‘Everything, all the time.’
These might just be the lyrics to the famous song by The Eagles, but this is the subconscious mindset that most of us are running on.
We want everything now– to do everything, to have everything and to be everything to everyone, but living this way takes its toll on our energy, our health and our happiness.
We’re running on empty, physically tired but mentally wired at the same time, and unfortunately we don’t allow ourselves the time to recharge.
It’s like we’re always switched on and our bodies are in a constant fight or flight state, on-edge and prepared for an emergency.
It’s so normal and even encouraged to be ‘busy’ all the time- we’re mindlessly racing around on auto-pilot. When we ask someone how they are, the usual response is “oh, I’m so busy!”
But what’s the point in striving to achieve so much so quickly if we don’t pause to enjoy life along the way?
With our endless to-do lists it feels like the busyness and exhaustion is never going to stop. But here’s the good news lovely, it can! All it takes is for you to cultivate awareness around this and let go of the things that aren’t serving you by making small shifts in your life.
Here’s three steps you can take to consciously start slowing down:
So often we feel like we want to please others and keep them happy, but a lot of the time this comes at the sacrifice of our own happiness. Saying yes to all the invitations you receive, even if you really don’t want to go, can cause a huge amount of stress and be so draining- mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s time we learnt to say no to things that don’t bring us joy, and yes to the things that do!
Did you know that when you say ‘yes’ to something, you’re also saying ‘no’ to something else? Saying yes to working overtime again might score you points with the boss, but it also may mean that you have to say no to special time with loved ones, or relaxation time for yourself that you were so looking forward to at the end of a long week. What is more important to you? Our time is a precious gift. Use it wisely.
I know, there’s not enough time, right? But here’s the thing- we all have the same amount of hours in our days- the difference is how we prioritise it. If we think about how much time we actually use (or even waste) scrolling through social media or checking our emails and messages countless times a day, we start to realise how much time we actually do have available to us, even if it’s in small doses.
There’s an old Zen proverb that says: “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour”.
This is such a beautiful reminder of how important it is to really (and I mean really!) switch off from being ‘busy’.
I don’t think this necessarily means you have to sit in serious meditation for this amount of time each day, but simply allow yourself that time to do nothing but ‘just be’ (without your phone!). Chill out, listen to relaxing music, focus on your breath, have a quick nap, watch the waves roll in, go for a run, lie outside on the grass and stare up at the clouds- do whatever it is you feel you need to recharge and fill yourself up.
You are worth it.
Yep everything, even the little things!
When we’re always rushing from one thing to the next, we don’t actually give ourselves the chance to stop and acknowledge the amazing things we’ve done.
This reflection is usually reserved for big events, or at the end of the year when we look back on everything we’ve done over the past 12 months, but why wait that long to feel the joy, excitement and gratitude!?
Let’s celebrate now!
Somedays, you might smash out your work and tick off everything on your to-do list, and other days you may be feeling unwell and your biggest achievement was getting dressed. No matter what it is, acknowledge and celebrate it!
Infuse a little more happiness into your days by choosing something you love doing as a celebration ritual- whether it’s a bath, a dance around your room, your favourite trashy TV show, a dinner with friends, some time out with an amazing book, or a beautiful body scrub.
By becoming aware of the areas that drain your energy, and prioritising more time out just for you, you’ll soon be feeling more energised, refreshed and rejuvenated!