Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Slow Down

“Mindfulness” is a term that is found in abundance of late, and has become synonymous with another
catch phrase: being present.  Although the one is far more than the other, both can be difficult to implement and maintain long term.  And because of the connotations behind these words – being closer to family, more understanding etc – not achieving these goals can result in feelings of guilt.

I suggest starting smaller, with a simpler process of slowing down.  This is especially important at this time of the year when the end-of-year-brain-drain affects almost everyone.  Attentions are divided between completing end of year projects, children’s exams, holiday planning and general tiredness.  Rather than applying this in an all or nothing way, choose a few areas in your life where control seems to be slipping away.  Something as simple as sleep.  As the to-do list balloons at this time of the year, scheduling your needed hours of sleep can make all the difference to your mood and productivity.

One of the greatest areas to slow down is our thoughts.  Easier said than done (I know), but segmenting your day to allow for time to ponder on your holiday destination, or google that all important end of year recipe will pacify that thought for the mean time and give you the focus to get the other jobs done.  Another way to slow down is to use your daily travel time to listen to music you enjoy rather than the radio, or listen to an audio book; turn your phone on silent so you are not tempted to check if a notification is important, or just sit in silence.  Or use this time to brainstorm ideas out loud and record your thoughts.

None of the above may apply to your life; we all need to look at what works for us, as an individual. But slow down.  Where you can.