Modern life can be incredibly busy, and you may feel that it would be nice to slow life down and relax more. No matter what your life looks like, from college student to working parent, you can benefit from a simpler life that doesn't feel so hectic.
More than half of American professionals say that they “feel burnout at work.” However, stress and being overwhelmed isn’t always confined to the office.
If you have a hectic social life or are a parent, you may find that it feels as though you never have a second to yourself to enjoy life. So, how can you change that?
If you want to know how to enjoy life more, you’ve come to the right place. We will break down the importance of slowing life down and the ways you can do it — regardless of your commitments. Here’s everything that you need to know!
Why is it important to slow life down?
First things first, let’s talk about why it’s important to slow life down. If you’re a typically high-functioning person, you might think nothing of cramming your diary with plans and engagements. However, if you overload yourself, you may end up feeling overwhelmed.
It can affect your health
Whether you’re a busy mom or professional, taking time out is essential. Failing to do so can lead to mental health issues and other emotional problems.
According to the American Psychological Association, a massive 79% of American employees have now experienced work-related stresses, while 32% of people have also experienced emotional exhaustion.
It gives you time to recharge and appreciate life
Taking some time to relax is important so that you can recharge. Not only will this benefit your mental health, but it will also help you to savor the small, simple pleasures of life.
When you’re busily moving from thing to thing, you may struggle to appreciate all that you have. By learning how to slow down your life and take your time, you can better enjoy everything you do.
Ready to learn how to slow life down? The truth is that there are various ways to do this. When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you may not be able to see them.
Let’s break down the approaches you can use, depending on your situation.
How busy and working moms can slow life down
Motherhood is a full-time job, and that’s before you factor your day job into the equation. It’s no wonder that you may struggle to slow life down.
While taking a mini-break without the kids is likely out of the question, there are some approaches you can give a whirl.
Try mindful eating
What do you usually do when you’re eating? You may watch TV, play on your phone, or even cook for someone else.
If that sounds familiar, it could be worth trying mindful eating. This approach involves being present in the moment and savoring the food you eat.
If possible, sit in a quiet room while you are eating and ditch any distractions. That means turning the TV off, making sure that it’s quiet, and having a moment to yourself. When you do that, you can truly focus on the meal that you are having and experience the flavors.
Savor small pleasures
“How to stop time: kiss. How to travel in time: read. How to escape time: music. How to feel time: write. How to release time: breathe.”― Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
Do you remember the last time you spent 10 or 20 minutes doing something that you love? That may mean reading, speaking to your partner, sewing cross-stitch, or even just drinking a coffee. Savoring these small pleasures helps you to live in the moment and slow life down.
How to slow down in life as a career-focused person
Is your career your top priority? When you’re climbing that ladder, you may feel as though there’s not a moment to lose.
While you’re chasing that next promotion — and that in itself is commendable — you might lose sight of the smaller, enjoyable things in life.
Go for a walk in nature
Feeling overloaded with work? Walking in nature for an hour lessens "stress-related brain activity." Chances are, you rarely make the time to get outside and experience the great outdoors.
However, as the research has shown, this can lead to a wealth of mental benefits, and it can be one of the best things to do when learning how to slow life down.
Heading out for a walk helps to slow your brain down and allows you to become more mindful. Don’t worry if you don’t live near a national park. Simply going for a walk outside can offer you the same benefits.
Why not try this easy tip on your next lunch break to slow down your life?
Multitasking isn't as helpful as you'd think. Yes, you might think that you’re getting a hyperbolic million things done when you’re doing it, but you’re likely doing none of them well.
When you try to take on too many things at once, you often do a poor job with all of them. Multitasking also doesn't help when you want to learn how to slow down in life.
What you should try to do is to quit multitasking. Whenever you have a job to do — whether it’s work-related or otherwise — focus only on that thing. Doing so may help you to get into the natural “flow” of the work and slow down your work life in the process.
Slowing down and enjoying life for college students
When you’re at college, there are many things to keep up with — from social plans to deadlines. Often enough, this mounting pressure can lead to mental health problems. Burning out is common among students, but so are issues such as anxiety and depression.
To combat these problems, it’s worth looking at the ways that you can slow life down and live in the moment. Fortunately enough, we have a couple of science-backed approaches.
Practice some breathwork
Engaging in mindfulness activities and paced breathing can lower blood pressure. That’s great news if you happen to be feeling overwhelmed with your workload and social plans.
Breathwork is the practice of slowing down your breathing and noticing each of the breaths that you take. You can find YouTube tutorials online to help you get started.
When you start relaxing your breathing, you will find that it leads to countless physiological benefits. Plus, it can really help you with slowing down and enjoying life.
Start journaling each day
Want to start a mentally healthy habit? Journaling helps you slow life down and reflect on your blessings.
As a student, you are already under an immense amount of pressure. You may forget that you have many privileges in your life. Why not try listing them now?
Journaling has been linked to increased academic motivation in college students. That means that you may find it easier to study when you start this hobby. You can set aside around five to 10 minutes every day to jot down the elements of your life that bring you joy.
How to slow down your life as a social butterfly
Outgoing individuals tend to love socializing with anyone and everyone. If you’re always at a party, a gathering, or an event, your life will feel rich and fulfilling.
However, there is a downside to that. Failing to have some time to yourself can lead to energy burnout. With that in mind, here are a couple of ways that you can slow life down and chill out.
Switch off from social media
Social media is the enemy of mindfulness and can cause you to overthink. It’s no surprise that there’s research to suggest that social media negatively affects mental health. If you are a busy person, taking a break from these platforms can help free up your time.
It doesn’t end there. If you are prone to the dreaded Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), skipping social media could be a good move.
As a social person, you will always want to be out and about. When you aren’t constantly seeing others doing that, you might just slow life down.
Learn how to be present
Few people know how to be present at the moment. When you are out at dinner, you may be thinking about who you’re meeting for drinks afterward.
When you’re having some downtime with your family, you might be texting a group to make Sunday brunch plans.
While you think you’re getting loads done, the above approaches to life will leave you feeling completely drained and make it difficult to learn how to slow down in life. Wherever you are, make sure that your mind is there too.
Stop thinking about the other things you have to do or making plans. Take a few moments to take in your surroundings, appreciate the people that you’re with, and enjoy the present.
No matter how busy you are, it's possible to slow life down and enjoy it!
No matter what commitments you may have, we should all schedule some time to slow life down. If you want to become more mindful and start enjoying the small pleasures in life, it won’t happen by accident.