When I first entered the working world, I couldn’t seem to “find the time” to do anything for myself. My fast-paced life made me feel like I was too busy for anything other than work - let alone incorporating this mystical self-care that others were talking about. It felt like I was constantly adding stuff to my never-ending schedule - and I was running on empty majority of the time.
If this sounds like you - you’re not alone. We spend over 90,000 hours busy at work over the course of our career, and this number is on the rise. More importantly, that leaves adults today - especially women - feeling overworked, extra-stressed and more burnt out than ever before.
So, what should we do? Well, slowing down and making space for rituals not only feels good, but is scientifically proven to be beneficial for our health.
Here are my top five favorite ways to slow down in your everyday:
1. Create a sacred morning routine
Our brains are most creative (and least stressed!) in the morning, so setting up a calming morning routine allows you to enter your day in a slow, intentional way. For me, I like to start my day by cleansing and detoxifying my insides. Having a glass of warm water with lemon, or celery juice is proven to reduce inflammation - which is great for long-term health and even clearer skin.
But, no matter what you decide to do - whether it’s watering your plants or making your bed - as long as you do it with a clear intention it shifts the tone of your day.
2. Replace scrolling with creativity
Creativity is an innate human need - but in our over scheduled and digital-focused world, we don’t get enough of it. Did you know that we spend 11 hours on technology per day?
In order to slow down, I like to take time to get creative. That could mean spending a few moments free-writing, or even coloring before bed.
No matter what - your creativity doesn’t need to be perfect. It should just be a full expression of your being.
3. Get yourself some fresh air
Breathing in fresh air and spending time in nature (whatever that means!) is extremely important for our longevity and overall well-being. Fresh air not only allows us to slow down and gain perspective, but it also makes us more productive. Talk about efficiency!
Whether you’re stuck in between meetings or working from the comfort of your couch, schedule 15-minutes each day to get outside and breathe in the fresh air. Just the simple act of engaging in slow, deep breathing helps us slow down our heart rate by 50%.
Breathing is also proven to have wonderful skin benefits - and other important health impacts on our bodies. Deep breathing can release toxins from our skin, digestive system, cardiovascular system and other parts of the body for a more youthful look and approach to life.
4. Make space for mindfulness
Meditation, or mindfulness, is a key component to living a slow – but full life. Even meditating for just 5 minutes a day can reduce stress, anxiety and provide perspective on our otherwise busy lives.
Interestingly, daily meditation practices can also impact the cells in our bodies. According to a study by Harvard’s Medical School, daily meditation practice can lengthen our telomeres - a key part of our DNA linked to longevity and pre-mature aging.
5. Incorporate self-care rituals before bed
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our health – but most of us busy humans don’t get enough of it.
One of the easiest ways to wind down before bed is to begin building self-care rituals in the evening. I personally love slowing down with a good facemask followed by oil and jade rolling before bed. It allows me to feel refreshed, while also taking time for myself - off of technology - to have a restful sleep.