We all know how exhausted, burned out, and depleted we feel when we do too much, too quickly. What would our days look like if were we to slow down not once in a while, but more consistently and just plain more often?
This doesn't mean making our lives less exciting. It does, however, mean that we actually show up for them. It also means we take time to smell the proverbial roses, to taste our food, to listen to our partners and children, and to absorb what is happening when it is happening, and not in the play-by-play later that night or the next morning.
I would of course love us all to take naps, lie over yoga bolsters, and sip nourishing mineral broths every day. But hey, I'm also a realist. It historically has taken me feeling pretty lousy to make this triad mandatory, and your go-to remedies for mellowing out are probably different than mine. Still, dare I say I am improving? I'm catching myself a little quicker within the dizzying spiral of depletion. I also have my arsenal of things to do -- see above -- plus a few others up my sleeve to put into play right away.
What's in your toolkit when you are burned out? What helps you slow down?
We should probably first figure out if you believe in the spirit of slow -- not lazy, stupid, or behind, like the word has sadly come to imply -- but rather deep, present, aware, and sound. It's not like slow hasn't already caught on. There are after all slow movements everywhere: Slow food! Slow love!
Still, the heart of living slow for me is most winningly embodied by slow dance. Picture it: You hold your partner close, maybe rest your head on their shoulder, wrap your arms around them or keep your hand on their low back or hip, whisper a little, and act intimate and loving.
Imagine holding your overtaxed body with that same sentiment! Imagine giving yourself that much care! Here's what I propose: Swap out "dance" for "down," and with the lights dimmed, make a point to weave slowdowns into your life, better yet, into your every day.
Not only is slowing down restful, restorative, and recharging. It is vital. And it feels really good to boot. Slow downs also prep you for the high-tempo, crazy-fast, fluorescent and pumping number that is surely cued up as the very next song in your life.
I can't help but think of Bob Marley's "Turn Your Lights Down," a classic love song but also perfect to sing to ourselves to get us in the slowdown mood: "Turn your lights down low, and a pull your window curtains." He tells us oh so softly, come on, quiet down, get slow. It's not only super seductive, it is super necessary to our wellbeing.
True, we want our bodies to rock it for us 24-7. But how about we slow down, hold them steady, and let them and our wild minds chill out once in a while? Consider it, would you? I don't think you'll be sorry.
For more by Maggie Lyon, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.
Follow Maggie Lyon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@MaggieLyon