By Mary Serphos
What would it be like to wake up one morning and cut the pace of your regular life in half, to slow down—way down!—and savor life’s simple pleasures? Instead of gulping your morning cup of coffee or power smoothie, imagine luxuriating in every sip, while enjoying the brilliant rays of sunlight pouring in through the window, and effortlessly committing to being present during conversation with loved ones. How do you feel?
In our fast-paced lives, we often go at dizzying speeds and then pay the consequences; relationships become fragmented, children and others we care about are starved for attention, stress levels soar, and our health suffers. When we slow down and allow life to move at a slower rhythm, we allow creative thoughts to bubble up and flow, and our levels of productivity often improve. The focus then becomes about quality—not quantity—with a greater attention to detail. As a consequence, we are happier and find more time to enjoy what’s right in front of us rather than searching for the next best thing.
As we shift into the colder months, there is a natural tendency for us to want to slow things down. Maximize nature's gentle prompt with these tips to help you get into the mindfulness mood.
Take a few minutes each day to relax your focus and let your mind wander. This “time out” is often when we are more open to creative impulses and the answers that we’re often searching for.
Just Say No
Prioritize what is most important and learn to say no. When work, chores, responsibilities, and commitments to family and friends become overwhelming, prioritizing helps you become more efficient and productive, and most importantly, saying no can help reduce levels of stress.
Ditch The To-Do List
Make a “do not do” instead of a “to do” list. This is one way to help you slow down and get in touch with your health and wellbeing. Your list might include “Avoid junk food,” or “Keep a safe distance from people who drain my energy.”
Slow It Down, Daily
Set aside time for one mindful, slow-paced activity every day. A gentle walk with your dog, a leisurely meal with a friend, or another activity that brings you pleasure at a slower-than-normal pace. Notice how your mood shifts!
Mary Serphos is a New York native currently working as a freelance writer, therapist, nutrition and health consultant and photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she’s not writing, snapping photos, or working with clients, she loves heading out on foreign adventures, creating alchemy in the kitchen, and wandering her way around nature in the direction of a big body of water.