Why we need to slow down and set our own pace. Our how to guide..
Our modern lives are fast paced with no sign of slowing down. We are always on the go, always connected and always curious for more. Yet, it takes something big, like the death of a loved one, which my family and I sadly experienced recently, that makes us stop and realise what is actually important in life.
This time has taught me to slow it down and not get caught up in the small things. Not worrying about my ever filling inbox or impossible deadlines, learning that some things can wait, and that doing your best sometimes means just getting out of bed in the morning. We so easily get sucked into this fast paced world, which is totally normal and okay. It’s nice though, to sometimes set your own pace and slow things down so you can focus of what really matters in this life. We don’t need it to take the loss of a loved one to put this into perspective.
I’ve reflected on these past months, and have drawn on the things that allow me to slow it down. In doing so, I have put together a comprehensive guide for you, on my 7 tips to setting your own pace.
1.Disconnect to reconnect
In this modern era, we are ruled and governed by technology. We feel anxious if we don’t have our phones within reach, as if it’s our only way to communicate and connect with others. When did this happen? When did we become so obsessed that it changed us- and I mean literally changed how our brains work? Our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to 8 seconds today. To put that into perspective, a goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. Yikes! We need to get out of our metaphoric fishbowls and make time to disconnect in order to reconnect with ourselves. Take social media detoxes or leave the house without your phone. Allow yourself to be present and see what beauty comes of it. It might just surprise you…
2. Get out in nature
We all know that feeling we get after a swim in the ocean, or a hike through the wilderness – that feeling of clarity and calm. Let’s prioritise those moment. Instead of binge watching Netflix on the weekends, go for a drive and escape the city. Go for a swim, go chase waterfalls, go exploring!
3. Make time for yourself
Do you feel like your always on the go, working late, early starts and over-scheduled with no time to just stop and breath? Sound familiar? Our most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves, yet we prioritise everything else until we eventually burn out. Stop this cycle and schedule in time for yourself. Even if it’s an hour a day, or an hour a week to do something for yourself, like going for a walk, getting a massage, or signing up for that life drawing class you’ve been wanting to go to- what ever floats your boat. Nurture the most important relationship you have.
4. Follow your passion a.k.a find your purpose
It is often said that the things that bring us the greatest joy are in alignment with our purpose and passion. For some, finding that in life is obvious and clear, yet for many others, it may not be so easy, or alternatively, whilst you may have previously enjoyed something, you might feel that that ‘something’ is missing. What we do know for sure is that nothing will change, unless you decide to. Life is too short to do things that do not set our souls on fire. Follow your purpose, and if you don’t know yet what your purpose is, ask yourself these 3 questions and see what the common thread is. 1. what do you value the most? 2. What brings you pure joy? 3. When do you truly feel yourself?
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
Okay, this one is a lot easier said than done, but it is probably my most important tip. We are in a digital epidemic whether we want to believe it or not. We live vicariously through our glorified Instagram reels where we only see the best of everyone. It’s hard not to feel something when you see beautiful babes in bikinis, sippin Aperol on a beach somewhere in the south of Italy, while you’re stuck in the daily slog rocking a soft winter bod, sipping endless soy latte’s and watching late night ‘Diner’s, Drive In’s and Dives’ whilst you tend to emails? But what if we saw the worst of everyone too? What if we saw the hard work and sacrifices that went into paying for that Europe trip? Or that we realised we weren’t the only one’s wishing we could join Guy Fieri at that random diner in the middle of the USA, eat greasy burgers at 11pm at night? How would that make us feel? What if the number of followers and likes we had were invisible (fyi, Instagram are saying that this might actually happen)? Think about it for a second. Would it be easier for us to stop worrying about what others were doing? Would it allow us to focus on our own lives more? Do yourself a favour and stop comparing yourself to others. To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are. And on a side note, there is nothing wrong with watching ‘Diner’s, Drive In’s and Dives,’ nor is an epic trip to Europe. But just a tip, no one wants to see you pose in your tiny string bikini leaving little to the imagination. Fact!
6. Find your authentic voice and embrace it
Over the course of our lives we have been governed by the opinions of others. Don’t believe me? Then why as kids were we made to believe that girls should act a certain way, and boys should act another? Or that being too sensitive was a sign of weakness? Even as adults, we fall into this trap. I have seen countless times in my line of work, where girls feel they need to conform to a trend or a lifestyle in order to feel ‘accepted’ or part of something. I too, am culprit of this. Yet, in doing so, our authentic voices (if you haven’t read Tim Urban’s ‘Taming the mammoth‘- go read it now!) get muddied with the voice and opinion of others, that we believe those opinions as our own. What if I told you that being 100% you, the good, the bad, the ugly, was your ticket to freedom? Well it is! If you whole heartedly embrace what makes you you, I promise in doing so, you will be able to live your life to the beat of your own drum. You will stop worrying about what others think and start focusing on what makes you happy. You will be clear with your intentions and see the world in a new way, and ultimately you can set your own pace to the way you want to live your life.
7. It can wait
It’s time to do things on your own schedule, not the schedule of others. Have you ever felt the need to reply to an email right away because the sender replied right away, or pull all nighters to meet unrealistic deadlines? Have you also felt that sinking anxiety and stress that consumes your life in doing so? Well, I’m going to break it to you – some things can wait. Your time is your most valuable resource… read that again.. your time is your most valuable resource! Use it wisely, use it consciously and use it with intent. Do not let others make you feel that your time is less valuable than theirs. In doing so, not only will you gain control over your schedule and your life, but also feel free to set your own pace and realise that life is not a race. What’s the rush?