Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, most can appreciate the peaceful serenity of December 25th, when all of the holiday and year end commotion comes to a halt and there is not much more to do besides relax and enjoy the people around you. I don’t know about you, but often times I wish that every day could be as calming and still.
The good news is that regardless of how busy your life is, there are ways to create a slower lifestyle year round that can be tremendously beneficial to your health. The holiday period is a perfect time to make a list of some practices you can take on to make your life simpler and more enjoyable. Here are eight ideas to get you started.
1. Practice doing nothing and being ok with. Begin with 5 minutes of doing nothing until you can eventually spend an hour of doing nothing without guilt or regrets.
2. Schedule yourself to arrive at your appointments 15-30 minutes early. This gives you time to enjoy some quiet time before meetings and gatherings and arrive stress-free.
3. Commit to checking your emails at only certain times during the day. If you re-train the people in your life to not expect an immediate response, they’ll learn to call you rather than send an email if something requires your urgent attention.
4. Substitute a gym workout for a yoga or meditation class. This is a great way to quiet the mind each week in a group setting while also learning practices you can do at home.
5. Schedule at least one walk per week. Spending an hour in nature can do wonders for your piece of mind and remind you of the beauty of the world around you. Try journaling about what you experience, as nature walks are often accompanied by mental clarity and new inspiration.
6. Go through your house or even a room in your house and give away the things that you don’t really need. Commit to letting go of something every time you buy or receive something new.
7. Research websites and organizations dedicated to “The Slow Movement”. You’ll find tips and inspiration in the areas of Slow Food, Slow Travel, Slow Living and much more.
8. Find something special you can do for yourself each week. Maybe you enjoy taking baths, reading a book, sitting by the water or going on a scenic drive. Whatever it may be for you, schedule “you” time in your agenda and relate to it with the same level of importance as your other commitments.
Slowing down is about connecting to yourself and the world around you, reducing stress and enjoying life fully. Although not always an easy choice to make, living simplistically and in line with your authentic self can provide you with a greater appreciation of life and a healthier mind, body and spirit.
Published On: January 21, 2010