Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work.
You’re in the thick of it, summer. The season when life is like a semi-truck, barreling down a hill at 90 miles an hour. The speed is all good and great, it’s thrilling in fact, but problems arise when there’s a deer crossing at the bottom of the hill and you have no way to avoid a crash. Not to mention, you’re going so fast that you miss the road signs telling when you need to turn or watch out for traffic ahead.
That speed, aka summer, can easily create a life that is out of balance — a life that pushes you forward with such immense force that you need to actively remember how to slow down. It’s up to you to pump the breaks, and it’s important to do so. Slowing down to school-zone speeds will enable you to get more enjoyment out of the highway joy rides. It teaches you to find control and to know when you’re exiting the fun zone and entering into dangerous territory.
Here are tips for actively slowing down, and taking time out. Now, more than ever, it’s important to teach yourself how to do so.
1. Walk, Bike, or Take Public Trans: I recently got rid of my car, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done for my piece of mind. Not only did it take away the extra stress of money, but it created space in my life. I find that I’m walking more, riding my bike more, and taking public transportation. The empty time to think, read, and listen to music does wonders for my brain. It clears my head like a meditation, and allows me to unwind from my day (or settle in before my day starts). It’s also forced me to do less and to prioritize. Because I can’t zip here and there, I have to think about what I really want to get done. I do less running around like a crazy person, and more intentional activity. If you’re in need of a slow down, I urge to go even one day without using the car. Every little bit counts.
2. Cook: Making time at the end of the day to cook a meal and share it with the ones you love, is a great way to take time. The beautiful thing about food, is that it can’t be rushed. Watch it cook, smell the aromas, and taste test it along the way. Evenings spent unwinding in the kitchen are a great way to clear your mind, and to get you back to a well-grounded place in life.
3. Wake Up 20 Minutes Earlier: Rushed mornings are sure to make you feel out of control. It’s not a good way to start the day. Do yourself a favor, and wake up just twenty minutes earlier than you usually do. Take the extra time to read in bed, sip coffee, or simply stare off into space. The slow start to your day will make getting to work that much easier. You’ll find you feel more ready to take on whatever comes your way. Craziness or not, you have the balanced mindset to tackle anything.
4. Treat Yourself: Once in a while, you need to drop it all, and focus on you. Book a massage, stop in for a pedicure — or if you can’t spend the money — create an at home treatment. Whatever you do, it’s important to give back to your body and thank it for all of the brutal stress that you put it through. If you want it to perform when the going gets tough, you have to give it the TLC it deserves.
And there you have it, four tips to actively slow down. I hope you’ve found some tools that help you feel more balanced and in control. Life is really beautiful, we need the fast moments and the slow ones, it’s just important to remember how to create a bit of both.
What tips do you have for slowing down?