now looking forward to a house full of kids and festive chaos. In my head I’m secretly concerned how the introvert me will cope with all the hustle and bustle!
So, as well as taking care of myself over the holiday break, I’m also preparing to press pause and stop.
- I want to think about the year that’s just been. What’s been achieved, learnt and was successful, as well as the moments that I’d rather forget (I think we all have those!).
- I’m going to practice gratitude for the things that enrich my life and think about ways to improve upon the things which bring me down.
- I’m going to reflect on what makes me happy, fulfilled and uplifted but also what makes me stressed out, unhappy and out-of-sorts.
- I’ll be planning for the year that’s coming. My hopes and dreams for me, my kids, my family, my work, my blog.
A SIMPLER LIFE LEAVES ROOM TO SLOW DOWN WHEN WE NEED
When we slow down, press pause and stop we give ourselves time to think and plan. We can find clarity and focus. Our quiet, precious thoughts aren’t having to make themselves heard in the midst of a noisy world.
A simple life is an eas-IER one, but it’s not always easy. Life can get complicated sometimes.
By being intentional about what we let in we’re trying our best to keep focused on our priorities and the things that mean the most to us, even when daily life throws us a curve ball.
A simple life isn’t a boring, rigid or empty one, but it does enable and encourage us to slow down when we need to.
In slowing down we can find ways to honour the things that mean the most to us.
So, when your life gets busy or you’ve got important plans to make, I invite you to slow down. Press pause. Give yourself space to stop and think.
10 WAYS TO SLOW DOWN
If slowing down seems difficult, it doesn’t have to be! Here are some simple ways to take a moment for yourself.
- Go for a walk
- Put on some headphones and listen to a podcast
- Read a book or flick through a magazine
- Take yourself out for coffee and cake, alone
- Enjoy a bath
- Take a nap or just take a rest
- Listen to music
- Enjoy a hobby
HELPFUL POSTS ON SLOWING DOWN AS SELF-CARE
Slowing down is as much about self-care as it is about managing your time. If your self-care routine needs a little overhaul and you could benefit from a more consistent self-care routine, here are some resources which could help:
- Journal prompts for self-care – how do you feel about yourself and how could regular self-care make you feel instead
- 20 ways to look after yourself – taking care of yourself takes many different forms
- 6 self-care habits for your daily routine – tips for a consistent self-care practice
- How to make time for yourself – why you sometimes need to prioritise YOU!