how to slow down and enjoy life

Lately I have come to realise that I move too fast. By that, I mean that my mind runs at a speed of 100mph, not that I myself have somehow embodied the Flash, though how cool would that be? Now, I know as parents we are super, mega busy. There is so much that we have to think about, remember and plan from our careers, house work, meals and let’s not forget about the kids. We have several lives to think about, not just our own. Right now I am writing this but, I also have like 1000 other thoughts going through my head. I can’t seem to slow down my busy brain and this has an impact on certain other aspects of my day to day life. I also find that I barrel through each day and don’t take the time to appreciate it. With this in mind, I decided to do some research and come up with a little guide on how to slow down and enjoy life. After all, I certainly can’t be the only parent feeling like this.

One Mum’s Guide on How to Slow down and Enjoy Life

Clear Your Mind

how to slow down and enjoy life

My main problem is obviously that I have too much going on inside my head. I have so much to do and it’s not just that day. I’m thinking about things that aren’t due to happen for a few weeks but, this is me. I am a tad over-obsessed with being so organised that I struggle to let go and just take each day as it comes. So, the first thing I really need to do is clear my mind. There are several ways to do this…

Meditate & Breathe

how to slow down and enjoy life

Meditation is something I have never tried, well at least not officially.  I suppose, if you think about it, simply just taking a moment and focusing on our breathing when our kids are driving us to the extreme is a form of meditation. As parents, we try so hard to keep calm. It’s hard enough helping our kids deal with their emotions, let alone trying to keep on top of our own, mixed up heads.

When researching how to clear your mind, I came across this article by Tony Robbins, an American author and coach. He discusses the “power of pause” and describes a breathing technique that will help you to clear your mind. I found this to be a really useful, quick and handy tip, one that I fully intend to put into practice.

There are many other simple forms of meditation out there that you can try including walking, candle flame and special place meditation. The below article is extremely useful if you wish to read about these further.

10 Simple Meditation Techniques For Stress Relief (mindfulnessmavericks.co.uk)

Talk it Out

how to slow down and enjoy life

Another way to clear your mind is simply to open your mouth and let your belly rumble, basically to anyone who will listen. Talking about what is going on inside your head can help to clear the cobwebs and organise your thoughts. An alternative would be to write it down.

Write it Down

how to slow down and enjoy life

Keeping a daily diary and/or task list will help to sort out all those jumbled up thoughts. If you put it on paper then you don’t have to think about it. This is where being organised can come in handy. This is something I already do. If you’ve read previous posts you will know how much I love a plan.

I started recording all appointments, clubs and activities on a large wall calendar about 4 years ago, when Tink started nursery. Yes, a standard diary works just as well but, with my calendar I can see a full months worth at one glance. I just need to remember to actually look at it.

Lose Yourself

how to slow down and enjoy life

There are also several activities that you can try to help you relax and clear your mind such as reading or, perhaps go get yourself an adult colouring book. I find that I can lose myself in a book for hours and not think about anything else. The same applies to colouring which has the added bonus of being an activity that you can share with your kids. Options like these give you the opportunity to just zone out and focus on something else for a change, clearing your mind of everything else. Another idea is to lose yourself in some sort of physical outlet.

Find a Physical Outlet

how to slow down and enjoy life

Children have clubs they attend. They have that physical outlet to help them burn off steam. There are plenty of activities for adults too but I know, for me, I find that I don’t have the time or sometimes, the funds for these. This is where I need to make time. Something as simple as going for a run, a walk or taking some frustrations out on a punching bag can help to clear your head.

I actually would like to try beating something up. We always talked about getting Tink a punch bag to help with his Karate training and, now that Pup is showing an interest in, well, physical abuse, it might be a good idea. Exercise always gives you that positive outlook.

There are lots of other ideas and support to help you clear your mind available here.

Force Yourself to Slow Down

how to slow down and enjoy life

Once you have successfully cleared your mind, you need to actually force yourself to slow down. For me, this is easier said than done. I just want to get everything done and then I still manage to find something else to add to the list.

This is all about mind over matter. You need to physically tell yourself to stop, to take a breath and look around you. Savour every moment! Enjoy that coffee! Pay attention to detail! Even something as simple as switching off all technology, grabbing a book and reading to your child will count.

At night, I tend to read to my boys but then I am also thinking I need to do this, this and this so, my attention is not fully on the task at hand. When thinking of how to slow down and enjoy life, this would be the perfect time to put some of these techniques into practice and force myself to stop and enjoy the time with my child.

If I force myself to stop then it will eventually just become routine.

Stick to a Routine

how to slow down and enjoy life

I know! I’m a stickler for a routine. I can’t go through a blog post without mentioning it but again, when researching how to slow down and enjoy life, this was one strategy that just kept coming up so, I just had to talk about it.

Keeping to a routine, both during the day and at night, will help to reduce the stress that we feel in our day to day lives, in turn helping us to slow down and find the time to take a breather. Like I said earlier, invest in a good planner/calendar.

Upholding a routine at night is just as important as during the day. A full night’s sleep ensures you are rested and helps to clear your head for the forth coming day. Let’s just hope you can switch off. This is something I really have trouble with presently; another reason why I feel the need to write this. One thing that keeps popping up surrounding this, which I have been told time and time again by others, is to reduce technology. Turn it off!

Turn it Off

how to slow down and enjoy life

Taking the time to tune out by turning off all phones, TV, Tablets and Laptops is our way of disconnecting from the world. It is definitely something we don’t do enough as we have become so reliant on all forms of technology. This is probably the main reason why we cannot switch off from our busy, busy lives.

So, switch it off! Spend 30 minutes in the garden with your kids and just play. As adults we don’t tend to play a lot either. Maybe this is where we need to just let our inhibitions go and let loose. I am a very self conscious person but, I am coming to the realisation that where my kids are concerned, I need to just fight those feelings and let the silliness out. I mean maybe this is why we have kids really, to encourage us to be young and carefree.

When I was little we didn’t have email or mobile phones. Computers were extremely rare and not typically something you found in a standard home. I was happy and most of my thoughts involved what ingredients were going in my mud pie that day.

We need to be like that again. Learn from our youth!

Just Listen

how to slow down and enjoy life

One thing I really struggle with is listening. I am a great listener; I really am. However sometimes, because I have so much going on, only about 80% of my brain power is focused on the task at hand. This is also the case with emails, texts and basically, any form of communication. There have been quite a few instances where I have missed an important piece of information, though don’t tell the hubby I just admitted to that.

This has become more apparent as the boys get older and my schedule just gets busier and busier. Sometimes I feel like I can’t keep up. When thinking about how to slow down and enjoy life, this is one thing that I concluded myself. I need to listen more. Put all my effort into listening to my children, my husband and my family and block out all other thoughts. So, I say the same to you. If you are struggling to slow down, take a beat and just listen. Listen to your friends, your family, heck, listen to the birds chirping at sunrise. Just listen!

One Mum & her Boys Day of Fun

how to slow down and enjoy life

Lastly, whether you have got all this down or not, take a break. Take one day to just switch off, go away and spend time with your family, though obviously I’m not telling you to take your kids out of school but, you get the drift.

Tune out from everything and just enjoy life, sort of recharge your batteries if you will. We all need it.

Go and find something fun to do; a day at the beach, at the zoo or at the park. Take a packed lunch and leave all phones at home. Have a one mum and her boy’s day of fun!

Eventually, you will see how to slow down and enjoy life!

Other Resources:

Relaxation techniques | NHS inform

NHS Videos – Relaxation – Breathing Techniques – YouTube

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