This weekend I received a text from my mom informing me that she rode by my house two times at different points of the day and didn’t see my car. When I called her, she proceeded to tell me, “I read your blog about slowing down. Did you read it? You need to follow your own advice.” Oh, do I? I wonder where I learned this. Sad thing is, she wasn’t the only one to call me out. And, after sending myself to bed early to avoid a stress migraine last night, I've realized I don't know how to slow down. I'm soliciting help!
Acknowledgement is the first step, right? Let’s say last week I recognized that I move way too fast to enjoy life. So what’s step two?
It's time to unlearn bad habits, replace them with new ones, and sharpen healthy routines.
One healthy routine I have is taking time in the morning to sit still. I usually pray, journal, and recently I added a little yoga and meditation to the morning routine. Though it’s not usually more than five to ten minutes, that small practice of me-time usually sets the tone for my whole day.
Some days, like yesterday, I skip my little morning routine and jump straight into the whirlwind of the day. BAD IDEA! That never works out well. I spend the rest of the day trying to figure out why everything is off. Here’s a place for me to institute a new practice: midday check-ins. Currently, I struggle with this. I’m so structured, that it’s often difficult to stop in the middle of something to re-align or address an activity that’s been missed. It’s easier to stick to the script and plough through the day until everything is done. This is a habit I need to unlearn.
When life isn’t going according to plan, or you’re feeling off, that’s the perfect time to pause and recenter. It’s not natural- trust me I know- but, it’s a healthy practice. A friend of mine shared shine text with me which is an app that sends you self-care reminders and guides you through morning, midday and evening check-ins. I guess I’ll start implementing the midday ones.
Recentering midday will definitely help me with another area of struggle: being flexible. I even have to let out a deep breath as I type it. Flexibility is all about relinquishing control and grounding yourself in what’s happening at the current moment. Days are filled with unexpected events, but if I don’t slow down enough to check in, assess, and move forward from a centered place, I’m going to cause more harm than good. I guess you could say this midday check-in will be a win-win.
Another place I need to slow down is in the evening. I shared with my friends that I had two wawa pretzels for dinner Saturday night. I know, UNACCEPTABLE! I’m sure I’ll hear about this from my mom too. Truth is, when it comes to eating, especially dinner, I don’t take time to sit and enjoy. I eat what’s edible (if at all) and get back to work. Cooking and meal prepping, when it’s not for a guest, are not enjoyable, so I avoid it. (But ya girl CAN cook for the record). Here’s where I’m going to enlist help.
What are some strategies you use to make time for you, slow down, or get in enjoyable meals on busy days? Let me know in the comments. I need y’all!