By Katie Tymms
Slowing down sounds so simple doesn't it? But it doesn't always sound possible with us all leading such busy lives – business, blogging, family, kids, jobs, study, friends, Facebook! - it can be really challenging to even find moments to ourselves amongst it all!
But sometimes, despite our busy and full lives - slowing down is necessary. Sustaining a busy lifestyle and managing so many things at once can really affect our health and well-being. From feelings of overwhelm, to feeling stressed, anxious, trouble sleeping, headaches, constant fatigue. And even "burn out" or adrenal fatigue. We just can't keep up the busy pace forever. And if we’re a creative person – feeling stressed doesn’t help us at all with our writing ‘flow’.
We all need some ‘switch off’ and "me" time.
I've felt a little this way recently - feeling that I'm doing too much and placing too much pressure on myself to keep myself accountable and to achieve so many things. And I've realised that over the last 3 months, I really haven't had a lot of ‘switch off’ time. The last time was probably over Christmas in the holiday break. And I remember that feeling of relaxation, freedom and peace. I think it's time for a little more of that now.
Self care and taking time to slow down is sometimes truly needed. And there are a few things we can do to encourage our bodies and minds to switch off and rest. To allow time to nurture and nourish ourselves and allow our bodies and minds to unwind.
There are a few things I love to do to slow down, switch off and nurture myself - and a weekend is often the best time to do so. To create a weekend with no plans (or no ‘extra' plans than needed), to find time for "you", for rest and relaxation.
Sleep – too often we underestimate the health benefits and importance of sleep. A huge part of self care is getting 7 to 8 hours sleep a night and this is something I'm truly mindful of doing. There are a few things we can do to relax our bodies for sleep - switching of the computer and other devices (mobile phones, iPads) by 8:30pm, turning off the television an hour before bed time, dimming the lights in the house, having a warm bath, writing thoughts down before bed or journaling, reading a favourite book to unwind, and being mindful of going to bed by 10pm. And allowing yourself to sleep in if you can on a weekend, or have a lazy afternoon, allowing yourself to rest and catch up on extra sleep if you need to. When we feel tired and exhausted, sleep is rejuvenating and so necessary.
Meditation - I was never someone who felt I could meditate. I was always someone who would sit there, get bored and because it wasn't working - I'd get up and get on with the rest of my day. Since doing a meditation course and finding the perfect meditation techniques which are right for me, I loved it and I feel the benefits, in many ways. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, tension, pain, and really does help to ‘switch off’ and aid relaxation. A daily practice of meditation has been well known to improve well-being and I feel such benefits from doing so.
Booking in for a massage, Reiki or a spa treatment - it sounds indulgent, but it's something to embrace with self care and slowing down. Just allowing yourself time for "you" and to enjoy a therapeutic treatment that helps you to unwind, feel calm, grounded and more balanced.
Eating healthy foods - this is a huge part of self care - nurturing ourselves with warming, grounding, healthy and nutritious foods. Cooking a big pot of soup, roasted vegetables, casseroles and stews. Adding more vegetables and plant based foods and being mindful of clean eating - organic foods and/or foods free from preservatives and additives. These foods will nurture and nourish our bodies and give us all the nutrients we need to re-energise for our health and wellness.
Reading for pleasure - it seems such a simple thing, but often forgotten when we're so busy and focused in our lives. We might read many things, but when's the last time you picked up a book or a magazine, just for pleasure and to ‘switch off? To find myself immersed in a great book, with no other focus but for pleasure - this can be such simple relaxation, rest and enjoyment time.
Surrounding ourselves in nature - there’s nothing like nature to lift our spirits, but also to create grounding, balance and peace. Whether it’s the beach, a forest or the park – sand or grass between our toes – and wind on our face – it’s rejuvenating, refreshing and re-energising.
Self care sometimes means simply slowing down...
Nurturing and nourishing ourselves with time to ‘switch off’, and devote time for "you". It's never a selfish thing to do - it's always beneficial. For us and those around us - as the more peaceful and calm we feel within ourselves, the more we have to give to others and the more quality time we have to share.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, more tired than usual - it might be time to mindfully create some self -care and 'slowing down' time. Time for “you”. These things I’ve mentioned might help, along with your own self care and relaxation practices.
Katie is a coach and heart-felt mentor to those who are ready and want to make empowering and exciting changes to their life. As a Wellness & Life Coach, Nutritionist and Naturopath, she loves connecting with her clients at whatever stage they are at, and truly adore what she does. With a wealth of life experience and an enormous sense of pride at how far she’s personally come in her own life, sometimes those “light bulb” moments come from asking the tough questions, ‘digging deep’, and looking at ideas and situations from another perspective. You can find her at katietymms.com