Why does it always feel as if time passes sooooo much faster when we're on holidays? A few days ago, I was on one of the highest glaciers in Europe, completely overwhelmed by the (quite literally) breathtaking view - and suddenly, I'm back to my office desk. It has been so amazing and much needed to spend some time out in the open and away from the big city buzz. Such a break helps me a lot to recharge, to slow down and to focus on my wellbeing.
So, the first few days of being back home after a vacation are often weird for me. No matter how hard I try, the relaxation wears off too soon, it simply fades away... And I tend to get into a hectic rut in no time. So I tried something yesterday to maintain this calm and relaxed feeling a bit longer: I slowed down. On purpose.
For example: Instead of listening to music on iTunes or Spotify without thinking too much about it, I stood up and looked through our record collection. The simple act of choosing a vinyl, putting it on the turntable and lowering the tone arm was somehow ritual-like and beautiful. Because of slowing down an everyday event such as listening to music and concentrating on the process itself, I was present and in the moment, I found myself centered and grounded.
As an additional benefit, I was forced to interrupt my work from time to time to stand up and change the vinyl.
Why is it good to be interrupted? Well, since I work from home very often, I find myself glued to the screen on my desk, barely standing up. I'm sometimes so focused, that I simply forget to move my body (but yes, I do answer the call of nature, don't worry). The only thing, that helped me so far (apart from exercising), is to set a reminder every hour to get up from my desk.
However, standing up every now and then throughout the day to stretch our bodies and move our limbs is really important. If you do that, your posture will at least not worsen, your muscles will thank you and your mind gets a short break from all the bustle. In addition to that, the best thing you can do is to find a physical activity you like and to work out on a regular basis.
Life can be messy, stressful, busy, or even frantic. The beauty of it is this though: You yourself have the power to pause for a moment.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, try this: Whether you're in the middle of something urgent at work or taking care of your kid's lunch, slow down on purpose and take a deep breath. Just take a break and calm your mind through breathing. Over time, you'll find your inner peace and balance easier and maybe even take pleasure in completing the task at hand - slower than usual but surely with more focus.
This week's list full of soul-stirring inspiration to read, listen to, watch and do is about "how to slow down" - enjoy!
- Read this: The Slow Movement - Why Slowing Down Creates Joy. Great article by the mindful company including 5 everyday tips on how to include slowness into your life (there's a link at the end of the article).
- Listen to this: I Say A Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin. The record I was listening to yesterday a few times in a row was 'Aretha's Greatest Hits'. I love this women and that song is by far one of my favorites 🙂
- Watch this: In Praise Of Slowness By Carl Honoré. A TED Talk (about 20 minutes long), that has been recorded 13 (!) years ago - and is still as relevant as ever. Only a few things have changed since then, and there's still so much room for improvement in our professional and private lives, isn't there?
- Do this: Do something slow and with intention today. Enjoy the process itself instead of rushing through it just so it's "done". Maybe it's cooking, maybe it's buying your groceries, or reading your little one a bedtime story. Take your time. Be in the moment. Be present.
What's your routine to slow down?
Are you looking for actionable ways on how to be more mindful in your daily routine? I’ve put together what I call ‘The ultimate beginner’s guide to a mindful lifestyle’ incl. a 30 day planner to keep track on your habits and you can download it for free.