There is definitely more to life rushing to work, barely getting a lunch break, rushing home for dinner, being exhausted at the end up each day, and then repeating the steps every single weekday. I mean, when you think about it, we only have a certain number of years on this planet and when you set back and think about how fast time has already gone by, you know how fast 70, or 80, or even 100 years will come.
Starting at a young age, we are encouraged (and almost even pressured) into doing as much as possible. Go to school, get a tutor, join club after club after club, make friends, go to birthday parties, and more. As an adult, this doesn’t change much. Sure, we are taking out school, but typically, work expects you to take on more and more responsibility each year, while you stay extremely productive and beneficial to your team.
Once you get home, it’s not like the ‘on’ button automatically turns off, either. You have dinner to make, kids to take care of, a husband or wife to talk with, maybe you need to go to the gym, do laundry, or vacuum the floors. The list truly does go on and on and on, and it’s never-ending, unless you choose to live a different lifestyle.
It’s funny because this style of living is natural to us, as Americans. Most of us just accept it and thing it is normal – that we have to be efficient, productive, and happy all at the same time. But, the funny thing about it is that the majority of us are unhappy, stressed, depressed, anxious, and so many of us are on medication, to try and control these feelings of unhappiness.
While yes, it is not always our busy lifestyle making us unhappy, I can bet that if we stopped to smell the roses, a good majority of us would become happier and less stressed. A great example of this is the weekends and vacations. Your to do list might be never-ending, but it’s the weekend and you get to sleep in a little more and take your time having your morning coffee. It makes me, at least, so much happier when I have the chance to just slow down for a minute.
Life does not have to be so crazy, everyone. We don’t have to feel guilty for not having time, or worried that we won’t make a deadline. We choose this for ourselves and we have the chance to slow down and really take the time to enjoy and appreciate our lives. It’s possible to do even with a job and kids and a home – we just have to be intentional with it.
Yes, it will definitely be hard at first because we have been raised to eat a quick meal that heats up in the microwave and sleep less, in order to study more or complete an assignment, but if you plan in advance, not only will your happiness benefit from you slowing down, but in a lot of cases, so will your health.
Take a step back and find ways to slow down in your life. If you need help on where to start, here are a few of my ideas:
Putting down your phone is so important when it comes to living a slow, happy life. Instead of capturing moments with your phone camera, or being consumed in social media, put down your phone and actually participate in the conversation or activity that you are around. While this won’t exactly help you live a slow life, it will help you connect with those around you, instead of wasting time by staring at a screen.
In order to reduce stress and become happier, I believe that you need to acknowledge that you have struggles and discuss them with someone. If you ignore the pains or struggles in your life, they will not just go away. By talking about them and finding a solution to work past them, you are helping yourself learn, grow, and heal. Ray of Hope Counseling Services is a group of counsellors and psychotherapists that are committed to helping individuals like yourself feel better and navigate through tough life changes. Ray of Hope Counseling Services has seven locations all over Georgia – in Kennesaw, Alpharetta, Conyers, Athens, Canton, Peachtree City, and Marietta and also serve the surrounding counties – and support you in a safe and confidential environment. Each therapist at Ray of Hope Counselling Services is not only licensed and educated, but they also have additional training and/or hold certifications in their speciality area. Each therapist has diversified backgrounds and experiences which allow them to treat a wide variety of issues across the lifespan and they take pride in honouring the privacy and confidentiality of each client. For example, Clinical Director and Founder, Lynn Thompson Umstead, is a trained mental health professional, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. Her passion is working with blended families, couples, and women who are experiencing infertility issues and can bring a great deal of empathy when counselling her couples due to her own personal struggles with infertility.
Plan in Advance
Limit your stress and check out of work early by planning in advance. If you list out everything you need to do for the month, and then break it down to weekly tasks and daily tasks, you will be able to handle your workload a lot easier compared to winging it each day. Without a list, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and consumed with work and it’s easy to put off all of your tasks, adding stress to your life. Plan in advance so that you can spend more time doing the things you love, without the stress.
Limit Your Email
Email is an essential part of a normal work day, but if you limit your usage, I think you will find that you are more productive, which will help you work smarter, instead of harder. I prefer to check mine three or four times a day: when I wake up, late morning, early afternoon, and early evening. This makes me very responsive, but at the same time, I’m not wasting my day away by responding to emails every five minutes.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.