One thing that’s really standing out right now is how routines and constantly thinking about the next thing can speed up time. It can cause us to miss those wonderful moments of joy or relaxation throughout the day. I am often finding myself surprised at how quickly a day or even a week is passing this year.
Being an avid to-do list maker and future planner this has really hit home with me lately. I find it especially hard at work to concentrate on just one task when my phone constantly rings and people are asking me for things left, right and centre. Sometimes I’m not surprised that I suffer with anxiety. I realise that some of that is my own fault as I try to deal with things as soon as they crop up. I put what others need from me first and now others expect a super quick reply from me or for me to complete a task straight away. When it comes to work I’ve likely made a rod for my own back.
When I look at the clock and suddenly realise 4 hours have passed and I’m not sure how that’s happened it is a clear sign that I need to slow down, think, listen, feel, just stop for 5 minutes and take in. What am I missing? And I don’t just mean the big stuff I’m talking about all the little moments of joy; a fun conversation with colleagues or a slow deliberate sip of my cup of tea that someone has made me followed by a big deep breath.
But how can I change this? How can I become more present in my daily life? It’s something that’s been on my mind this year as I’ve taken even more on – writing this blog and starting a qualification in Photography on top of everything else. Although these bring me so much joy it’s another thing that’s constantly on my mind. When I collapse onto my sofa early in the evening and have no energy to even cook a nice meal for me and the hubby I know I’ve pushed myself too hard that day. Unfortunately this happens more often than not these days.
So to help me slow down here are some of the things I’m going to challenge myself to do over the next few week’s:
1:// Take a lunch break at work. I don’t know why I feel like I’m skiving when I take a proper 1 hour lunch break away from my desk. I don’t get paid for it after all. I think I worry that emails or work will pile up whilst I’m away from my desk and that I’m wasting precious time to complete work. But I need to change this and it’s down to me to do it. I’m planning on taking some walks around the local park, breathing in the fresh air and taking the time to notice nature like birds singing and the wind rustling in the overhead tree’s.
2:// Begin a hand written journal. Most days I write in an excel spreadsheet about anything that’s on my mind that day and then delete it once I’ve got everything out of my head. As therapeutic as this is it means I can’t read back about my thoughts or what I was grateful for that day. I want to start a hand written journal again and end each entry with a list of what I am grateful for.
3:// Tackle my allegro phobia; also known as time anxiety. If you don’t know what that is it’s the fear of being late. Late to an event, late with a deadline, or just late into work. I cause myself so much stress worrying about time that it causes me to rush through my entire life on a daily basis and not enjoy the lead up to anything. My hubby has witnessed this many times as I stand around ready to leave whilst he’s still getting ready and I start to snap that I can’t stand to be late. It is said that this is caused by a lack of control over a situation. So the best way to overcome this type of anxiety is to learn to be okay with a lack of control and stop sweating the small stuff. Easier said than done but it’s something I want to work on. Any tips are welcome!
I want to find joy in the little moments in life and I want to be fully there for my loved ones and friends. Remembering. Loving. Stopping.
Routines and tasks should be done and completed but they shouldn’t take up our whole lives. We should be able to enjoy the sound of the wind whipping at trees and we should be fully intentional when listening to our friend or partner. My hope is that I can continue to slow down and stop my life passing me by so quickly.
What are the ways in which you slow down and take life in?