Ah, February. The month is tough for many of us. The post-holiday slump has officially hit, the days are still dark, and the weather is almost always cold and bitter. While the mere natural world begs us to slow down, so many of us continue to go at top speed. I had surgery on January 23rd and was off my feet for a few weeks. This forced relaxation was difficult but also supremely profound.
The thing I’ve come to realize is at the end of your life nobody will eulogize about your productivity. They’re not going to rave about you hitting your target sales or constantly doing busy work at the office. They’re going to speak to your character, your kindness and most of all how you made them feel. Slowing down encourages you to tap into that deep part of your spirit where wisdom and calmness resides. Taking a breath encourages you to check in with your heart and in the moment. Being present is a spectacular gift that you can give to yourself and others.
Let’s stop telling each other how busy we are. Nobody cares. Busyness is a poor marker for productivity and an even worse marker for growth and expansion. Let’s start to view the sanctuary of slowness as a power move. Here are some tips to get you going:
- Make a slow cooked meal. Do you remember the slow food movement of a few years ago? Make something that takes a long time to cook or bake. Let it fill your house with delicious smells. Good examples of this are bone broth, stews and soups.
- Notice the small things. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, I encourage you to step back from what you are doing and scan the room. Notice three colours, two sounds and one scent. You can repeat this exercise to help bring down anxiety and encourage your mind to anchor in the present.
- I’ve said it here numerous times and will continue to say it again and again. Meditation can slow down inflammation at a cellular level, boost emotional intelligence and actually improve productivity.
- Buy the best quality dark chocolate you can afford and instead of scarfing it down take a moment to let it melt on your tongue. Close your eyes and enjoy the taste and feel. Just taking an extra moment to chew your food and actually taste it will improve digestion markers significantly.
- Always look for the silver lining. Are you bummed because you’re stuck in traffic? Be grateful that you have an extra ten minutes to think about how much you love your partner, your car or Jamaica. Switch the script.
- Set and maintain a time in the evening where you turn off your electronics. All of them. Stick to it. Don’t allow electronics in the bedroom, especially not your smartphones! This is disruptive to sleep and happiness. Let’s make old-school alarm clocks sexy again.
- Say No. Stop taking on more responsibility that you don’t want and can’t handle. You may feel pressure to agree to every request, but this is a one-way street to burn-out-town.
- Get enough rest. Sleep is one of the main pillars of health and adults are extremely negligence of this sacred and powerful time. Treat yourself as you would a small child. Embrace a nighttime routine to make it easier to help you wind down. Have a bath, read an uplifting book, write in your journal. Make this time about you.
- Go outside. Nature takes its time doing everything and yet everything gets accomplished. This is a beautiful thing and we can all take note.
Nurturing yourself is so much more than watching what you put in your mouth. Your life will expand only so much as you notice it. Give yourself permission to breathe. Don’t let this moment pass you by.
“In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.”
– Eckhart Tolle
As your Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant at Naturmend, I am committed to creating healthy communities. I believe in honouring the unique biochemical individuality of each person who walks through my door and in the amazing benefits of a whole food diet. A healthy body and balanced mind are the cornerstones of a happy existence.