Who Can Relate?
Wake up, go to work, get the kids, make dinner, play with the kids, put them to bed, spend time with your spouse, pass out, wake up, and do it all over again. How many of us go through a similar routine? It’s go! go! go! until your head hits the pillow? Pretty much the furthest thing from letting your body rest.
This was how my days were constantly, then you throw the weekend in and all of a sudden I’m trying to play catch-up for all of the things I missed during the week. Some of us would look at that and just think, “That’s life.” But what if it didn’t have to be? What if there was a different way that allows your body to get some rest? I want to share a few tips on how you can slow down and why you should make sure you’re letting your body rest.
First, let’s talk about the importance of slowing down. Your body is always on the defense so it is constantly watching your back for any threats that may try to harm you. You can thank your body for being so overprotective but the downside of this is it puts your body in a constant state of fight or flight. What contributes to this state even more is when your body never has a chance to slow down and take a breath; which sums up most of our daily lives. Most people would agree that being in a constant state of stress is unhealthy but rarely do we realize that this is the way most of us are living. I could (and may) write a whole blog about the severity of stress but for now, let’s focus on slowing down and letting our bodies take a break.
I know what you’re thinking, “He’s gone off the deep end.” Bare with me here for a moment. I will be the first to admit that I used to never meditate and would have never recommended it. Why? Because I didn’t know anything about it. I saw it as something Monks would do or someone who was way more in-touch with their spiritual self than I. What changed? I started hearing about the benefits of meditation through books I would read. In the book, Game Changes by Dave Asprey, he interviewed thousands of high performers (people who are at the top of their industry) to find out what strategies they used to get to where they are in life. A vast majority of them mentioned meditation as one of the top tools they incorporated into their lives. How powerful can meditation be? A recent study shows that just 15 minutes of meditation a day has a similar effect to taking a vacation day. That’s pretty crazy, right? This has been one of my biggest “don’t knock it until you try it” recommendations. I regularly incorporate meditation either on my lunch break or late at night when I’m winding down for the evening. Do yourself a favor and try it.
2. Start saying no
Part of the reason people feel so overwhelmed is because they commit to too many things. Whether it’s going out on a weeknight, showing up to a baseball game of a friend’s kid, or catching a movie, we often overcommit and it puts us in this hole we are constantly trying to climb out of. The truth is you can’t do everything and if you try to do everything it will eventually catch up to you. I get it, saying no can be hard but it’s a necessity if you want to feel more in control of your life. There are a lot of areas that need your attention in life but don’t forget about your own peace and quiet. This is something I can’t stress enough.
3. Carve out time for yourself
Have you ever noticed that the things that have to get done always get done? That’s because you prioritize those items as non-negotables. It’s important to take that same mentality and apply it towards some time to be by yourself. It’s also important to note that this is different from going to the gym or going on a hike. Why? Because when you are out there doing physical activities, your body sees it as one thing, stress. For a long time, I fell victim to this misconception. I would go to the gym and consider it my time to release stress and be alone. The problem was my body didn’t see it that way. It saw it as more stress being added to it. That’s why you need to have time where you’re just by yourself in a space where you can just relax and be with your own thoughts.
Take action, by stopping the action and letting your body rest.
The fact of the matter is we need to start slowing down and if you’re living your life always at 100 mph, it’s going to catch up in ways you never imagined. Meditating, saying no, and carving out time for yourself are just some of the ways that you can start giving your body a break. Do yourself a favor and give your body the rest it needs so you can start reaping the benefits of living a more stress-free life. Go to my Life Content section and check out the page dedicated to the importance of relaxation to find even more useful tips to help get started.
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