I admit it — I used to be one of those people who never shut down. Every vacation away from the office meant I was still tied to my Blackberry and even though my out of office responder was on, my brain refused to turn off. When emails came in, I would obsessively respond whenever and wherever I seemed to be – as if I were at my desk and I won’t neven get into how I used to bring other work along. This made for a not-so-relaxing vacation – to say the least.
Sure, I get it. We are a society of busy people who pack our schedules full to the brim and run ourselves into the ground. We give excessively to others and leave little time to take care of ourselves. Down time or time to ourselves often feels guilt-ridden but if we simply take a step back and check in with our bodies, a little self care may be all we really need. Even if it’s just five minutes a day.
Self care is one of the most important elements of a healthy diet as it aids in proper and efficient metabolism. Furthermore, if we don’t treat ourselves with love and care, what message are we sending to the Universe about how we want others to treat us?
Sure, vacations are nice but don’t underestimate the benefit of taking five minutes a day — what the ladies of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School call “Pause Practices.” These can be as simple as a short walk, meditating, journaling or breathing. Take it a step further and get a massage, cook a healthy meal for yourself or soak in a hot tub.
Believe it or not, slowing down like this is the healthy habit my clients are often most challenged to create in their lives. Unfortunately, it’s just not in our nature.
If you seem to have trouble slowing down, here are some suggestions adapted from an article by Marco Visscher and Jay Walljasper in Ode Magazine:
Leave your watch on the bedside table
Check email only twice a day
Take the scenie route
Light candles before you start to cook dinner
Let the phone ring several times before answering
Set aside one night a week all for yourself
Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer
Never pack your schedule so that there’s nbo room for a short walk
How will you get slow?