Have you ever felt like your days are too busy? Like you needed to slow down in life, but really, who has time for that?!
How to slow down in life with just a few extra minutes each day:
Don’t tackle the whole list.
Maybe pick just one suggestion you can implement into your day this week. Just one.
We’re all busy.
Give yourself the gift of at least ten slow minutes to pick your day right up. You deserve it. Your mind and body will thank you.
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1 – Savor your morning caffeine
Start your mornings slow. Slowing down your mornings can be a beautiful act that allows you to start your day off without rushing and without feeling overwhelmed by everything that lies in front of you for the day.
Make the act of making your morning caffeine a slow act.
Get a French press for your coffee. My husband swears the coffee is better. It takes four minutes once you have hot water. That’s nothing.
Tea drinker? Skip the microwave and use a tea kettle so you have to wait on your hot water to slowly boil.
Once your caffeine is ready, don’t dump it into a travel mug and rush out the door or straight to the bathroom to steal quick sips while getting ready for the day.
Instead, sit outside, at the table looking out a window, or on the couch and enjoy your drink while you wake up for the day.
This doesn’t have to be a long task that makes you late for work, school, or wherever you are supposed to be soon. I’m talking give yourself ten blissful minutes. That’s all.
2 – Sit at the dinner table after you finish eating
Too often nowadays dinner time becomes just another task we check off for our day.
Try something new this week. When you finish eating dinner, have everyone hang out at the table for ten minutes longer.
If this isn’t your norm, it will feel awkward and forced at first. That’s OK. Do it anyway.
Talk with your family. Catch up on the day. Laugh. The dishes can wait. Baths can wait.
3 – Read a book before bed
Are you guilty of staring at your phone or a TV screen before bed?
It’s been proven that staring at a screen before bed hinders sleep.
Instead of watching one more show on Netflix or scrolling Facebook for just “one more minute”, turn everything off and grab a book.
Got kids? Read to your kids a fun new adventure novel, no matter their age.
Give your brains time to get lost in a story and to prepare for bed. It just may become a new habit you want to keep instead of getting lost in the scroll of social media.
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4 – Make slow food
Nothing says reward like slow food. There’s something wonderful and magical about eating a meal you’ve simmered all day on the stove. I swear it tastes better.
Try a new homemade spaghetti sauce. Make a chili or soup. Slow roast a Sunday meal.
Working from home? Find a recipe you can put together before work, and let it simmer all day. Skip the crockpot, and go old school over the stove.
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5 – Drive the long way
We call it “exploring” in our house, driving the long way to get somewhere.
I often complain about taking the long way to get anywhere. I mean, why not just go to where you are going?!
However, my husband has mastered the art of driving around and taking in new places and sites around us.
Leave a few minutes early and take a quick detour. Explore a new neighborhood, part of town, or even stop at an ice cream shop you’ve never visited before. It may become a new favorite!
6 – Sew something by hand
Got a shirt that needs a seam fixed or pants that need hemming? Instead of getting out the sewing machine, do some hand sewing.
I revisited this lost art when my youngest daughter wanted to learn how to sew. Her little feet aren’t long enough to reach the sewing machine pedal, and she needed to learn how to work a needle and thread.
If you’ve never done any sewing before, you may be surprised how calming the act can be. Grab a small piece of fabric and simply sew it in half. Make a small baby doll blanket for a little one in your life. Trust me, they don’t care about imperfections.
Not interested in hand sewing? Pick up another hand craft. Check out free YouTube videos on how to crochet, knit, or some other fun craft.
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7 – Try out nature journaling
You don’t have to be a crunchy hippy to enjoy nature journaling. 😉
We recently discovered the practice of nature journaling in our homeschool day.
After a long two weeks inside with bad weather, I wanted a way to get us outside and to really pay attention to our incredible surroundings.
It would have been easy to lead my kids through the act of nature journaling without participating with them, but I forced myself to do it with my kids. I say force because I’ve never actually DRAWN a tree. Why would I draw a tree?
I LOVE it! The practice really forces you to slow down, see nature in your own yard and soak it in. You learn a good deal too. Give it a go.
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8 – Start a gratitude jar
Sometimes we can do something to slow down simply by taking note of the great things happening around us.
Once a day, take a moment to recognize and practice gratitude for something that happened in your day.
Not sure where to start? Check out this post on how to make a gratitude jar and download a free gratitude jar template printable.
9 – Try out a minimalist form of bullet journaling
I wanted to bullet journal. Really, really badly.
I saw all these cute ideas and pretty hand-lettered pieces of art on Pinterest and Instagram, and I really wanted to be part of that circle.
The thing is though, I’ll never maintain all that effort. I don’t even keep a regular pen and paper journal on a regular basis! Adding art was a whole new level of complexity I didn’t have the time or patience to endure.
Instead, try out a very simple and minimalist form of bullet journaling. Simply taking the time to slow down and reflect on your upcoming day can do the brain wonders.
If you aren’t sure where to start, check out the book, The Bullet Journal Method.
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10 – Bake something from scratch
My girls recently discovered how much better homemade brownies tasted when we realized there were no more boxed ones in the house. They will never go back.
They have informed me homemade brownies are definitely worth the time and effort. I have to agree with them.
When you are looking to slow down, bake something from scratch. Like slow cooking, it gives you time to appreciate the ingredients, love, and effort that goes into a new recipe.
Try a new sourdough recipe. Bake a cake.
Go slow and savor every moment going into it and every bite when it’s done.
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11 – Walk or bike somewhere
No time for exercise? I get that. If you can, turn your commute or errands into exercise. Two for one, and you’re given a chance to slow down, exercise, and give your brain a little boost of serotonin.
Check out bike routes from your house to the grocery store, work, or gym.
Look for green spaces or walking paths between your house and that of a friend you are visiting.
Get creative. If you can walk somewhere and accomplish something, it gives you a way to slow down without taking too much time out of your day.
Or simply take your kids on a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. They’ll love it and you’ll all get some fresh air.
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12 – Talk to a stranger
Maybe don’t give this advice to your kids, but take time out of your day to start a conversation with a stranger.
Especially during these crazy times, so many of us have forgotten how to interact with others.
We are social beings. We need interaction with each other.
At the grocery store? Say hi to the person behind you, asking them about their day.
Sharing an elevator with someone? Ask them about their plans for the weekend. Don’t just stand there awkwardly in silence.
Connect with someone today. They may need it as much as you.
It doesn’t cost a thing, other than getting over the fear of a little awkwardness, and it helps you slow down and appreciate others around you.
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Slow down, enjoy life
You can slow down in life and still get tons done. You can be busy but still give yourself time to relax and savor the good things in life.
Try out just one of these ways to slow down in life this week. You may just want to make it a normal part of your days.