Have you ever found that when you have a moment where there is nothing on your must do list, you excitedly sit down…but after just a few moments are up and working on something?
Maybe it’s because we have overachiever friends who swear by the motto “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Or maybe it’s because it helps to stop the chatter in our minds. We also give ourselves a little pat on the back for being such a great doer. That’s right I said it!
I think there is a secret competition underlying America’s new stressed out lives, everyone wants to prove they can do a little more than their neighbor as though it makes them a better person.Are you secretly driving yourself too hard because it seems like what everyone else is doing? #relax Click To Tweet
Lucky for me I’m no longer interested in being better than anyone but who I was yesterday. Since my own personal goals keep me hopping, I have to recognize that slowing down is part of allowing growth to happen.
“Strange, what being forced to slow down could do to a person.” Nicholas Sparks
Remember when we called baseball America’s Favorite pastime? That’s because when people left work there was no cell phone or a computer keeping them connected to everyone, but those inside their home.
Last month I posted on accountability Monday about my new plan to take it easier…the very next day I found myself with a conundrum. I was beyond exhausted, sick to my stomach and apparently overdoing it.
I gave myself permission to climb back in to bed…but you know what I did next?? I got back up and brought my laptop to bed with me because I couldn’t stop my brain from thinking about posts and articles and things that needed to be completed.The irony of this was not lost on me and thus I was determined to go to Kansas City and SPEND TIME with my parents. Not time with them while I was checking email or working on a post, but just WITH them.
I did it.
I didn’t die, in fact I’m pretty sure part of me came alive again because I didn’t NEED to be so connected and if I didn’t get something done no one was injured in the process.
- Define your tasks: Sometimes we have these vague to-do’s like I should exercise, study, clean etc. Instead define what that means so you can set aside the appropriate amount of time.
- When you are finished, stop! Sounds silly but how often have you started one task and let it lead to 3 more because “oh I’m already…”
- Remember the mental and physical benefits you get from relaxing. See you are doing something by doing nothing!
- Monotask: I really don’t remember when it happened, but we all bought in to the idea that doing more things at once was better. Driving while talking used to be reserved for having a passenger in the car.
- Actually slow down: I’ve been preaching the benefits of slowing down to eat to the Clean and Lean Project members, but the truth is there is a lot to be gained from slowing down in everything we do. Imagine re-reading that email before you click send and catching the typo or looking in the mirror one last time to catch the lipstick on your teeth.
- Shut down: I made a personal rule about putting my phone away at least an hour before bed and no technology comes to bed. Beyond that imagine having a conversation where you don’t look at your phone and therefore remain totally focused on the person you are with. Candy has a great post on how she benefited from this!
- Put it in perspective: We are all special and important, but let’s get real if you don’t get something done it is usually not life or death and the world will continue on.
- Get grateful: Sometimes we feel the need to DO because we are focused on what we do not yet have. A little time spent focusing on everything we do have can serve as a reminder that we don’t need it today and sometimes that we may not need it at all.
Do you allow yourself to fully relax for more than a few minutes at a time?
Do you set aside time to completely disconnect?
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