Self Improvement Thursday: 5 tips for going slow

Self Improvement tips for going slooowww today.  No big intro.  Here they are:

1. Do nothing when you wake up.  Do not reach for the phone/ipad/remote or any other device (this is really hard for me.  My phone charges via my bedside clock and it's the first thing I see.  Maybe I need to change that?)  

Do not jump straight out of bed and rush to the shower or grab your workout gear.  If it is remotely possible (and I say remotely because I have small children who wake me with 'Muuum, I'm hungry' or 'Muuum, a poo is coming - it happens, *sigh*) stay in bed for another five minutes and just lie there.  Let your thoughts come and go.  Don't plan or worry.  Don't think.  Just chill. Then get up and get going.  

This takes practice, especially if you're the type to jump up and move immediately upon consciousness, but try it for a few days and see if you feel calmer and more in control.

2. Stop overscheduling.  Don't book up every moment of your time and the family's time.  Keep time and space free for spontaneous activity or just not doing very much at all.  We do this with Saturday mornings wherever possible and generally lounge around, do some chores, read the paper and let the kids play. As my two boys get older I anticipate many, many Saturdays being spent at sport so I'm leaving my Saturday mornings free while I can.  

3. Eat mindfully.  Slow eating is a thing.  It really is.  There have been a number of studies done recently that show that eating your meals slowly and mindfully, paying attention to what you are eating - how it feels and tastes - helps you to eat less and feel more satisfied with your meal.  It also reinforces the slow approach to life.  Less rushing and eating on the go. Make your meals an enjoyable ritual, not a fuel up and go session.

4. Practice saying no.  Assess each new activity, opportunity and request and ask yourself, 'Do I need to do this?  Will this help me to slow down?'  If your answer is 'no and no' then say no!

5. Walk more and drive less.  Whenever you can, go by foot.  It will require a little more planning but it will slow you down and that's a good thing.  You get the benefits of physical exercise and fresh air and it's a great opportunity to just look around as you walk and take things in.  Let your mind be distracted from its task-focused busyness and let relaxation and new ideas flow.

What 'slow' changes are you going to make today?  Ready?  Get set? Go sloooow.

P.S.  These tips were adapted from an article on Psychology Today which includes some interesting research and even more ideas for going slow.  You can read it here.

P.S.  These tips were adapted from an article on Psychology Today which includes some interesting research and even more ideas for going slow.  You can read it here.