This blog post is inspired by my husband in two ways. He is taking me on a 3-day trip this week, a mini-vacation for my birthday. Also, when I was wondering out loud what I want to write about this week he said: “about slowing down and smelling the roses”.
The reason he gave me was, that it’s almost spring and shortly everything around us will burst of energy. Now is the time to prepare ourselves for this demanding time by taking a breather. By slowing down now, we can then be at our best in the starting blocks for Spring. But getting off the fast track, even only for a short time, can be very challenging.
I really have no time for slowing down
Last time I checked my to-do list for the next 7 days is 63 tasks long and these are just the tasks I remembered to put on the list. I have no idea how many forgotten tasks lurk in the dark, ready to jump at me in a very sneaky way. Then, like all of us, I know I will get thrown out of my tracks by unforeseeable issues and urgent tasks that blindside me at the most inconvenient time.
If you are anything like me you are very busy and your mind is always restless. Processing ideas, evaluating options, pondering opinions, assessing possibilities, and most of all ….. worrying. As much as I would like to be a Warrior, I am most of all a Worrier.
I heard or read the other day (unfortunately I forgot where) that these days a lot of people are wearing ‘being stressed out’ and ‘being overworked’ like badges of honor. It seems, that we are proud of it, and that we are defining ourselves through our busyness.
That’s exactly why it’s so important that we find a way to interrupt your busy schedule every now and then and enjoy what’s right in front of us.
Right Now is the only time we will ever have
Last week I wrote about how a cluttered workspace impacts our energy level. What is true for a cluttered workspace is even more true for a cluttered mind.
Only by taking a break and walking away from the frenzy, we are able to de-clutter our mind from the unnecessary and find back to our priorities and to the things that we want to have precedence in our life.
Now instead of giving you 3, 5, 7 or 10 tips on how to do de-clutter our minds, how to slow down, I rather list here some articles that spoke to me, and inspired me, when I was researching for this topic. (I don’t know any of these personally nor am I affiliated to them).
Mike Donghia wrote a great guest post on Becoming Minimalist called Enjoying Life in the Slow Lane. He says:
There’s just no rest; no sense of completion. Ever.And its eating away at us from the inside. Making it impossible to find a reason to smile, or be joyful, or just be.
And it’s eating away at us from the inside. Making it impossible to find a reason to smile, or be joyful, or just be.
But life doesn’t have to be so crazy. The craziness ends when people embrace the alternative: slowing down.
Another great article I find is 10 Ways to Slow down and still get things done by Lori Deschene on Tiny Buddha:
Small changes throughout your day can slow down your pace without killing your productivity. Go ahead and keep getting things done. Just remember you don’t need to do it all in a panicked state of stress. If you find a more peaceful process, you’ll likely be both happier and more effective.
And probably the most profound one is by His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa published in the Daily Mail UK on How taking time to smell the roses can help us find fulfilment.
Constant striving to be good at everything leaves too many of us feeling fit for nothing, so perhaps it’s time we discovered happiness in simple, everyday things.
So this is why I go on my mini-vacation, despite the 63+ important tasks on my to-do list and despite the fact that I have a webinar to prepare for. I will take His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa’s advice and (try my best to) let go of my stress and accept yourself as I am. I will for the next three days release my strong attachments and expectations, in the hope that stress too will lessen its stifling grip.
What about you? What are you doing to get yourself off the fast track and lessen your stress? Tell me in the comments below.
PS: As an encore for those who love watching videos here is the 7 talk TED Playlist Slow down! Enjoy Life