Life in the fast lane is quite deceptive. It seems like you are accomplishing so much because you are always rushing somewhere, packing as much as possible into every minute of the day. However, the reality is that you often end up frazzled, frustrated, and exhausted! Are there any other options?
Actually, yes! I don’t travel in the fast lane of life. I have discovered that I like the benefits of taking time to slow down. I like calming working through my daily tasks. I like building a buffer around my activities. I give myself more time to accomplish my daily tasks. I have discovered little ways to step away from the craziness of our busy world.
As a disclaimer, may I say that I do not live off the grid! I have not retreated to an isolated cabin in the woods! I like electricity and indoor plumbing. I enjoy the convenience of a computer. I buy ready-made clothes. I drive a car. I buy my food at the grocery store. I don’t raise cows or chickens or even have a garden! I’m just an ordinary person living a calm and peaceful life!
Listed below are just a few of the simple activities that create an opportunity for me to slow. They may sound rather old-fashioned. However, they remind me to savor simplicity throughout the day and not just wait for that one week of vacation. And as I savor the few extra moments, I smile.
- Eat lunch in the back yard or park.
- Hang clothes on an outside clothes line to dry.
- Visit a local farmer’s market.
- Plant pretty flowers.
- Visit local historical or tourist attractions.
- Wash dishes by hand.
- Listen to instrumental music as I work in the kitchen.
- Mix up a bucket of homemade laundry detergent.
- Turn off my cell phone notifications.
- Let phone calls go to voice mail.
- Set a time limit for reading e-mails.
- Turn off the TV.
- Ride my bike.
- Shop at a local small business.
- Send a card in the mail to encourage a friend.
- Enjoy a cup of tea.
- Eat dinner by candlelight.
- Read, meditate, and pray in the morning or at night.
- Write down one Bible verse every day.
- Prioritize getting enough sleep every night.
Not really anything too radical, but I assure you it makes a difference for me. Your list might look completely different. That is OK! The idea is to refresh your mind, your body, and your spirit each day. We underestimate the time and energy spent every day dealing with clutter. Take time to envision the life you really want to be living. Then make a decision to slow down and start living it!
** For more great ideas, check out this book from your local library!
I am interested in knowing how you slow down, as well as what prevents you from slowing down. Please leave your comments below!