The importance of slowing down
Among our travel plans, daily routine and the Christmas activities it can be hard to find the balance between actually enjoying this season and going crazy with the “to-do” lists around the holidays. If you are like me and like to plan an visualize your life 3 weeks from now, then you probably think about every detail and want mark it on your calendar + make a list. Or is that just me?
Slowing down may be difficult considering the pace of modern life but I have found that one of the most effective ways to protect our immune system (especially around this season) is by scheduling sufficient time for self-care and rest. Prioritizing down time becomes an essential counter balance to festivities, especially if we are traveling long distances or hosting a big dinner. Taking some time to check-in with ourselves and actually choosing to slow down can make a huge difference on how we show up to ourselves and to others. I’d like to share with you some of my personal ways to find stillness and feel grounded through busy times.
1. THE WONDERS OF HERBAL TEAS
This season is mostly about enjoying food and probably indulging on cookies, heavy meals and oh, leftovers! Our stomachs, more often than not, send us signals of distress in these times of disrupted eating habits. To remedy this, sipping a warming digestive tea throughout the day goes a long way for keeping you warm and hydrated.
This CCF (cumin, coriander and fennel) blend is one of my favorite alternatives:
4 cups water
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
In a small pot, bring water to a boil and add the spices. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes before straining. Serve warm as it is or with a touch of raw honey.
2. IT’S REALLY ABOUT BEING PRESENT
The digital era allows us to communicate faster than ever. But the truth is that when we’re thinking about our digital connections more than the ones we make in person we’re not really present. We don’t fully listen, we forget to laugh, and we’re constantly thinking about what’s to come or what has been.
Here’s one way to practice presence.
3. ALLOW YOURSELF TO DO LESS
Are you always doing several things at a time? Try to do less. Multi-tasking puts the brain under such stress that it actually hurts your productivity. Focus on things that are really important and let go of the rest. When you’ve crossed everything off your list for the day, resist the urge to start something new. Just sit back and enjoy some me-time. You deserve it.
4. GO OUTSIDE
Go for a light walk after a big meal - Maybe 10 minutes around the block, breathe the fresh air and take a pause from eating to enjoy some peace and quiet. Put your phone away to eliminate interruptions and distractions. Enjoy the peace of being offline for a few minutes.
5. EAT MINDFULLY
The food this time of year is definitely something to celebrate, but it can often give us feelings of anxiety if we end up overdoing it - Our emotions play a huge role on how we’re digesting our food and it all starts when we chew it.
Enjoy the experience. It’s such a different quality when we’re afraid of what the food “is going to do to us” or if we’re going to feel “too full” by the end. Eat Slowly. Chew fully.
While some of these tips and tricks may seem too "basic" to do any good, I promise you one thing: By slowing down you’ll ll find yourself being more mindful, more in the moment and you’ll notice that it can be easier than you originally thought.
I encourage you to get back to basics in your whole life. We run so fast, type so fast, think so fast. It is time to slow down and get grounded, enjoying every day so much more and especially enjoying our family. We only have now.
What are your ways of slowing down?