Sometimes we get caught up in the fast and hectic pace of life. Before we know it, stress builds and we start missing out on things that make us happy.
Let’s face it, life can become so overwhelming sometimes that it actually stops us from enjoying it. Our busy schedules can derail us from focusing on what really matters: our family, friends, hobbies and passions.
Fortunately, you can do something about it. Here are some tips on how you can pull back, slow down and enjoy life, for real!
Stop everything and take a breather.
Allow yourself a few minutes of calm each day. Set an alarm on your phone to help your remember to take a breathing break—and follow through with it. Whether it’s at your work desk, on a little walk outside or at home on your couch, close your eyes and take 7-10 deep, slow breaths. You’ll be surprised how much breathing can help you slow down your pace.
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Put away your mobile phone and turn off your tablet and laptop. We know it’s hard to resist taking a peek at Facebook or Instagram for just a second, but you’ve got to disconnect for a few minutes. You can try this for about 15 minutes a day at first until you can work yourself up to an hour or even more of “offline time” per day. Dedicate the time you would have spent on your phone to doing other things you enjoy, like painting, drawing or reading a good book.
Savor your meals.
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Forget about working lunches or eating dinner while watching TV. When it’s time for your meal, make it the only thing you’re doing. Eat your food slowly and savor the taste. Doing so may help you feel more appreciative of the food—and will help you to recognize when you are full more easily.
Take joy in the small things.
What this really means is shifting your mindset when it comes to the little things or mundane tasks. Revel in small accomplishments like finishing the dishes or folding laundry.
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Sometimes you just need to break out from the four walls surrounding you and immerse yourself in nature. Take a short walk to a nearby park and breathe the open air. If you need some exercise, consider doing a quick workout outdoors (take suggestions from our favorite #fitspo sites). Even a jog along the beach followed by watching the sunset could be enough to fulfil your outdoor quota.
Spend time with people.
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This means real people! Talk to people face-to-face and not online—it will be so refereshing. More often than not we meet up with friends but are busy texting or scanning Facebook on our phones. Call up close family or friends for a dinner date or picnic in the park and really focus on connecting with them. When we build our relationships with others we make our lives more meaningful.
Play or create.
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Set aside time for activities, like trying out a new sport or starting a hobby. Go dancing, take painting classes or learn how to play the guitar. Engage in an activity that excites you and stimulates your creativity.
Yes, the ability to multi-task is a terrific skill, but allow yourself to let go of that concept throughout the day and focus your efforts on one thing at a time. On days off, you can also try cutting down your to-do list to a maximum of three things. It’s not easy but it helps you to prioritize your tasks more efficiently, leaving room for other more enjoyable activities. Besides, a 3 item to-do list is easier to accomplish than a 10 item list and that can mean accomplishing more in a week!
Change it up.
Chuck your routine out the window and do something different for a change. It doesn’t have to be something radical, it could be as simple as taking a different route to work or rescheduling laundry day.
Give yourself a day off.
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And we mean a DAY off. Not a half-day but an entire day. Use the this time to get some much needed rest and relaxation even if it’s in the middle of the week. Be lazy and sleep in. Or go on an adventure and visit a museum! Do something you love but never have the time to do.
Taking a step back and slowing down is not easy, but it can be done if you’re willing. You don’t have to do everything on this list—you can take it one step at a time or find your own way. The most important thing is to allow yourself a moment to breathe, unwind and enjoy life.
Do you have other tips on how to slow down and enjoy life more? Why don’t you take a moment and tell us in the comments below!