I was driving to Kingston, Ontario last night and traffic was exceptionally awful for this area. Road construction had drivers significantly delayed, and some of them were not handling it well. When I finally made it to my exit, about a half an hour later than planned, there was yet another long line as everyone seemed to be turning left. Then there was the woman in front of me, who had her car parked smack dab in the middle of the lanes, hedging her bets as to which way she was going and ensuring no one else could get by! As someone behind me honked and I debated whether to go around her on the left side, this woman had a melt down!! I could see her face in her rear view mirror as she cursed and banged on the steering wheel in a full blown adult temper tantrum. Needless to say, the displays of frustration around me were not examples of calmness in a crazy world!
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
What can we do to boost our immunity to the stressors of daily life? We need to slow down. But where do we start? There are several simple ways to add more zen to your daily routine:
Give yourself more time
Why oh why did I not realize this sooner? For many years, if not decades, I ran around in circles because I was always overbooked and rushing. I’m still very busy, but I am a lot better at leaving myself enough time to get to where I need to go. This is what separates me from a melt down folks! I plan so I’m never pushed to the limit time-wise. I always have a little buffer so something can go wrong, and I’ll still arrive on time.
Do everything slower
Drive slower. Walk slower. Eat slower. Intentionally slow down and notice what is going on around you, how your food tastes, and how you’re feeling in the moment. The beauty of life is in the details. If you slow down while doing mundane daily activities, you just might find yourself savouring the moment and not wanting that drive, walk or meal to end.
Pick 5 things to accomplish each day
You want to undercommit and over deliver! As examples, some of the things that you would find on my list of things to accomplish: meet a deadline at work, respond to an important email, meet with a client, write a blog post, run an errand, go to yoga, go on a date with my boyfriend, or cook a healthy dinner. Sometimes my list is work focused whereas at other times, such as on weekends, it includes mainly personal items. Regardless of whether it’s the weekend or a workday, once you’re 5/5, it’s time to slow down. You accomplished what you needed to; you deserve to enjoy the rest of the day at a more leisurely pace.
I have bad news for you: Doing several things at once does not make you more productive! According to Mental Floss, multitasking is actually bad for our brains. We are not wired to do more than one thing at a time, and trying to do several things at once slows us down and increases our stress levels. Focus on doing one thing at a time for better health and greater productivity.
If you slow down, you will enjoy life more. Trust me and try it!
Have a calm and beautiful weekend,