Wellness in Words
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Wellness in Words
Get the latest on all things wellness and mindful living directly =>
In this overwhelmingly fast-paced world, sometimes things can get a little hectic. More of often than not, we find ourselves coming across articles and/or Instagram posts that talk about slowing down. Well, is slowing down really easier said than done?
The answer is, it depends. For the Type A, fast-paced high achiever individual, even the thought of slowing down can be agony. How do I know that? Because I am exactly that individual. Why waste precious time when you can fill it all up to be more productive, right? Why do less when you can do more, right? Why am I laying here in Savasana (corpse pose in yoga) for such a long time which feels like forever? Can't we move on already?
Yep, I know and I have been through it all. Whilst there is nothing wrong per se with the above attitude, there is only one thing missing in the picture. This notion of SELF-CARE. Let's face it. None of us is a eternal candle and we will eventually pile on the stress level and burn out. That's when things go wrong and that's when sometimes when things are too late.
So the go-getter me had decided to test my theory that you can do it all and we high flyers can hit the pause button too. Here are my top tips for slowing down unapologetically.
1. Pencil It In.
People like us like to be in control and that includes our schedule too. Pencilling it in the diary increases our chances of committing to our self-care routines. Remember, it doesn't always have to be yoga and meditation. These are, of course, the more commonly spoken about ones but even something as simple as taking 5-10 minutes a day to read a book because that fills your cup could be very nourishing and recharging. For some, it might be to book in that regular spa treatment, commit to the appointment at the hair salon, a fortnightly pedi-mani treatment, and the list goes on! For me, something as simple as a weekly face mask is slowing down. I mean, there is really nothing much you can do when you're putting on a mask. So might as well, take the well-deserved 20 minutes of shut eye whilst doing some breathing exercises. Killing two birds with one stone has got to be right down our alley, right?
2. Face It, Don't Run.
Sometimes we say we don't have the time because it is easier. Sometimes we say we are no good at it, especially when it comes to things like meditation, because it is easier more comfortable to stick to things we know and can nail. Guess what? Those choices ain't gonna make us suddenly have more time or become better at self-care. We just have to face it rather than escaping it. Like ripping off a bandaid. Just do it. Ripping off a bandaid is sheer willpower. Ripping off that waxing strips, on the other hand, is willpower at the beginning. The more we do it though, sooner or later, it will become a habit. Like brushing our teeth. Just second nature.
3. Get Playfully Competitive.
List. Tickboxes. Rewards. That's we function, right? So, let's get creative on how we motivate and incentivise ourselves for slowing down and doing those activities which recharge us. This could be a wall calendar which we mark off our daily slowing down routine to help build a habit out of it. E.g. 5-min a day to sit in nature and soak in the silence. Simple task and can be easily done. Because we perfectionists would hate to have anything else other than a perfect streak. For other items such as yoga, which could take longer, might potentially be scheduled to be ticked off every two or three days. Aim for a certain level of completion at the beginning of the month then reassess at the end to check on our own progress, which can be followed by a reward if we hit our targets.
4. Practice Makes Perfect, Time Will Tell.
Just because we live in the era of instantaneous-everything doesn't mean the results will be. In fact, the more we feel like we are chasing after instant-anything, the more we will have to learn to appreciate the art of slowing down. Remember, good things come to those who wait. Whether it a weight loss journey or a delicious homemade casserole, the best results are worth the wait. Similarly on our slowing down and recharging, we might not feel it as much at the beginning. Stick to it anyway. Give it a timeline. 7 days. 21 days. 8 weeks. 12 weeks. Depending on what we are trying to achieve. Journal down how we feel at the start of the journey and compare it along or at the end of the journey. This is why I personally couldn't recommend daily journaling any more because we can only see the difference upon reflecting back. Very much like noticing the change in someone we haven't seen in a while.
5. Get Some Help.
We don't have to do it all alone. In fact, the more the merrier. Well, the more chance we have at sticking to it. Find a like-minded friend or colleague to commence this journey to slowing down together. Not only do we have someone else to keep ourselves competitively accountable, but that we also have some to compare the ups and downs of the process so we can continue to fine-tune our journey to find our rhythm .
There you have it! Give it a whirl and don't forget to share with me your stories of slowing down and recharging. I can't wait to hear all about it!
How often do we actually catch ourselves going with the following?
"I have no time"
"I am too busy for___"
"I never have enough time to ___"
Well, guess what? Time is a constant and the fairest game on this planet with everyone given the same amount of 24 hours a day. How you choose to spend it though and where you channel your energy is an entirely different story. Keyword: energy.
As a friend of Living Simply Simon, Vanessa Bennett from Next Evolution Performance will tell you that it is not always about time. In fact, it is never about time. Vanessa is a well-sought after high performance coach. She and her team of coaches believe that everyone can experience high performance and it is even more paramount for businesses and anyone in a leadership role to have increased level of performance.
Their passion for high performance suggests that it is always about spending your energy in the right places! I mean, haven't we all been there? When we are so engrossed into one task we're really passionate about, time can suddenly disappears before we know it but we feel so light and happy about it all. And, the best part? Feeling like we have more time and energy to complete other tasks too! In other words, we feel super duper productive.
It is all simple. Just because spend more time something doesn't necessarily we are actually getting more done. Furthermore, how many times have we also heard the saying "work smarter not harder"?
And, I personally could not agree more! The key to getting things done and making things happen is to have the right amount of energy and attitude to pursuing these to the finish line. Through my regular hangs with Vanessa and also having attended her one-day workshop on performance, it is unsurprising to discover that everything is interconnected. The body, the mind, and the soul to contribute towards performance and productivity.
Even as an individual who is already a go-getter and the master of work-life-balance towards more happiness in life, I still learned something new. Especially learning more about myself! What I truly loved about this workshop was that it was well designed. We kicked off the session by understanding optimal performance vs burnout using neuroscience. Gotta love science! Just saying. This is then followed up by understanding about your personal pace to further increase your personal performance or productivity.
If you have been following me on social, you will know that I am a firm believer and practitioner of mindful living and mindfulness. Therefore, the second half of the day was totally presented in my kind of language. The mind is more powerful than we think and when we can get the mindset fit for purpose, we can move mountains. We can tick off the to-do list with more ease. We can set better goals with the right timeframe. We can get more in. We can get more done.
In other words, we are more productive. We have increased levels of performance. And hopefully, this will also link to more work-life satisfaction and therefore, more happiness on a daily basis.
Vanessa and her team are running another one of these workshops in August and I cannot recommend it enough if you are team leader, a juggler, a strong hustler, or simply someone who wants to understand more about how you function as an individual relative your productivity and performance levels. Remember, investment is a designer handbag or electronic gadget might last a few years but investment in ourselves last a lifetime! I promise you will not be disappointed.
The details of this workshop are as below. More information can be found the event page here.
Vanessa Bennett – CEO, Next Evolution Performance
Kate McKenna – High Performance Coach, Next Evolution Performance
Wednesday, 8 August 2018
8:30 am registration for 9:00 am start (sharp) – 5:00 pm finish
AIA Australia Limited
Level 12, 345 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Need more clarity on this? Get in touch with Vanessa's team by using the contact form here.
Yours in happiness,
For more wellness, for more happiness in our lives, I definitely and strongly recommend we revisit these three areas in our lives.
Sleep. Meditation. Exercise.
Yes, these three items require us to set aside time and schedule it into our daily lives. But, when you do do it, it is almost guaranteed to make everything better. When you interview a successful person what is the one thing that contributed to their success, chances are it will be one of these.
Sleep. Sleep is so underrated. So underrated that I cannot understand it. I mean, how does one function without at least 8-10 hours of solid sleep at night. I mean, function properly. Smoothly. Like nothing in your life can ever go wrong kind of properly. I can make do with a minimum of 4 hours but you definitely will not be seeing the me who is striving, thriving, and performing at 100%. Chances are you will come across the cranky, sour, easily agitated, minimal creativity, negative Nancy me and so much more!
So what exactly is Yin Yoga?
Like the Yin to the Yang. This is the other sibling to the beloved power yoga styles. This is the less is more. This is the moon to the sun. This is about the deeper connective tissues, ligaments, bones and fascia as opposed to the more superficial muscles. This is slow rather than fast.
This is slowing down.
I know I know..it's the M word that get thrown around a lot whether it is on podcasts, interviews, books, the internet in general, and more.. truth is, it is because it works.
So what exactly is meditation and mindfulness? Do we really have to be a monk/nun in the mountains completely zen-like levitating against gravity?
Truth be unveiled...not really!
Hmm. slowing down and breathe....
The two things which are usually easier said than done. Well, certainly for me at least. As you already know, I like to have it all. In a fast-paced world where 24 hours never seem enough, how do we actually slow down and breathe?
Well, we just gotta do it.