I never realized the importance of stopping to smell the roses. Personally I never cared for flowers so the phrase was always a little lost on me. I was so busy that I thought I might miss something if I slowed down. The phrase ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ was much more fitting for me. When I left the corporate world, I went from 100mph to 0 and I got some serious whiplash! It took me a few months to recover and then I began to explore the myth behind this ‘slow down’ movement.
Here’s what I found:
Digital detox is good for the soul.
With so much information being sent to us in emails, social media, text, phones, meetings, etc we often feel like we are treading water with our heads barely afloat. Taking just 10 minutes to unplug from any internet/phone source can do wonders for your overall productivity. Use that time to sit quietly and focus on taking long, slow breaths. Or for those of you who just need to switch gears and declutter, clear out some old piles of paperwork, catch up on a few self-improvement or professional development articles. If it’s in the evening, definitely enjoy some quality time with your family. Even better schedule a digital free night for the entire family and enjoy a relaxed meal and maybe a few card games. (UNO anyone?!!) The first time I turned off my phone I felt so guilty and couldn’t resist picking it up every few minutes until I finally put it face down on my bedside table and went on about my night. And guess what? When I turned on the phone the next morning, there was no major crisis and all of those emails and to-dos were still waiting on me. However, the biggest change was my renewed sense of energy and a few new ideas to boot. Sometimes the best way to solve some of the big work problems is by unplugging and turning your attention to something completely unrelated. Trust me, you will feel a renewed sense of purpose and will likely have a multitude of solutions ready to implement.
Enjoy a meal with family and friends.
I love to cook so for me there is no greater way to express love than my preparing a meal for my family or friends. I take great joy in the entire experience from researching the meal, to food shopping, cooking and then serving the meal. The best part if watching everyone else enjoy it as well. Even if you’re not a cook, it’s important to dedicate time to spend with your family and friends and what better way to do that than over a meal. There are so many ‘take and bake’ options at stores today or you can splurge and dine out if it’s in your budget. The main thing is to take the time and just do it. Some of the best memories come from sharing a meal with those you love.
Breathing is a vital part of our existence. Without it, well, we’d be dead! One of my favorite songs is ‘Breathe Me’ by Sia and every time I listen to it, I’m reminded of the importance of breathing…inhaling life & energy and letting go of the negativity. Regardless of your busyness every has to breathe so the next time you find yourself getting stressed out, take a minute and just breathe. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your mind and body will shift to a calmer place. There is even medical research to substantiate deep breathing benefits for lowering blood pressure and heart rates which in turn activates the parasympathetic nervous system which acts like a brake in a car to slow your body’s responses back to a normal resting state.
These tips may sound crazy especially if you're moving at 100mph but trust me, once you try them you'll wonder why you didn't start sooner. Even if you’re not a fan of roses you can still enjoy the effects of the slow down. And if you’re like me you’ll find a new appreciation for those flowers and so much more in life!!