As we come out of the pandemic it is inevitable that life is once again becoming more fast-paced, hectic, and busier than ever before. Just like a scuba diver gets sick if they rise to the surface too quickly after long periods underwater, so too can we if we don't allow ourselves time to adapt to the hustle and bustle of normal life.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or constantly frantic then slowing down might just be the most important thing you can learn to do. Intentionally slowing down during the day can help you become more present and mindful, allowing you to take in and enjoy each moment no matter how seemingly insignificant.
As such, we have put together some tips to help you slow down in a world that values being busy:
1. Spend time in nature.
Spending time outside has been proven to have a wide range of mental and physical health benefits. It can help lower anxiety, blood pressure, boost immunity, and helps your creativity thrive. It also provides the perfect setting to read a book, write a journal, or have a picnic.
Plus, you can always use one of our convenient puzzle mats outdoors and complete one of the many gorgeous jigsaw puzzles in our range and pack it up to take indoors if you don't finish it.
2. It is not selfish to say no.
If you feel like you have too much on your plate then you probably have too much on your plate. Don't feel the need to say yes to every invitation. People who truly value you will also value your health, and will understand if you need to say no.
3. Take notice of your breath.
Short, sharp breaths is a sign of anxiety. Consciously taking note of our breathing habits and intentionally taking deeper breaths through the nose for a few minutes is a great way to help stop those sweaty palms and help allay anxious thoughts. Not to mention, noticing your breath is a simple form of meditation. Try doing it for just 2 minutes throughout the day and you'll notice instant improvements in mood.
4. Turn off your phone.
Technology is a wonderful thing, but it no doubt has its drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is the addictive nature of social media especially. We understand that it can be difficult to stop scrolling through that newsfeed before bed, or check your emails hoping for something amazing to pop up to give you that dopamine hit. But research shows that the constant exposure to blue light before bed can delay the onset of sleep and reduce the quality of sleep.
Just like we sometimes need to create boundaries with people, we also need to create boundaries with our phone. So how about turning it off for an hour before bed, and entertain yourself with one of these puzzles instead?
5. Wake up a little bit earlier.
It might seem counterintuitive at first as you might lose out on extra sleep, but waking up just 10 to 15 minutes earlier can have a positive impact. Taking time to yourself first thing in the morning can help you prevent that morning rush and really sets the tone for the rest of your day. Not to mention it gives you an extra moment to savour that morning coffee (or an extra 10 minutes to complete one of our tough puzzles!)
6. Make a to-do list and cross things off as you go.
Making a to-do list can help improve efficiency during the day and gives you more time at the end of the day to do what you want. We also recommend crossing things off as you go, as sometimes seeing that tick next to all the things you've done for the day can be even more motivating.
7. Declutter your space.
It goes without saying, when you have less things in your home then you have less things to manage that require time and energy. You don't have to throw away everything, but keeping your space clean and orderly really saves time in the long run. Labelling where things go really helps when sorting those drawers out!
8. Practice gratitude.
There are studies that show practicing gratitude even for just a few minutes every day increase longterm levels of wellbeing. Gratitude also helps you slow down and appreciate things more. You can do it anywhere, and if you need motivation or want to build consistency in your gratitude practice we also recommend having a consistent buddy to send a short gratitude list to everyday.
9. Eat slowly.
Sitting down and eating mindfully is the best way to not just enjoy the taste of your food, but also helps improve digestion. When you rush and eat then you're likely to experience more indigestion and heartburn. Slow down and enjoy that meal!
If you're finding some of the tips above difficult to incorporate into your life then try a fun activity by yourself or with loved ones such as puzzling.