Slowing down can be hard to do
Especially when you have so much momentum and you couldn’t possibly think of slowing down because firstly what does that even mean and secondly wouldn’t slowing down just mean you STOP and wouldn’t that be scary and how does one STOP and slow down anyway and what am I having for dinner and why is my brain zooming ahead at a million miles an hour and why can’t I sleep and why am I craving sugar and OMG I haven’t replied to that email yet she’s going to be so annoyed and holy moly… someone stop me.
We can be our own worst enemies when it comes to knowing when we need to slow down and start taking better care of ourselves.
In Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive, she explains how when we get super busy, we give up the things that nourish us most… but feel optional.
We give up going for an early morning walk so we can finish that report.
We give up lunchtimes in the sunshine because we think we need to stay at our desks.
We give up going to bed early because the latest episode of Homeland is on.
I’m calling for a reversal…
Lets nourish ourselves with what ‘feels’ optional first (but really isn’t) and then we can do the other stuff…
And guess what?
All that stuff that needs to get done will start to feel so much easier to do when you are refreshed, revitalised and calm.
Here are 7 signs you need to slow down, and my top tips… so your mind doesn’t race like that paragraph above
1 // You’re teary… often
It’s not that you’re getting your period, you just feel a bit sad, weepy and teary… for no reason at all.
Usually this means you’re exhausted… and kind of having an adult tantrum but without the screaming and hitting your fists on the supermarket floor.
Your body is literally crying out for some downtime, rest and self-care… and this is the only way you will listen.
My tips: slow down… give yourself some time off if you can, or simply get a few really early night’s sleep and let the unimportant stuff wait. It can wait.
2 // You’re worrying (a lot)
Worrying constantly is very draining, and often comes when you feel out of control of you’re fearful of what’s around the corner
My tips: Ask yourself if your worrying is really helping the situation? Probably not…
What else can you do that is productive, and that’ll help you feel better?
Maybe it’s drafting that email even if you never send it, maybe it’s brainstorming some new ideas, taking a bath, starting a new novel, going to the movies, calling up a good friend who makes you laugh, or just getting out of the house and out of your mind, like going for a nice walk, to gym or yoga.
3 // You can’t fall asleep at night
Because you’re… worrying / stressing / overwhelmed / zooming ahead / panicking.
My tips: Keep a note pad next to your bed and jot down everything that’s on your mind before you go to sleep. This will help to energetically defuse your worries because subconsciously you know they’re one step closer to being taken care of, just by acknowledging them. Sipping passionflower tea an hour or so before bed is also really helpful.
4 // You can’t wake up in the morning
Because you’re… exhausted! One of the most common signs of adrenal fatigue is finding it hard to wake up in the morning. You could also be suffering from low moods, and not wanting to ‘start your day’.
My tips: Look at how you can start to ‘unpack’ and de-stress your life. Herbs such as Rhodiola, Licorice + Rehmannia in combination, Siberian and/or American ginseng as well as Withania are beautiful herbs to help increase your energy.
Ensure your diet is full of whole yummy foods, essential fats, protein + good carbs, especially protein at every meal, and that you’re not overdosing on caffeine.
Things that will help improve your energy include kinesiology, yoga, gentle exercise, lots of sleep, acupuncture… and did I mention sleep? Go to sleep earlier. You’ll thank your nighttime you for putting yourself to bed!
5 // You’re constantly feeling guilty at the thought of slowing down
Maybe looking after yourself wasn’t cool when you were younger, or looked down upon, or maybe you don’t feel like you deserve to be look after.
Whatever your reasoning is, whether you realise it or not… you’re the most important person in your life and you need to look after yourself.
My tips: Make yourself your first priority because this way, you’ll be better able to serve others. If you know you always look after everyone else first, treat yourself the way you would treat them…!
6 // You are always doing everything for everyone else
When you can find the time to look after everyone in your life (family, friends, pets, work, colleagues) but you haven’t made time for that haircut you need, or you haven’t done your own ‘life admin’ in a few weeks, it’s time to check in with yourself.
My tip: Even if you’re SO busy looking after everyone else, you need to realise you’re as important as the people you love.
You need to fill full so that looking after other people doesn’t leave you feeling resentful or drained.
Call in some favours, and spend some time doing something that only you want to do. A few hours in a book cafe is starting to sound pretty nice right now…
7 // You don’t think you’ve ‘done enough’ to deserve a rest
This is the BIGGEST reason of all why you need to be slowing down.
My tip: You have done enough… and feeling guilty for slowing down won’t actually make you more productive in the hours you are working. So close the laptop. Put the pen down. Wash your paint brushes. (Or whatever else you’re holding as you work work work.) And give yourself a very well-deserved break.
It’s time to become un-busy.
(It’s worth it.)
What other signs do you notice that gently ask you to slow down?
What would happen if you started to notice the signs… and listen to them, and slow down?
(Hint: I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!)