You know that feeling you get when you have so much to do (or want to do), but not enough time?
It can manifest as racing thoughts, or jittery energy in the body. Sometimes it can turn into a headache, or neck and shoulder pain. Or even shortness of breath or tightness in your belly.
Once in a awhile, it's OK and totally natural for this to happen. But we get into trouble when this feeling of "not-enough-time" gets stuck on overdrive.
But the good thing is there are some proactive things we can do about it. We may not always be in control of how much we need to attend to, or the amount of time allotted for our to-dos, but we do have some power in shifting our relationship to time.
Here are 5 simple ways to practice slowing down your sense of time + an audio guided mediation for ya!
1. Pause & Breathe
Yes, it's that simple. Just taking a few moments throughout your day to pause and focus on your breath can really help to slow down your thoughts and even your heart rate. Of course, longer pauses can be more beneficial, but even a minute or two can really help you shift from feeling rushed to relaxed.
2. Create breathing room in your schedule
In this modern world, It's easy to fill our schedules with work, personal appointments, social engagements, etc. So it takes a conscious effort for us to create more breathing room in our schedules.
Allow for some free time each day to take care of the unexpected. And even if the day offers no surprises, you can then enjoy a few moments of well deserved leisure time. Even 20-30 minutes can feel like a vacation sometimes.
Try putting it on your calendar to leave 15-20 minutes early to get to your appointment in order to not feel rushed. This has not been easy for me given that I've spent most of my life operating in the chronically late mode. But I have to say, becoming a mom has taught me to be more conscious and more efficient with my time. And having a toddler has taught me that I need to always account for things taking at least 3-5 times longer than expected. So it's been nice to practice allotting more time for all my activities. Which leads me to the next thing!
3. Do less
In my restorative yoga teacher training with the renowned yoga teacher Judith Hansen Lasater, our homework (omwork) was to practice doing 1 less thing everyday. This really hit home for me. In addition to teaching us how to set up restorative yoga postures, use lots of props, and tune in to our students' needs, she also emphasized the importance of slowing down our lives, letting go of the need/ desire to always strive for more, and to really practice the pause (on and off the mat).
So I invite you to practice letting go of 1 thing everyday. You can think of this as an experiment, filled with curiosity. This is not a should, but rather an invitation to explore doing less, and being more present for what you continue to do.
And the funny thing is, the more we let go, the easier it gets. Just like when I clean out my closet, the more old clothes I get rid of, the more I want to continue this clearing out process (in the kitchen, my desk, under the bed, etc). Like everything, letting go and doing less is a practice.
4. Prioritize what's important, and what can wait
"At any given moment, ask yourself 'What is essential?" This is another golden nugget of inspiration I learned from Judith Lasater. Sometimes we get so caught up in the the "shoulds" and the "to-do lists" and the agendas, that we lose track of what's most essential to our well-being.
So when you feel conflicted about all the things that you need to attend to, or even overwhelmed about how you'll ever get it all done, ask yourself, "What's essential?" Listen closely with your heart, notice what you feel in your body, and the quality of your breath. Your body has a wisdom of it's own, and can clue you in on your truth and help you make decisions in alignment with you and your values.
Yes, it's that simple. Practice letting go of your attachment to certain outcomes. Practice letting go of having to do EVERYTHING. Practice letting go of having to figure it all out. Practice letting go and surrender to the possibilities of what can unfold.
Here's a quick guided meditation to help you get started slowing down that internal clock. Enjoy!
Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Was this helpful? Do you have any helpful tips? If you're inspired to do so, please share in the comments below.
So much love and light,