If our lives since March have taught us anything, it is that we need to find ways to slow down the crazy pace and improve our quality of life while we’re living it. Juggling days are over. The art of slowing down, in enjoying each moment instead of rushing onto the next thing, is a thing. One I’ve had to learn to embrace myself over the past few years.
A close friend once told me, “you thrive on chaos”; “No-one does,” I replied. True to my words, three years later I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder (MS). We do it to ourselves. My three children were still in primary school, I was working crazy hours as a freelance writer to enable me to be ‘present’ as a parent, doing up a London townhouse, and smiling 99% of the time. Clearly, my body decided I needed something drastic to slow me down.
We all need to repair. Whether physically, mentally or emotionally, slowing down means calming, pausing, appreciating, loving. As a society, we’ve placed so much value on getting stuff done, that we lose sight of living and having fun with it. So now, I try to be more creative in everything I do. My rule of thumb: smile more instinctively, laugh more spontaneously, talk more truthfully, close your eyes and see what happens. And what happens is your connections and conversations, health, and stress levels will vibrate with new energy.
JOGB’s Slower Journey…
Wake Up Well
Make your first experiences in every day joyful. I learned Reiki and several meditation techniques to help calm my stressy brain, and the one thing that resonates is to listen to yourself and trust your intuition. Make the most of those first 20 minutes in the day by setting your alarm slightly earlier to reclaim quiet time for yourself and use it to think, plan, meditate, focus and hence calm your day. It’s when the best ideas surface.
Create Happy Highlights
Introduce a new10-minute ritual you love and intersperse throughout your day. It could be a healthier tea or detox juice to replace that early morning coffee; 10 minutes outside with birdsong (tell me you’re loving how crazy they all are); a playlist of songs that fill your heart with joy and make you want to sing along – and do (right now I’m loving the ethereal Noah Cyrus); or calmly sit and watch a candle flame (called Candle Meditation, I do this with one of my SLOJO Relaxing Candles. The key is that it has to feel positive, stress-less and pretty unproductive for it to be an escape.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
Delete all those unnecessary subscriptions that crowd your inbox and just add unnecessary stress. Follow companies that inspire you and unfollow anyone who makes you feel ‘less’. What you need is truly very little. The less you have, the less you’ll need.
Have 12 Hugs a Day
It’s the daily necessity apparently. We forget how great they feel - especially right now. Scientists claim it reduces stress, increase our immune system and boost the heart health by making you happier. Give yourself a tight hug right now, while we wait to embrace more of our loved ones once more.
Look Forward, Not Back
Reflecting and wallowing in regret is such an immense waste of energy. Meditation clears the mind of trash and can help you to redirect your attention on the now. Looking back is often a sign that we don’t quite know what matters most to us, but by actively embracing more positive peaceful moments I truly do believe that we manifest what we desire deep down.
Jo Glanville-Blackburn is a wellness author, journalist and founder of candles and comfort at JOGBLiving https://www.jogbliving.com