The past month has offered me a lot of time to take a step back (okay, maybe 100 steps back), slow things down, and look at my life a bit differently.
I don’t want to make it sound like I’ve made some earth-shattering, incredibly profound discoveries, because I haven’t.
I’m still the same person, living generally the same life.
However, I have had extra moments in my day to think about things that I may have rushed past before, intentionally ignored, or just didn’t take the time to really be aware of.
Not all of the things I have recently thought about have been rainbows and butterflies — in fact, some of them have been hard truths.
However, it is via these hard truths, as well as some rainbows and butterflies sprinkled in the mix, that I feel a bit wiser, a bit more connected with myself and as a result, a bit more connected with those around me.
The lessons I’ve learned lately may be of help to you, and they may not. You may have already known all these things, and if you did, great! Maybe you just needed a friendly reminder. And if these are new, I hope you find them helpful <3
Rather than always wanting more, take time to be thankful for what you’ve got.
As cliche as this sounds, I find myself going back to this thought a lot lately.
The world we live in today has us always wanting more, more, more. More cool clothes, a more fit body, more friends, more money . . . the list is literally never-ending.
I’m not saying wanting more for yourself is always a bad thing.
If we didn’t set goals, then what reason would we have to accomplish anything?
Rather, what I’m saying is that you might be surprised if, next time you find yourself scrolling through Instagram and saying “I wish I had her life,” change that thought to something you’re thankful you have.
I have spent some serious time making lists of what I’m thankful for in my life, and when I put it down on paper, WOW. You never really know how lucky you are until you slow down and think about it.
The key here is balance.
Keep striving to be your best self, but don’t forget as you climb up that ladder of goals that at one point, where you stand now was once your goal.
Listen to your body.
We put our bodies through a lot. Just the daily wear and tear is enough to tire a girl out.
Add some stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and anything else you’ve got into the mix and your body is going to have a one way ticket to Breakdown City.
Rather than max your body out to the point that it breaks in one way or another, instead take some time to listen to your body. I promise it will thank you.
If you were up last night working until you couldn’t keep your eyes open any more, then skip out on that 5:30 a.m. workout. Your body can only take so much.
If you can’t get the thought of chocolate out of your head, eat the damn chocolate bar. It isn’t going to kill you.
If you wake up feeling like you want to do nothing but #Netflixandchill all day, then do it. Rest is important.
Your body is your best friend, so treat it as such.
Go for a walk.
As someone who struggles with stress and anxiety, I can sometimes build myself up to the point of where I feel like I can’t even sit still, I’m so overwhelmed with things to do.
The things keep piling up in my head, and I don’t know where to even begin.
This is true even when my to-do list isn’t anything unmanageable.
However, regardless of the number of tasks I need to complete, whether it be 1 or 100, if I start to feel my stress and/or anxiety kick in, I put on my tennis shoes and go for a walk.
It may just be around the block, it may be on the treadmill at the gym.
For me, walking is like hitting the reset button on my body and mind.
It gives me time to calm down about what’s making me anxious, and clears my slate to approach my tasks with a new mindset once I’m back home.
Listen to others.
As embarrassing as this is, it was not until recently that I truly learned the major difference between “listening” and really listening.
Listening to others doesn’t just mean hearing what they’re saying; nodding your head and saying “yeah, totally.”
Listening means not only listening to the words that they’re saying, but listening to their actions as well.
Sure, I have done some action-listening, but not enough, and not with my full attention.
It has recently dawned on me that not everyone grew up the same way I did, and thus not everyone handles situations in the same manner that me and my family do. (Wait, what?! Haha.)
While my family loves to talk things out, a number of other people in my life don’t.
And it shouldn’t be “my way or the highway.”
I’ve worked to understand, and have learned to respect other people’s ways of “talking,” and how to be a better listener.
What are some of the things you’ve learned in slowing down? I’d love to hear!