Are you giving yourself this one thing?

Do you listen when your body asks you to slow down and REST? Or do you feel guilty taking this time for yourself?

So many people are sick right now! As for me, I’m just coming out of a week of hibernation, getting over an ailment. I’ve been resting, taking it slow, and giving my body what it needs.

I’m so good at listening to my body when the signs are loud and clear. 

Then as soon as I’m better, I’m ready to kick it back into high gear and make up for lost time.

And you know where that’s gotten me?

In a repetitive cycle of highs and lows. 

Have you experienced this too?

It’s high time I have a serious chat with myself about how to honor the need to rest and slow down, not just when I’m sick, but in my every day.

Our society is chronically overworked and constantly in go-go-go mode. We feel like we should be further along and doing so much more. But I’m really starting to see how counter-productive this approach is, when it just causes us to burn out and get sick.

I’m looking at how I can incorporate more slowness and relaxation into my day – not to be lazy, but to be more intentional with my time and more present in each moment.

Do you notice how when you’re rushing around constantly, you’re not even really aware of what you’re doing or enjoying it?

I would hate to go through my entire life this way.

Here are some of the changes I’ve incorporated, and some new ones I’m playing around with that are bringing greater peace to my day:

1. Slow mornings. I rarely get up and go right to work. I take time to stretch, meditate, and eat a good breakfast. I try not to look at my phone for at least an hour after waking so I’m really present in this time for myself. It’s such a sacred time.

2. Giving myself more time to get places. Does anyone else feel anxious when driving? I can never relax in the car. I feel like I’ve just got to get to my destination before I can relax. I’m constantly checking the clock because I don’t want to be late. When I give myself an extra 5-10 minutes, I feel so much better.

3. Soothing evenings. This is a fairly new one for me. I’m being much more intentional with how I wind down in the 1-2 hours before bed. I love listening to calming music like this YouTube track (even while I do the dishes), lighting a candle, stretching, and writing in my gratitude journal.

4. Setting intentions. This is a new part of my morning routine but is helpful whenever entering a new segment of the day. What’s the most important task to focus on? What presence do I want to bring? For example this morning it was to listen to my body so as not to push myself as I start to feel better. Also, before meeting with others, I consciously choose to bring my full presence to them and leave behind anything else on my mind.

In summary, here’s my new life goal, at least when I’m not at work!

YOUR TURN: Do you currently have a morning or evening routine, or other ways to slow down throughout the day?

Do you think consciously choosing to slow down will help you be more present, enjoy each moment, and hopefully get sick less often? Share in the comments!

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