“Slow down, calm down, don’t worry, don’t hurry, trust the process” Alexander Stoddard (this is a quote on my favourite mug!!)
We are often given a reminder to slow down but often we don’t pay attention to it. Then something bigger happens and it makes us sit up and take notice. This is a life lesson. I’m not even talking about the pandemic that has been the centre of everything this last year!
I’ve had three eye operations in just over a year! Like a lot of people, slowing down and letting go doesn’t come easily to me however after each of these operations I was told I had to rest and not do certain things for a month. After the initial frustration and despair at my situation, I conceded to the fact that everything happens for a reason and I had no choice in the matter. Life was telling me to pause and to start cutting down on that ‘to do’ list.
“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated” Confucius
Why do we thrive on over-complicating a situation or on an endless list of tasks? Lists can help you to focus and it’s so satisfying to tick off a completed task on the list! They can however do more harm to your anxiety levels when the lists become the length of your arm.
Sometimes it’s as simple as making one or two changes to your day to find that extra bit of space to breath. Have a read through these suggestions and see what you can easily apply to your day:
- Take a moment to work out what you really need to do and what can comfortably be left for another day or isn’t necessary at all. Make a short ‘to do’ list for the day. Don’t be tempted to write a long list or you will feel like you have failed at the end of the day.
- Prioritise putting aside time for yourself each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If you find this hard to do then add it to your ‘to do’ list. Use this time to focus just on you and nothing else.
- Build morning and bedtime routines to start and end the day with the comfort of familiarity. This could be your ‘me time’. Again, use this time to focus on just you and let go of your worries and to do lists.
- Learn to politely say ‘no’ to requests if you simply don’t have time or it is beyond the acceptable scope of helping others.
- Monitor your time spent on social media. Keep your phone out of arms reach at mealtimes and try to stay off screens for at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Look at simple tasks in life with fresh eyes and be present with even the simplest of chore.
- Simplify your day and give space to be present. If you find yourself worrying about a situation that you can’t influence, try doing something that completely takes your mind off it. For me, it is absorbing myself into a jigsaw puzzle. You can’t think about anything else when you are searching for that missing piece!
“By letting go, it all gets done.” (I’m not sure where I heard this one but it’s my daily mantra right now!!)
So next time something happens or even doesn’t happen, take a moment to ask yourself if you need to stop and pause. Find time to bring a little simplicity and self-care to your life before life shouts at you with a stronger lesson.
This is just one of the many things I have learned from life. What lesson has life taught you? I’d love to hear about it. Once I get a few gathered in, I’ll share them on a future blog so others can learn from it (don’t worry I won’t include your name). If we can learn from each other, it can make the journey so much easier.