When was the last time you let yourself actually SLOW DOWN? To breathe more. To not rush. And to delight in the little things you notice and see and experience when you finally do.
It’s the best thing motherhood has taught me, for sure….. and this last year too.
Because here’s the thing: you’re not missing out when you do choose to slow your pace. You’re not being unproductive. Even if that’s all your brain is telling you in the moment.
You’re actually more fully living.
SLOWING DOWN is so opposite how our brains (and society) are wired– to go, go, always be multitasking, always be productive, always be achieving something on our checklist.
Even with food— it’s all about what’s the fastest thing to shove in your mouth, how to not have to cook or think about it, or to eat and also do a million other things, etc. But when we stay in that state all the time, we miss so much.
Sometimes we miss the whole point of actually living.
SLOW DOWN. It can feel soooo hard to actually do. But it’s true— the more I do it, the better I feel. With food, with my day, with my commitments, with my responses to things. A little extra breath and pause never hurts.
And this time of year is perfect for it.
I’ve felt like I needed that reminder every day lately.
As a mom & business owner (and a efficiency freak because of those two roles), it’s pretty much the opposite of what we’re culturally taught as a valuable use of time.
But wanna know a little secret? I do it anyways.
In fact, MOST of the practices in my life that ground me, nourish me and help me be the best version of myself have been things that are pretty much *opposite* what most of us learn growing up. Including things like:
How to eat.
How to workout.
How to be productive or set up your day.
Because the way we learn those things is never really geared for a longterm approach. It’s all about quick fixes, fast and frantic vs what is actually sustainable. And enjoyable too. Those all-or-nothing ways are so ingrained in us from a young age.
It’s taken me years of unwinding and de-progamming my brain, because our health–true, lasting, vibrant health– is usually on the other side of those extremes, no matter the subject.
Our bodies and hearts all know what we need. What feels right. And calming. And peaceful.
We’re oftentimes just too busy, overwhelmed and living on autopilot most of the time to hear it.
Here are a few small but significant ways to SLOW DOWN and incorporate rest every day:
(And in turn, live a fuller life.)
- Eating what actually feels vibrant and GOOD in your body vs. the coolest diet that’s on trend that season. And slowing down with food. Enjoying each bite. BREATHING 3 deep slow breaths before you eat and praying over your food. Breathing between bites. Appreciating the flavors, the ingredients. Not multitasking your meals and instead treating them like they’re meant to fuel every other part of your life. Because, they are. *This is always a work in progress for me, and I work on it everyday because it’s not my natural tendency. But whenever I do, I feel so much better in ALL other areas of life too.
- Taking time to breathe and slow down vs. being “productive” every minute of the day. It DOESN’T have to be go, go, go from the second you wake up til bedtime. You can step away. You can take breaks. You can get outside. You can pause and just breathe and just be. You can read on your lunch break. You can meditate before your morning bevvie. YOU get to set the pace of your day, even if it’s just for 1-2 minutes, and to allow yourself to not feel bad for allowing quiet times in it.
- What season of life are you in? I believe there are “go seasons” and “flow seasons”. We need both. Both are normal, and both are healthy. One is not better than the other. And you cannot exist (healthily at least) in just one phase or the other. Acknowledge where you are, and do what you can to appreciate it for what they are.
- Getting off your phone. Creating screen time boundaries (like before bed, or before getting up in the morning). Recognizing when you’re picking up your phone JUST to scroll as a filler rather than as a useful tool for connection… and then practicing (or encforcing) doing it less. Focusing on more time outside, with loved ones, away from screens, doused in making YOUR ONE REAL LIFE better than anything you can see on a screen.
- Asking for help in your life. Because rest doesn’t just mean taking a nap or unplugging. It means ALLOWING others to support you, and seeking that out. It means not needing to do it all on your own, and that you’re stronger when you’re able to offload some of what’s on your plate. Especially when it’s heavy and feels burdensome.
- Feeling all your emotions vs. just stuffing them down or numbing out. Writing them down. Letting them run their course. Accepting the bad ones with the good, and knowing they’ll move on in their due time, and better if you don’t force the challenging emotions out of the way. We need time and slowing down to let our bodies process this stuff, otherwise it ends up all stored inside….making us sick, stuck, disconnected from ourselves and resentful. SLOW down enough to have moments in your life you can do this. You will be so much healthier for it.
Truly, don’t be afraid to go against the grain.
It doesn’t matter what other people are doing.
Keep asking yourself what would actually be nourishing for YOU— in your body, in your mind, in your heart, with your free time, with your relationships, etc. The answers may surprise you.
Keep tuning into them, and to yourself. In little tiny ways every day. That, to me, is what it really means to be healthy. And slowing down is a BIG part of it, mama.