For most people, slowing down is the last thing on their mind this time of year.
I mean, there is just so much to do, isn’t there? The holidays are coming, it’s the end of the year, the to-do list is ever-growing.
But shouldn’t this be the time of year when we slow down, take some time to reflect and make new exciting plans?
Well… maybe, but the reality is that with the holiday season and end of the year comes a lot of… stress.
Do you think that maybe it’s time to slow down a little?
5 SIGNS THAT IT’S TIME TO SLOW DOWN
1. YOU CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME YOU TURNED OFF YOUR PHONE
If you haven’t made this a habit yet, well… you kind of need to. I don’t know a whole lot of people who turn their phones off on regular basis and it terrifies me.
I remember needing a little break a few weeks back and turning off my phone. After I turned it back on I saw a message from a friend.
Friend: “why aren’t you answering, are you okay?”
Me: “sorry, my phone was off”
Friend: “oh it died?”
Me: “no, I just turned it off”
We’ve become so attached to those things, it sometimes drives me insane. Wherever I go, whether it be a bookstore, a family gathering, I always take a look around and see people with their faces glued to their phones. Turn that thing off once in a while, realize how valuable your time is.
Do you really want to waste hours every day, pointlessly scrolling through Instagram? Disconnect a little and you will notice just how much more time you have when you aren’t constantly tempted to check your Facebook feed or that email you just got. IF, you can’t bring yourself to turn off your phone, you can at least turn off your email or social media notifications for an hour or two.
2. YOU HAVE TROUBLE FALLING ASLEEP
Sometimes our bodies (and minds) get so stressed and anxious that falling asleep is a struggle, even when we’re physically exhausted. If you normally don’t have any problems with sleep but do find yourself tossing and turning at night and feeling uneasy, then it’s another sign that it’s time to slow down.
Nighttime anxiety is a sign that you are experiencing stress. Falling asleep is almost impossible when your mind is racing, your body feels tense and achy, which is why your bedtime routine should always include taking some time to unwind- like journaling, brain-dumping, meditating.
3. SELF-CARE, WHAT’S THAT?
If you feel guilty about treating yourself to a cup of coffee from your favorite place, or saying “no” to a dinner with friends and having a good workout and taking a long bath instead, you need to stop that right now. Recharging your batteries and shifting your energy are both things that practicing some quality self-care can help you with. It’s a necessity, especially this time of year when much of your focus is directed toward other people.
When was the last time you did something nice for yourself? If you need some self-care activities ideas, you can check out this post.
4. YOU’RE CONSTANTLY IN A RUSH + RUNNING LATE
You’re rushing from one task to another, from one place to another, you’re impatient and even rush through your meals. This is probably one of the most obvious signs that it’s time to slow down. Although, when you’re in a constant rush your first instinct might be to actually speed up, instead of taking the time to slow down.
Sit down and make a plan, practice doing things slowly. Create a morning routine that will help you find a bit more time, bring more mindfulness into your daily life.
5. YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED
Ever felt so overwhelmed, with so much to do that you didn’t know where to start so you end up doing… nothing? Yup, it’s not that uncommon.
Lack of planning is another thing that contributes to those feelings of overwhelm. Think about it: you can have five, different, amazing ideas or tasks. Try and pursue all of them at once, they’ll never live up to their full potential.
I myself fall into this trap very often and one thing that helps me stay focused is time-blocking. If you find yourself getting distracted very easily, then I guarantee that time-blocking techniques will help you as well.
HOW DO I FIX IT?
First thing’s first: plan ahead. Make the most of your mornings and make sure that you give yourself enough time to get ready so you don’t have to rush out the door every morning. Take some time to prioritize and ask yourself, what are some of the most important things on your “to-do” list, what are some things that can wait?
Second: don’t put so much pressure on yourself. While trying to fit everything you want to do in your day or when you want to maximize your days, keep in mind that some things are more important than others. It’s okay if you don’t get everything done all at once. Maybe the laundry can wait until tomorrow; you didn’t have enough time to buy groceries, then order takeout- it’s not the end of the world. Learn to let go of some of your expectations, don’t be so harsh on yourself.
Ditch multitasking. As a recovering multi-tasker, I can tell you that trying to do several things at once doesn’t work. Try to do it all at once, and nothing gets done well. Pick one thing from your to-do list and give it 100% of your attention, and you won’t have to waste more time fixing mistakes, double and triple-checking, etc.
Listen to your body– are you feeling tense, sore, achy, do you get headaches? Look after yourself. Even if you’re in a constant rush, you should still make your well-being your priority. Keep some healthy snacks in your bag/office desk/car (like berries and almonds), stay hydrated throughout the day and if you work at a desk-get up and have a good stretch every hour or so, meditate.
Of course, there are so many other ways and techniques that can help you slow down and since our lifestyles and schedules are so different, this isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. Try to identify some of those daily stressors that leave you feeling overwhelmed or anxious and think about eliminating or minimizing some of them. Make a plan and do your best to stick to it.