We’ve all said it before. The conversation goes like this. “Hey beautiful, how have you been?!” “I’m good, I’ve just been sooooo BUSY.” Really? Ok but yawn. The word is over. It’s had its day. Thank you, next. I’m guilty too. I work in slow fashion, I write about slow living, and yet, I run around my life like it’s a basketball court, never at a standstill. I’m a walking/running contradiction.
Being busy does not communicate your worth. Busy is not a code word for successful, or happy, or fulfilled, or important. Slow down, it won’t kill you. In fact, it will do the very opposite. Here are some tried and tested methods for slowing down.
Stop and smell the dahlias.
Ask yourself, “Can it wait?”
This goes for anything. But mostly, devices. Are you emailing during dinner? Are you swiping whilst your child is trying to show you their greatest artwork? Are you answering the phone in bed? (We all saw what happened to Ning on MAFS when she paused mid second/third base just to answer the phone; she’s been apologising ever since.) Does that text or email warrant an immediate response? Worst of all, are you scrolling whilst driving. It has to stop. All of it. When you reach for the phone next, ask yourself, “Can it wait?” I think you’ll find, it can.
Stop posting your every move.
When you start feeling like you need to update the world on an hourly basis, it’s time to slow down. Chances are, you’re filling your schedule just so you can fill your feed. Nobody benefits.
When someone asks how you are, tell them how you are.
Let’s change our language. The next time someone asks you how you’ve been, try this on for size: “I’m good, I’ve just been soooo CALM.” “You’ve been WHAT?!” They will say. And then, this strange new word just might manifest itself! Busy is not an emotion. Be real with your friends.
Schedule in self care.
Self Care is a major buzz term at the moment. But truly, it’s so important. After all, if you don’t have you, what do you have? Probably a sick, tired, sore, unwell version of you. To avoid getting there, make a list of your favourite things to do and stick it on the fridge. My fridge is telling me to do yoga, garden, bathe, drink tea, walk on the beach, and paint. What a clever fridge! Ensure these are all things that soothe you, not stress you. I have problems sitting still, which is why I do yoga – it’s a moving meditation.
If doing nothing sends you into an ironic state of panic, try sitting in a park for an hour and just enjoying the surrounds. Scientific evidence shows that when the human eye sees green, our brain is in its most relaxed state. This comes down to archaic survival – green is comforting because when nature is thriving around you, there is usually a source of food. Outside work and sleep hours, there are still 70 hours of valuable chill time per week, so you do have time to chill.
Say no, thank you.
Who filled your schedule? Who decided you need to take up gymnastics? Who decided you needed five separate coffee dates, on one day? Who decided you needed to work until 11pm? Who decided you needed to go to a Beyoncé concert on a school night? (Ok you can have that one.)
Instead of executing something right now, make a quick note of it so you don’t forget. These to-dos can be done later in a more purposeful and efficient way, rather than right now as you hastily try to multitask. We love these pocket booksby Kikki K to help you jot your thoughts so you can get on with living in the moment.
Come Monday morning, you smugly tell your colleague that you did absolutely nothing over the weekend. You hear crickets. She nods cautiously at this new behaviour, and then something clicks. You have just glorified Peace and she wants a piece of that. Well done, you.
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