The Importance of Slowing Down

A balanced and healthy lifestyle has to include rest, stillness, time away from the work and busyness, boundaries, and a good dose of slowing down. While slowing down is always important, the festive season is often when we need a reminder to scale back. Busy becomes everyone’s favourite word, plans are made on top of plans, we are exhausted, sleep deprived, and completely over doing it.

The answer isn’t to say no to friends and family but it’s a good time to remember that you don’t have to be busy to be doing enough. Here are our tips on how you can find a little more space and peace in the busiest time of the year. And all year round.

Find time away from everyone

Spend time alone, even if it’s only small amounts each day. And by alone, we mean without your Instagram and Facebook accounts too.

Spending time alone allows to your brain to unwind and disconnect from the need to be constantly on the go. It also allows you to reconnect with how you’re feeling, where you’re giving too much energy, and where you might need to scale back. If meditation is your thing, this is the perfect time for it.

Honour yourself by saying ‘no’ rather than ‘busy’

When we feel overwhelmed, we often revert to the word ‘busy’ to get out of things. When you take away the word ‘busy’ and replace it with a real answer, it’s very powerful. All of a sudden you have to honour your choices and priorities and you find out what’s really important to you. You’d be amazed at how people appreciate the truth, even if that’s “I’m sorry I can’t make it tonight, I really need a night in to rest.” Or simply “I’ve made other plans and it’s really important to me that I go, and two events in one night is too much.” Then people know that when you’re with them it’s because you chose to be not because you have to be.

Get comfortable doing one thing at a time and setting boundaries

Working on hundreds of things at a time, writing emails, checking your phone, and having a conversation. Sounding at all familiar? For some reason we think doing everything at once, is how to be productive. But when we try we get overwhelmed. And we disconnect from those around us.

One of the main reasons we do so much at once is we’re afraid to push back and set boundaries. We rely on ‘yes’ and ‘asap’. This yes attitude often starts eating into family time, rest, or just sitting still. When we stop and do one thing at a time, we perform better, we can prioritise, and we can do it with a clear head. Plus those around you have clear expectations of when they’re going to see work, speak to you, etc. And when you’re with family and friends you can be present and connected.

Be ok with rest and sleep and play

One of the most important things in a balanced and healthy lifestyle is a focus on play, rest, and sleep. Play is when we engage with tasks that we feel lost in, time could fly by and we wouldn’t even notice. Rest is anything that makes us feel recharged. It could be watching your favourite TV show (not bingeing a show while on your phone), or taking a walk. And sleep is something we all need more of. Seven or eight hours and nothing less.

As we get a break from work over the holidays, do these three things as much as you can, we know your mind, body and soul will thank you for it!

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