I was recently invited to attend and speak at a local school’s Mom’s breakfast. I chose the topic of Slowing Down in 2020, as I too have learnt that this is indeed a topic that needs to be discussed. There are many aspects to it and it is just so relevant in today’s age.
I was told towards the end of 2019 that I am heading for adrenal fatigue – defined by alternative medicine providers to suggest that the adrenal glands are exhausted and unable to produce adequate quantities of hormones, primarily cortisol, due to chronic stress or infections. ~ wikipedia.org. In layman’s terms I was working so hard at the gym and putting so much pressure on my life that I was actually working against my own body, actually putting ON weight, feeling stressed, overstretched and most of all emotionally weak. Living inside my head, feeling like everyone else was better off, prettier, had more friends and so on. Totally NOT TRUE.
I decided to finally visit a local homeopath who identified this adrenal fatigue, potential insulin issues and a need for better hormonal health over all. This is a long term journey for sure, but what I can say is I am so grateful for the support I do have in my life and the ability and freedom to pursue this journey, all in.
So what have I decided to do to make it work? Well this is where the fun starts.
Have you ever told your kids to talk slower so that you’re able to hear what they are saying through all the excitement? Or have you bumped your head or dropped the same thing three times while offloading the car at the end of the day?
Or maybe you’re hitting red at every traffic light?
This, my friend, is the universe literally telling us to SLOW DOWN!
Here are some ways to try it out, just give it a chance, what do you honestly have to lose?
If you’re feeling truly worn out from a stressful day, don’t workout at the gym, rather opt for a slow yoga class, a 30-minute stretch session or even just a walk to the park. We won’t need to go balls to the wall at the gym or kettle bell class everyday, sometimes its ok to just take it easy, still keep your body moving, but at a more user-friendly pace.
Practice good breathing techniques, set a reminder at lunch time each day to do a few rounds of good deep breathing (*note that deep breathing should not be performed by smokers). Deep breathing helps calm the mind and body and enables us to make better decisions, act rationally and take a moment to debate the pros and cons of any particular situation.
Listen better, I mean truly listen. To your kids, to your husband, to your friends. Stop interrupting and let them talk, and just listen, don’t always offer advice.
Self-love. I know, I know, but for real, this is important. and if you say you don’t have time, so help me! MAKE time. There is always time. Instead of watching Netflix (this is not self-love btw), read a few pages of that book that’s collecting dust next to your bed. Learn something new, do an online course (see udemy.com for some ideas). Or learn to cook or bake something new…
Accept compliments from others, without saying “thanks BUT…” just say thank you. It’s difficult for us South Africans for some reason. Also give a genuine compliment to someone else, trust me you’ll make their day. Let’s support each other more.
And then not to sound woo woo by any means but try a bit of meditation. It can be 5 minutes of time, visualising, thinking one solid thought or even guided by a great app such as Headspace. You’ll find its a great way to start the day or even in the evening before bed, you’ll sleep much sounder.
Journaling is also a great way to really feel in to your life. Start simple with a new book and a pretty pen and write down 5 things every day that you’re grateful for. You can be grateful for many a thing, such as something small like the lack of load shedding that enabled you to enjoy your morning coffee, or something bigger like the gift of a child. Anything, many things. If you enjoy this process then why not take it a step further and look in to some free prompted journalling options, available from experts such as Lavendaire or Kimberly Wenya.
Take some time to declutter in your home, and more specifically, in your wardrobe. I follow the Konmari method of taking all items out of the closet and then repacking and organising by colour and type of item i.e. coats or scarves or jerseys and blouses. Thank each item for its service to you and MOVE ON. If it doesn’t fit or it it doesn’t look quite as good as it did when it was new then move on. If you’re in love with the concept of an item such as a white collared work shirt, then add it to your wish list and let the hunt begin. Really take time and look for good quality items that work for you. Working with a wish list really helps narrow the search and keeps you from getting distracted and wasting energy and of course money. Fast moving fashion can also be a problem as we tend to buy for trend and don’t want to spend large amounts of trend items and therefore we end up buying more than we need and loading on the post-purchase guilt.
Be intentional about what you buy, it will make each purchase more rewarding and more valuable. Understanding your fashion personality will also empower and give the confidence needed to make good purchasing decisions.