Slow down. Give yourself permission to slow down.
In a world where productivity is revered, and social media posts give an idealised version of reality, it is very easy to get lost in the narrative of ‘I’m not good enough’.
And what can slowing down do for me? I find its gives space for me to feel rested, energised and far more connected with myself. I found it especially relevant when I experienced burnout. I now make sure I enforce it as a preventative measure. For someone on the other end of the extreme lately, with a buzz of ideas and projects, slowing down has in many ways been the ultimate self care tool. Its also ironically very handy in enhancing creativity.
The act of slowing down and doing nothing surprisingly enough is backed up by science. Neuroscience research reveals that its better for our brains. In our hunter gather days, we would have dedicated time for daydreaming. In todays fast paced life, slowing down is simply neccessary for our mental wellness.
Some tips on slowing down;
1. Creating hygglig moments – this is the Danish word for taking the pleasure in the simple things. This year I discovered this Danish concept and I’m obssessed. I love it because it really creates the perfect atmosphere for slowing down plus enhancing gratitude. Examples of hygge range from savouring a cup of coffee to getting mesmerized by the cosy strokes of a raging fire to reading a book surrounded by candles, cushions and a warm blanket snug as a bug. Its all about creating a warm glowing ambience. For more info check out Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge and also the founder of The Happiness Institute (yes, it exists!). Denmark routinely acheives happiest in the world status so clearly they are doing something right.
Open fire outside a fish bar in Copenhagen
Hygglig street in Alfama, Lisbon
2. Catch a sunset – To think this magic show is on display daily and we miss it is a little mind blowing. Its a really great way of slowing down. Go soak in an explosion of colour and get an energy boost whike your soul fills up on the beauty of everyday life.
Stork at Moonlight; Canon hill park
Danson Park, Sidcup
3. Get mindful in Nature – This can be the easiest way to focus attention away from overthinking by simply slowing down, focusing on breathing and the sights plus sounds of Nature.
Quinta da regaleira, Sintra
4. Get up close and personal with water – Whether this may mean revelling in a long warm shower or getting to the beach to watch the waves crash against your feet, water has an incredible effect on the racing mind.
5. Cloud watching- This was a fun hobby as a kid but who says we can’t play as an adult? Lie down on the grass and get cosy ☁️☁️☁️
For those who love Ted talks as much as I do, there is an awesome one by the biologist and writer Tijs Goldschmidt who argues the importance of lounging in avoiding burnout.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please comment and share your tips on slowing down. All photos taken by me in the quest as always to create, find and foster calm.