Do you do that end-of-yoga thing where you immediately pop your socks on, jump off your mat, throw your props back into the bin, and race out the door without taking a breath?
Or maybe you have a home meditation practice where you manage to stay still for 10 minutes, and as soon as the bell chimes you’re back at it, in full throttle of all your to-dos so you can get it all done before the day ends.
It’s like that conscious effort to slow down and be mindful gets completely erased after the final namaste.
Maybe it’s a context issue, like when on the mat I can be at ease, but when in my real life, there just isn’t enough hours in the day to slow down.
But the truth is, when we’re constantly rushing, we’re not enjoying our lives because we’re too busy moving onto the next thing. Although the clock will always keep ticking, we don’t have to live in an ongoing battle against time. By making space for what really matters, we can feel more abundant by appreciating what’s going on right in front of us more easily. And the key to doing this is to slow down.
1. Focus on Your Breath
Take your yoga off the mat, and pay more attention to each inhale and exhale. You’ll be amazed at how this can create a pause in everything you do.
2. Follow the Lead of a Child
Kids are on their own time, or maybe we can call it real-time. They dawdle and do as they please, completely lost on the pressures and demands of world. Try it for a minute, or 10.
3. Take in Your Surroundings
When you’re rushing to get to the next thing, open your eyes to what’s in front of you. Maybe you’ll make a connection with a stranger, or you may even see a new opportunity waiting to be explored.
4. Simplify Your To-Do List
Assess what you’re spending your time on. Can you consolidate any of your tasks to make them more efficient? Or can you remove a couple things from the list that don’t need your attention? Figure it out and make some changes!
5. Turn Off Your Device
Akin to No. 4, be honest with yourself about how you’re spending time. The instant rush of information accessible at all hours of the day is doing nothing for our quality of life. It’s only making the time pass in a device-laden daze.
6. Give Yourself More Time in the Morning
If you feel like you’re always rushing, give yourself more time. Wake up earlier and connect to yourself so you can enter your day from a grounded sense of calm. Morning routines work wonders at adding purpose into our lives. By adding in this “me time,” you’ll create more meaning with all of your time.
7. Accept Your Limitations
Sometimes you won’t be able to get it all done, and that’s okay. Maybe you aren’t being realistic with your time, which is affecting your productivity. Or maybe you’re getting caught up in unproductive thoughts, habits or behaviors. Regardless, sometimes life gets in the way, and we can’t do everything. Don’t beat yourself up for this.
8. Say No to Commitments That Are Draining
It should be pretty obvious when you’re doing something you don’t want to do. Normally it shows up as tension somewhere in the body, which transforms into resentment. Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it on people and things that don’t feed you.
9. Be Mindful
Rather than ruminate on the past or try to predict the future, focus your attention on the present so you can experience a fuller life.
10. Stop and Smell the Roses
Try it. Seriously. They smell pretty.
How do you slow down in your life? —Elysha