How to Slow Down


A hallmark of current life is busyness. A frequent reply to "How are you?" is "so busy." We try to pack a lot into our days. When we add in special celebrations, such as Christmas and Hanukkah, the busy factor ramps up to what can become frenzy. Sometimes I think we wear busyness as a badge of honour. 

I'm no exception - there's always far more that I'd like to do than there is time or energy. And I'm learning the value of slowing down. I'm not a "fix-it" kind of person, but here are some things that help me. 



1. Wake up slowly. Our alarm clock goes off at 6:30. I try to make my first conscious thought one of gratitude to God for the day ahead. Then I lie in bed for 5-10 minutes, sometimes talking with my husband, sometimes semi-conscious. Leaping out of bed in the morning has never been my usual style. 


2. Eat slowly. I tend to be a fast eater. Consciously putting my fork down between bites and taking more time is beneficial both for enjoying the moment and for eating less. 


3. Walk more slowly. I'm a fast walker, whether in the shopping mall, through the halls at school, or out getting exercise. When I feel like I've got too much on my plate, and there's just too much to do, instead of going more quickly, I deliberately slow my pace. This has the effect of calming my mind.


4. Get outside. Fresh air, even when it's cold and wet, both invigorates and calms me. I saw a brief clip on television recently about a doctor giving a prescription for "eco-therapy" to someone who suffered from stress and depression. The prescription included listening, observing, and breathing. 


5. Check out for a few minutes, when possible. Reading is the way I escape. In a rather backwards logic, I discovered years ago that when I was hurried and didn't feel like I'd ever catch up, taking 30-60 minutes to read a novel caused a mental retreat and regrouping that was always beneficial. When my children were small, I rested and read during their naps and quiet times. Invaluable! 

I don't pretend to have all the answers. Do you have ways to cope with busyness? Do share.   








Comments

  1. This is an enlightening post, Lorrie. You have some really great ideas and tips. As much as I want to slow down and embrace the moments, my actual habits are quite slow. I hit the snooze button quite a few times in the morning, my family often gets impatient with me because I eat so slowly and they want to leave the table, and I don't think I know how to walk fast, I sort of drift!

    I totally get what you are saying about being mindful, getting the most out of every experience, every day. I guess I'm just sort of a tortoise, and a bit too oblivious. I appreciate what you are getting at---take it all in, appreciate everything in your world!

    Jane x

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  2. Your tips sound perfect. A lot of them sum up retirement for me. The best is definitely getting out doors. Walking and noticing. Taking time to stop and stare. Soon will be the end of term for you and hopefully a little more time. B x

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  3. My 'small moments' are very precious to me, as so much of my time is taken up as a Carer. A few minutes in the garden, talking to a primrose, or a quick coffee with the newspaper, are just rehab moments!

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  4. When everything is going wrong or I am making a lot of stupid mistakes, it is essential to slow down on purpose despite its often feeling counterintuitive. Yesterday, I was cleaning again all day at John’s place and everything that could go wrong seemed to. At one point, I just left the mess behind and went for a little stroll around the barn with some time for prayer. As I walked, I was letting God know that He had let me down. Then I just listened and He stated His case very clearly and it was this: He had never once “let me down” and never would. It is impossible for Him to do. Keep trusting. So thank you for the beautifully stated truths and beautifully illustrated as well. (Now that hunting season is over, I feel more safe to be outside.)

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  5. I try to not get too much on my schedule. Sometimes things bunch up and there is a lot going on, but then we have days of slow regular life and I need that!

    Your points are very good ones, and I agree with them!

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  6. All good points ... nicely said. I try to do those small moments often. Wishing you a pleasant weekend. Hard to believe it's December 1st already. Weeeee...

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  7. Wise suggestions, Lorrie, I smilled at the ecotherapy, but how true it is. Where we live there is such a rush the first two weeks of Christmas as people try to fit everything in, but then it gets quiet. That's when I really enjoy Christmas.

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  8. Good suggestions, every one. I have a tough time just sitting still -- have to at least be reading or knitting, to feel productive. Sometimes I try to sit with my cup of tea and just be, just let my thoughts wander as they will.

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  9. Lindas imagens. Bom fim de semana.

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  10. Good tips, thank you
    When feel scrunched by time, I find being outdoors helps the most, even just opening a door or window for a few minutes.

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  11. Anonymous5:49 PM

    Lorrie, perfect timing for this post! The holidays can be overwhelming sometimes and thank you for these gentle reminders to slow down! xx

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  12. I agree with all of your suggestions on how to slow down Lorrie. I tend to try to hurry and get things done too, but I find that going outside, walking, hiking, or just being in the woods even for a short time allows me that slow down time that I need. It never fails to revive my heart, soul, mind and body! It is a season of so much busy-ness, and just taking time to intentionally slow down is a good thing. I hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend :)

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  13. Such wise advice Lorrie. It's good to be reminded to slow down especially at the moment and you have lots of good tips. Have a lovely weekend. xox

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  14. I love all of your points. I like to sit in the sun here in Florida sometimes (but not as often as I should). It's a matter of unplugging and just thinking. Listening to music helps me relax too. You've made a great list! Enjoy your weekend...hope you get some nice sunshine! Hugs!

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  15. Thank you for this. I always feel I am a hamster on a wheel, running around and never stopping. These tips will help.

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  16. You remind us that we need to take extra time to stop and reflect on the day, either at the beginning or at the end--even in the middle--to refresh and refocus. Your solutions are simple and easy. Now, just to take time. Of course, now that I retired, some days I spend too much time relaxing and need to find things to do--or at least the motivation! So thanks for the reminders.

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  17. I am bad about rushing around with my list of things to do, and always having a list that is impossible. I do plan on having some time to slow down after the holidays . . . I thought I could after Thanksgiving, but my sweet husband is now at home on crutches, my sister is on hospice care and I have family flying in from all over the country to see her, and all calling to see if they can stay at our house. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, but it sure is becoming a busy time. I've got my Christmas decoration up inside and out and now it's time to start cleaning and planning meals . . . I love company but when everyone comes at once it can be very tiring. My old 72 year old body is screaming slow down . . . thanks for the advice; it's all very good.
    Keep Smiling,
    Connie :)

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  18. Thanks for these tips, Lorrie. I can totally relate to #1-3. There is also growing body of scientific evidence that proves the positive health benefits of connecting to nature.

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  19. Very good ideas! I have found I just know how much I can handle and what will send me over the edge....lol and I plan accordingly. I like being busy but I always make time to read or watch my favorite shows. :) Happy Holiday Season! Kit

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  20. I like your ideas. My walks have gone from 40 minutes 20 years ago, to 45 minutes a year or two ago, to 50 minutes nowadays, for the same route. So I guess I'm walking more slowly... The putting the fork down between bites is what I need to work on.

    Thank you, Lorrie!

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  21. Your posts today reminded me to find ways to slow down. I tend to stress and feel like I have so much to do, but when I sit down and organize a list, I can see that it's all do-able and I can relax. It stops the endless thoughts of things to do circling in my head and puts them on paper, so I can free my mind. And above all, I just have seen the Lord provide and orgaize my days in a way that I can feel that He is fulfulling my purpose.

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  22. What good tips. What helps me is to get the cards and most shopping done before December 1st, then I can enjoy gatherings, baking, music, and wrapping gifts more leisurely.

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