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Everyone Needs a Little Downtime - How to Embrace a Slower Pace

Sometimes life feels like it moves at the speed of light. If we don't stop to look around every once in a while, we may be missing out on what's right in front of us. And when we choose to ignore that life lesson, sometimes the universe gives us an opportunity to embrace a slower pace when we least expect it. Once upon a time, one Mother's Day I broke my ankle. Even worse, I hobbled around on it for 3 days until strangers' comments about how swollen and bruised it looked guilted me into seeing a doctor. Not only was it broken, but I needed surgery and would be non-weight-bearing for four weeks. FOUR WEEKS! As a self-employed, busy mom this felt like a total disaster. Shortly after, I was griping to a close friend about how the inconvenience of it was going to negatively impact every aspect of my personal and professional life. She responded by pointing out that maybe, just maybe, this was an opportunity to slow down. My initial reaction was "just slow down? I don't have time for that!" Just like many other busy moms in our society today, we are task-oriented and driven to get things done timely and efficiently, even if it supersedes our quality of life. It shouldn't take a broken ankle for us to realize that we all need a little downtime. Slowing down and adopting a more deliberate pace of life can bring about various benefits for both physical and mental well-being.


woman reading a book embracing a slower pace of life
Discover the benefits of embracing a slower pace in life. Learn how to cultivate mindfulness, establish tech boundaries, savor simple pleasures, and more.
 

Here are some ways we can learn how to embrace a slower pace and more mindful approach to life:

  • Practice Mindfulness: Cultivate mindfulness by bringing your attention to the present moment. This can be achieved through meditation, deep-breathing exercises, or simply paying close attention to your surroundings and sensations.

  • Establish Tech Boundaries: Set boundaries for technology use, especially during designated times for rest and relaxation. Consider implementing tech-free zones in your home to create a more tranquil environment.

  • Savor Simple Pleasures: Slow down and savor the simple pleasures of life. Whether it's enjoying a cup of tea, taking a leisurely stroll, or appreciating a beautiful sunset, find moments to fully experience and enjoy.

  • Limit Multitasking: Focus on one task at a time rather than multitasking. This can lead to greater concentration, improved efficiency, and a more mindful approach to your activities.

  • Create Buffer Time: Avoid scheduling back-to-back commitments. Allow for buffer time between tasks and appointments to reduce stress and provide space for unexpected events.

  • Simplify Your Schedule: Assess your schedule and identify areas where you can simplify. Consider cutting back on non-essential commitments to create more breathing room.

  • Learn to Say No: Practice saying no to activities or commitments that do not align with your priorities. Establishing boundaries and being selective in your commitments can lead to a more balanced and intentional life.

  • Cultivate Patience: Embrace patience in your daily life. Recognize that not everything needs to happen instantly, and allow yourself and others the time needed to navigate tasks and challenges.

  • Reevaluate Your Values: Take the time to reflect on your values and priorities. Ensure that your choices align with what truly matters to you, and be willing to let go of activities or commitments that no longer serve your well-being.


After recovery, I had time to reflect on the unexpected downtime I was given and learned some lessons on how to embrace a slower pace of life. As many of the bullet points above suggest, slowing down increases awareness of ourselves and others. It can improve our patience and tolerance and advance our listening skills and abilities to enjoy delayed gratification. This article shows that when we slow down and take time to just "pause" in our day, we can focus on what's happening right in front of us. Taking a more mindful and deliberate approach to life has also been shown to increase creativity and decrease stress! These are also typical qualities we strive to give our children during our parenting journey. Perhaps modeling attributes of self-compassion, patience and mindfulness throughout our lives is the best example we can set for them to embrace a slower pace in theirs. Remember that this is a personal journey, and it's okay to progress at a pace that feels comfortable for you. By incorporating these tips into your daily life, you can foster a more intentional, mindful, and fulfilling existence.

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