Why do we call it a rat race?
In some form or another, we’re all caught up in an exhausting and competitive routine to do better than others and feel more accomplished ourselves.
The problem is, that’s not a healthy way to live and it will (not might), in time lead to a decline in health, weight gain, physical or nervous breakdowns, a compromised immune system, and potential illnesses.
Despite being a Health Coach and having studied all of this in detail, I’m guilty of not looking after myself enough and regularly making my daily to-do list too long.
The result? You wind up working late every night and still feel you didn’t accomplish enough. That’s exhausting for the mind.
In turn, this releases stress and worry that you’ve got more on your plate tomorrow.
Slowing Life Down, Focusing, and Taking Down Time is Vital.
Food Plays a Critical Role.
For example, switching to the keto diet involves reducing the complexity of your food intake, cooking healthy and easy-to-prepare meals from scratch, giving you “me” time and a sense of satisfaction.
Taking ample time to enjoy your food creation is equally important.
Exercise and Lifestyle.
Simplifying your exercise routine to easy-to-perform sessions, in less time and preferably in nature, takes the pressure off the “I have to get my gym session in” mentality.
A more relaxed approach to exercising in combination with healthy lifestyle habits — walking 2 to 3 times a day, for example — makes exercising and the need to get it done far less pressing.
Sleep and Rest.
Getting enough sleep is difficult for most folks.
From time to time, I suffer sleepless nights — because I’m often online for too long at night, leaving my brain buzzed and not ready for sleep.
However, I’m a light sleeper so any noise will wake me up. Where I live in Bali, that’s a particular problem, as you’ve got busy-body roosters tooting their beaks often as early as 3 am! That’s annoying, trust me!
Being aware of your nighttime pattern, and consciously winding down TV, phone, and computer time 1 to 2 hours before bed will provide you with more restful and longer sleep.
I’ll try that tonight!
Slow down the hype, get off the gadgets, talk, read, meditate, relax and catch 8 hours of sleep a night. Your body and mind will thank you.
Taking regular rest breaks throughout your day is equally vital for your brain to re-charge, balance and think clear thoughts.
Short 5 to 10-minute rests every 1 to 2 hours are necessary for a healthy mindset.
Longer lunch breaks and an afternoon break, possibly a power nap, work wonders for your creativity and productivity.
Pushing yourself all day, non-stop, will lead to significant stress accumulation and exhaustion.
Creativity & Playtime.
Taking time out from the daily work pressures and chores but instead spending more time with family and friends, playing sports, or brain games, which stimulates your creative mind is a fun way to slow down.
So-called “playtime,” where you’re doing something you love, having fun, and laughing, releases your happy hormone (endorphins), which reduces stress and makes you feel good.
Make sure you schedule your weekly fun/playtime!
Social Media, The Internet & Your Phone.
I know, I know. None of us could imagine living without the internet and our smartphones these days. Right, I get it, and it’s a fantastic convenience.
But, it’s also become a disease for some!
WhatsApp Messages, Computers, Smartphones, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and on so on rule your days and nights and can drive some folks a bit whacky!
This goes to the extent where these victims can’t get off their phone all day and night, checking for messages, likes, and follows, while simultaneously posting tons of garbage in the hope of getting attention!
In the meantime, their “real” personal relationships break down.
It’s a sad state of affairs for some, as social media platforms have taken over their lives — it’s become a serious addiction.
Most people suffer from massive information overload; the addiction to the online world and getting things done fast can undermine personal relationships and harm your mental health.
And that’s why it’s imperative to reconnect with nature and restore natural social orientations vital to your human identity, health, and a balanced mindset.
Turn off those devices a few hours a day and reconnect with people and nature.
Quick Tips to Slow your Life Down.
- Appreciate your food by eating meals with awareness, at a comfortable pace, and in a calm, relaxing setting.
- Build more authentic interpersonal relationships with your circle of friends rather than social media.
- Ideal sleep requires syncing your sleep and wake cycles to the sun’s rising and setting and creating a calm, quiet, dark, relaxing sleep environment. Plus, or minus a few hours, depending on which climate or season you’re in. But aim for 8 solid hours of quality sleep.
- Make time for spontaneous or structured outdoor exercise which provides emotional and cognitive benefits and stress relief. Make sure you move your body frequently throughout the day.
- Spend time in nature as often as possible — better, make time. Being in natural surroundings heightens your senses, and the negative ions (energized air particles) found in nature support stress relief and energize the body and mind.
- Focus on one thing at a time and reduce multitasking. A slower pace engages the brain, increases productivity, accomplishment, and relieves stress.
There’s a lot here; however, if you set your mind to changing some bad habits by first identifying them and writing them down, then consciously working on making good habits, you’ll find it easier to make lasting changes.
The first step is recognizing you’re pushing the envelope too far, are overworked, spend too much time on your smartphone and laptop, have little to no time for yourself, let alone for anyone else.
If this summary applies to you, burnout is around the corner.
Slow Life Down Before it’s Too Late!
Thanks for reading,