Yo ho ho! Tis the season to slow slow slow (down!)Dec 01, 2022
I don’t know about you, but from October 1st I feel a shift in energy. Not just on my own, but on other people around me. Shops subtly put their Christmas products at our eye line, the fake Christmas trees have been brought out of the attic and strategically placed in the corner of waiting rooms, memes of ’11 Saturdays ‘til Christmas’ start floating around social media and all of us have that one friend who has been counting down the days until since last Christmas!
These signs prove to me that more than ever we are more focused on our future than where we are right now. The danger of living this way is that before we know it, our life has passed us by and the future we spend months craving, is now so far in our rear-view mirror we can’t remember what it was we wanted in the first place.
Whilst it’s great to plan our futures, have goals and dreams, it’s important to remember that right now is all we have got. It’s what we do right here, right now that is going to secure our future. (Did anyone else just start silently singing to fat boy slim or was it just me?) When we truly understand this concept then the pace of life can slow down. We can step back from the collective race towards ‘one day’ and make choices that align with what matters most to us.
So how do we step off the treadmill which is increasing speed without nose diving into a third bowl of pavlova on Christmas Day and feeling utterly burnt out?
Turn the light on:
The first place to start is with awareness. Most of us find ourselves at a party we didn’t want to go to, over committing to people only to let them down at the last minute or wasting precious energy worrying about being in fifty places at once.
From today onwards, turn the light on inside your mind and see what your automatic responses are to
1) Requests that are made from you. Do you say yes without hesitation without considering the consequences? The time you spend on one thing is taking precious time away from other areas of your life that might matter more. Choose how and when you spend your time wisely.
2) Getting drawn into society's pace. Sometimes it’s not you, it’s others. Have enough awareness to know whose energy you’re picking up on. If everyone else around you is racing around trying to ‘get it all done’ before the end of the year, have the courage to question if the stressful (endless) to-do list needs to be completed or are the expectations too high? Or that friend that you haven’t seen for most of the year and has invited you for a catch up before 2023 rolls around; perhaps you can put them off until January?
3) Stress. We all handle stress differently, but getting overwhelmed, having a short fuse, being distracted, and disengaging from things that would usually give you joy are all signs that you might be doing too much. Understanding your response to stress will give you the power to dial down on the basics- moving your body, eating food that fuels you and getting a decent night’s sleep. If you know you have some late, boozy nights coming up, counteract the possibly negative consequences by having some healthy food choices and room for a walk the next day.
We know that the pace of life isn’t going to slow down so it's counterproductive to stress about how much you have to do. Choose today to take ownership of your busyness and make your mindset work for you.
Stuck for stocking fillers? Anna’s new book ‘Only Human’ is available to order now: