The last couple months have been a huge aha for me. Taking breaks and evaluating what works in my life and what doesn’t has led to some major slowing down. Now, if you know me, I am not someone who is naturally comfortable with „slow“.
I talk fast, I walk fast, if I have an idea I wanna do it NOW. And no, unfortunately I am not exaggerating. The idea of going on vacation and spending all day laying at the beach literally freaks me out. That’s the sort of person I am.
As you can imagine patience is not really one of my super-strong traits. ;-) So slowing down for me is … hard. To say the least. I have tried to live slower before in my life, but somehow it never worked. Even just laying in the yard in the sunshine for five minutes was literally impossible for me. You would have had to tie me down to make me do it. (Nope, I am not kidding.)
But lately, it has become easier. Alot. I am not sure why exactly, but I can say … I LOVE it. I finally know what the beauty of now is. I can sit and just be. Not always. And not for hours in a row. But more and more often. And it feels wonderful. I can enjoy the sunshine, the wind, a flower – and all is perfect just in that moment. It brings such a wonderful peaceful contentment that I never had before in my life. I am so grateful and thankful for that.
And once I had experienced this beautiful feeling, I wanted more. :-) Unfortunately with life it is not that easy to slow down. If you are not careful you are back in the old tracks, with the old speed. So I thought I try to fit in as many things to slow down my life as I can. And in case you wanna slow down your life a bit as well – here is a bit of inspiration. 15 ways to slow down your life. Take your pick.
1 Having a cup of tea.
As you might be able to guess this is my absolute favorite one. Just sitting – preferably on our swing in the backyard – and sipping some hot tea to me is magic.
I used to write a lot in journals as a child. A LOT! I loved writing. I still love writing. And writing always helps me to sort out emotional stuff and process what is happening. And it somehow takes the pace out of life. Instead of hopping from one thing to the next you sit down, write, reflect. Oddly, at some point I stopped and figured it is a waste of time and paper. OMG, how could I! I am glad that I am back on it.
3 Doing some yoga.
Somehow yoga helps me to feel more grounded and calm. It has a wonderful effect on me and my mind. I love the yoga videos by Erin Motz and her 30 day yoga challenge helped me to do yoga regularly. Check out her videos – they are not super-long and therefore easy to implement in your day. You can access them here.
4 Eating S L O W L Y.
Now I have to admit I used to kinda inhale my food. :-) Not even on purpose. But I was always so busy in my mind, thinking about stuff that by the time I was done with a meal I often realized that I had not paid any attention to my meal AT ALL. (That odd moment when you look down your plate, realize it is empty and wonder where it all went.) So now I try to eat my meals really slowly, bite by bite. Preferably outside in the sunshine. This one is super-hard for me as I get distracted from concentrating on my food REALLY easily. But I am working on it. Nice side-effect: My stomach really likes when I eat slowly. Much less tummy distress. Ooooh, and you most likely will need to eat less to feel full. ;-)
5 Sitting on a swing
No idea why this one works for me, but it does. I LOVE swings. Always have. I could sit on swings for hours. Give it a try, maybe it works for you, too?
6 Being outside in nature.
I love nature. And I have a feeling nature loves me. ;-) Sometimes I just sit in our backyard or on a bench in a park. Listen to the birds. Watch the leaves sway in the wind. Watch some water. It is like a hug for the soul.
When quietly sitting is too hard, I run or walk or cyle. It is not as slow as sitting. ;-) But it still helps.
7 Writing a letter or postcard.
Yes, by hand. No email allowed! This is about slowing down, remember.When you are done with writing – send it to someone you care about. Most people do not expect written mail anymore and REALLY appreciate it.
And if you need some inspirational postcards … I got you covered HERE. ;-)
8 Reading a book. FOR FUN.
9 Cuddling a pet.
Pets are awesome teachers for living more slowly. Ever saw a cat running around frantically? Or a dog stressed out about the fact that he did not get enough done today?
10 Folding or hanging some laundry.
I know this sounds weird. For me it works. I somehow have a thing for mindless, repetitious tasks. They calm me down. Washing the dishes also does the trick. For some odd reason cleaning the bathroom does not. :-( Too bad.
11 Picking just ONE thing from your to-do list.
Try it just for a day. I know this one is hard and certainly does not work every day. But once-in-a-while be fine with doing just ONE thing.
12 Sitting alone in the dark with a candle.
Sounds spooky? Try it. The dark is not as dark as you might think. I find it super romantic and calming to watch the flame.
13 Riding a train.
Instead of going by car, go by train. I love riding the train. It is so wonderful to just sit, with lots of leg space (unlike in the car) and watch out of the window and see the landscape slide by. Being able to just daydream or read.
Oh, and if you have one of those annoying “talkers” sitting next to you – headphones do the trick. You do not even have to put music on. Just wear some headphones and people will leave you alone.
If you do not like to sketch, do something you love. For me things like knitting, crocheting, sometimes sewing work well, too. It just has to be enjoyable, slightly “mind-less” and no immediate result is required.
15 Listening to a meditation-audio.
Of course meditating is awesome to slow down. But I am still not good at doing it “by myself”. Most of the time when I sit still my mind starts racing. So I “trick” it by listening to guided meditations. I truly love the ones by Deepak Chopra, but there are so many out there. You surely will find something that you like.