11 Ways To Slow Down During The Holiday Season

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

I think I hear it and say it everyday:
“I don’t have enough time! I’m too busy!”

And now the Holiday Season is on it’s way…it can be overwhelming!

And quite honestly it’s true! You have kids, sports, groceries, laundry, cooking and often a job. Throw in a holiday party and you may come undone! When your children are young, they need your attention all the time. You often need to be with them where ever they’re playing.

Part of feeling busy is your perception of time. We all have a natural way of looking at time that is part of our basic personality. Do you see the world as a busy place? Then it is! If you can change the way you look at your day, maybe you can be less busy and feel like you have extra hours in your day.

I realize as I get older that some of my favorite moments in my life have been when time slowed down. I just have to remind myself how to do that! I follow some advice I learned from someone, somewhere long ago. While I don’t remember when or where, I do remember the advice: Make your day last forever. It’s my start to slowing a day down.

So, how do you make your day last forever? Here are some of my tips:

1. Get up one hour early.

2. Don’t complain about being busy. As you think, so shall it be. Try saying instead, “I have all the time in world.” I like to say,“This day will last forever”. When I have a busy day, this seems to slow the day down and give me more time. Read more about stopping the busyness here.

3. Stop the time wasters in your life. Everyone has different time wasters. Mine are checking my email, Facebook and other online related things.

4. Learn to say no. That’s a difficult one. But going out all the time during the holidays can create great stress. Just pick the events that really mean something to you.

5. When doing chores (or things you don’t like to do), time them. You’ll find you only spent about 5 minutes folding the laundry when it normally feels like a 1/2 hour or more.

6. Practice Mindfulness! Take time to slow down all you do. Stop completely at the stop sign. Look at the door you’re opening, slowly eat your food, enjoy the taste of your morning coffee or tea. Be present in the moment.

7. Be in nature. Take a moment for a short walk or even just going outside to watch the sunset. Bring your children out to see the sunset with you. It can turn into a lovely ritual.

8. Practice your hobby/passion a little everyday. Do you love to read? Do you like to write? Do you practice yoga? If you don’t have an hour or even 30 minutes… then do it for 5 minutes.

9. Breathe… In through your nose; out through your mouth. Have a small smile on your face as you breathe. It will tell your brain to be happy just like Thich Nhat Hanh’s saying, “Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

10. Feel gratitude for all the people and experiences in your life.

11. This is the most important – It’s the little things in life that make our day go slowly, a child’s smile, a hug and a great conversation. Don’t put those off these amazing moments just “to get things done”.

I think this quote by Eddie Cantor puts it perfectly, “Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

If you have a few minutes, watch Carl Honore’s TED Video, In Praise of Slowness. It’s very inspiring!

Hope this helps you to slow down over the holiday season!

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2 Responses to 11 Ways To Slow Down During The Holiday Season

  1. Elle Sommer says:

    Life is far too precious to allow it to rush by Betsy…and your ideas are just the ticket to make sure we enjoy life to the full. 🙂 And I love the Eddie Cantor quote!

    [Reply]

  2. Thank you for this post, Betsy. I needed to read it. It seems like there is always too much to do and too little time – especially this time of year. I like the suggestion to get up an hour early – until it comes time to do it! 🙂

    [Reply]

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