Slowing down is hard in our culture. We are often encouraged to GO, GO, GO. We have plans and schedules and commitments. And on top of that, MORE plans and schedules and commitments. Our days are packed. Leaving the house by 5am and getting home at 8pm. We have responsibilities that drive our GO, GO, GO nature. We have bills and loans and mortgages and families and friends. We are pulled in so many directions.
It’s hard- because in our society, we often associate slowing down with laziness. In fact, it is healthy to stop and slow down every once in a while and smell the roses. This week, a friend helped me to recognize there is a difference between being lazy and slowing down to rest. A distinction that is imperative to be cognizant of.
If we don’t slow down- our bodies will remind us just how human we are.
Sometimes there is a disconnect between our minds and our bodies. In our mind, we have the drive to keep going- the drive to want to do all of the things. To commit to everyone and everything. And, at the end of our day- we need to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us. Our bodies remind us when we can barely retain anymore information and we begin to forget information from one day to the next. When our hearts are racing so fast from our fifth cup of coffee, or when we can no longer be present in face to face conversations, because our brain is literally falling asleep on us and we can no longer track a simple conversation. When we get down to the nitty gritty of it all – we need to listen to our bodies.
This begs the question – I know I am tired, what now? My answer to you is simple: Follow your gut! Only you know what your body needs. You’re tired? Set aside time to sleep. You’re exhausted? Set aside time to read a book or watch a movie or do a hobby you enjoy. You have anxiety? Distract yourself with a phone call to a friend. Find purpose in taking a break for rest. Sometimes it looks like being in community. Other times, it looks like taking some time to reflect and be with yourself.
Slowing down will look different for everyone- what will it look like for you?