Life moves at such a fast pace that it seems to pass us by before we can really enjoy it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the monotony of day-to-day life that it almost seems as if it has become taboo to “stop and smell the roses.” The ability to multi-task is held in high regard, and life has turned into a competition to see how many responsibilities we can juggle without running ourselves into the ground. I too am guilty of taking on the weight of the world until I am quickly reminded that there’s only one Superwoman…. and she surely isn’t me. I am constantly learning the importance of taking care of myself and how much more enjoyable life can be when I simply slow down.
Recently, my job started an “Unplug” challenge, encouraging individuals to take time away from social media and technology and instead, take advantage of time with family, friends, and most importantly themselves. I found it to be quite interesting that this was something that had to be encouraged in the form of a “challenge”; however it goes to show how consumed we have become with the issues of life that we so easily forget what’s really important. Slowing down is a conscious choice, and not always an easy one, but it leads to a greater appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Do Less- Focus on what’s really important, what really needs to be done, and let go of the rest. Instead of taking on all of the duties within your organizations, do what you can and allow others to help you carry the load.
2. Unplug- Don’t always be connected. Sometimes we can get so caught up in posting a tweet or an Instagram photo that we forget to engage with the people right in front of us. Being connected all the time means we’re subject to interruptions and constantly stressed about information coming in. It’s hard to slow down when you’re always checking new messages.
3. Be Present- It’s not enough to just unplug and do less. You must actually take the time to stop and smell the roses. How often have we spent hours communicating with someone without truly listening to one word they said? We must be 100% mindful of what is happening at the moment and embrace it. Focus on your actions, interactions, environment, and those around you. And most importantly, appreciate it.
Remember, the only way to get to your future is through a series of todays. So why not take your time and enjoy today. Don’t forget that that the present is a gift. Unwrap it!