Slowing Down-Whether You Like It Or Not

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Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

I’ve always been a person who has trouble slowing down. I seem to thrive with a busy to-do list. Part of my issue I think is that there’s so much I want to do in life. I need to work lots of hours, I want to write my blog, I want to write my novel, I want to work out 5 times a week and read all the books and of course, I’ve got to make time to hang out with family and friends. Guess what? There’s not enough hours in the day or week to do this but I sure give it my best shot each week. I wrote a little about this 2 1/2 years ago on this blog, you can read that here, so this obviously isn’t a new issue with me.

This past week I woke up at 2:30am in the morning not feeling well at all. It was a little scary. I debated for about an hour on whether I should head to the ER and since I’d just had a physical that included lots of bloodwork that was fine a few weeks earlier, I decided to just go back to sleep and see how I felt in the morning. Still didn’t feel great when I woke up so after some prompting from a friend and my son, I decided to take the day off and head to the ER. 5 hours and 2 blood draws, and 2 EKG’s later they released me with instructions to follow up with my primary doctor to get a stress test done. Moral of the story…sometimes if you refuse to slow down, your body will make you.

So today is a scheduled day off for me and I’m sitting at the library writing. The ER doctor said no strenuous workouts until after the stress test and my doctor concurred so I’m reluctantly following orders and skipping the gym this weekend. It’s a little embarrassing to admit how hard it is for me to slow down. I like to be busy and juggling all the things and honestly, I think it’s actually stressing me out more to intentionally slow down for a bit then to follow my regular schedule.

I’ve decided that each person is inherently one way or another. Similar to whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, you’re a person who thrives with busyness or you’re not. I have friends that can’t wait to get off work and get home and put on pajamas and chill out with a book or a tv series.

Don’t get me wrong, I have several favorite shows and I love to read. I’m going to do that after I’ve worked over an hour or two, gone to the grocery store, gotten in a personal training session at the gym and did an hour or so of writing, etc., though. That means I usually go to bed way too late as well. It’s not the healthiest of cycles. Realizing this is a good first step I guess.

So what’s your best tips on slowing down and relaxing more? What soothes and calms you down? Here are some of mine that I’m going to try to incorporate into my life a tad bit more.

  • Read
  • Light some great smelling candles
  • Catch up on some shows (Almost done with this season of Virgin River!)
  • Grab a chai tea latte and wander my favorite book store
  • Catch a movie matinee-Mack and Rita with Diane Keaton looks cute
  • Splurge on a massage
  • Hang out at the pool before it closes for the season  
  • Spend some time lost in my writing
  • Take a nap 
  • Hang out with friends
  • work out (when I can)
  • once Fall arrives I’m all about a good campfire and roasted marshmallows
  • I’d like to try yoga or meditation too-anyone have any experience with this?

The Not So Fun Stuff

  • reduce my caffeine consumption
  • drink more water
  • get more consistent sleep
  • work less
  • stress less
  • I suspect I’m also going to be told to eat better (better as in healthier, not better tasting, lol)

So how many of you live a chilled and relaxed lifestyle? And if that’s you, have you always been this way or did you have to learn to slow down?

How many of you are more like me and like to have a million things going on at once to feel productive? Have you ever had a case where you were forced to slow down?




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