Living slow in a fast-paced life

May 10, 2022

Written by April Calnin

Five steps to finding your own slow lifestyle

I wake up before the sun to rouse my children and do school drop-off by 7:40 (not a minute later or you’ll be tardy). I then sit. Drink coffee. Eat toast with fruit. Only when I feel my brain light up with a calm, productive energy do I check emails, texts, and plan the day. I check which work meetings are scheduled and think about how to prepare. I consider the house remodel and what decisions need to be made or who I need to text or email to move things along. I gently remind myself of personal tasks, doctors appointments or other needs for myself and my family. Gently, always gently.

It’s a fact that our lives are busier than any past generation. In a world that runs 24/7 with news, social media, emails, politics, and a pandemic on top of everything, it can all be overwhelming. Personally, I have a lot going on each day. My life could be chaotic, it could wear me down and drain me until there is nothing left. Yet, if I slow my mind, focus on the moment and tell myself I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now - then, the birds chirping really do make me smile. The tasks at hand each day do not feel like an avalanche, but a refreshing ocean wave to take me back to shore again, and again. I am calm. I am productive. I am content.

Five steps to finding your own slow lifestyle

  1. Notice. Download a mindfulness app and begin a practice of noticing your physical and mental experience. You can strengthen your voluntary attention so you will be less easily distracted and more clear-minded. Counteracting negative thought patterns with positive affirmations is also a useful tool.
  2. Move. Connecting to your physical experience through walking, exercise or yoga can balance your physical and mental processes, reduce anxiety and ruminating thoughts, and help you focus on the here and now.
  3. Care for yourself. Ask yourself throughout your day, “What do I need right now?” Check-in and honor your energy. Maybe it’s a moment to nap, journal, clean your space, try a new recipe, or schedule an appointment with a doctor or a therapist.
  4. Get away. Leaving your comfort zone to experience a new culture, new scenery or even just a new coffee shop can provide a fresh perspective and remind you of what is most important to you.
  5. Protect your energy. Recognize when something is negatively affecting your mental, emotional, or physical energy and give yourself permission to limit your exposure to that stimulus.

April Calnin lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Chris, two daughters, and their dog Silver. April supports Anaway Place and Anaway Home behind this scenes while managing a full-time day job and a whole house remodel. She loves doing yoga, hiking, traveling and the outdoors.

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