If you’ve grown up in the US, you might have been brought up in a culture that believes rest is unproductive and lazy. The phrase “oh, I’m so busy!” being worn as a badge of honor, and living our lives at a frantic pace being seen as a marker of success has been the norm.
As you know, that came to a screeching halt in March of this year. Yes, there has been uncertainty and hardship since the start of spring, and we don’t want to minimize that. But there has also been a huge shift in our daily lives for the better - a collective slowing down and prioritizing what matters most. It’s something that many of us imagined would only happen later on, in our golden years.
When it all began, I thought, “now what?” Admittedly, I felt a bit lost when my calendar was suddenly clear of in-home client work, volunteer activities, and social events. As someone who helps others pare down and slow down to live easier, less chaotic lives, I found even I had some work to to. But as the weeks went on, I began to notice this slower pace allowed for higher quality experiences in my everyday life. A recent article from Psychology Today had me reflecting on how my own life has changed for the better:
“Someday when I have more time…” became “right now.”
Do you have projects and ideas you’d like to implement when there’s more time? Most of us do - there might be partially-completed craft projects, books to read, or new hobbies to take up. This became a time to face all of that - if I didn’t have time now, then it had go - and it did without guilt!
Activities outside of the home became enhanced.
With no pressure to plan or attend any large gatherings or distant travel, time out of the house has taken on a different quality. A walk at the same local place hasn’t become boring - instead it’s an opportunity to observe different wildlife and the changes throughout the seasons. Time with friends and family has taken deliberate planning and time spent in-person is much more appreciated than it was in the past. Less really is more, and has taken on a new meaning.
Moving forward with a less packed schedule is an attainable reality.
Having felt the benefits of slower and more focused daily living, adding more activity back in has become more intentional, and saying "no" a bit easier. The thought of going back to a frantic pace of life might feel overwhelming - this is a great opportunity to pare down the schedule long-term.
How has your life improved by slowing down? What are some habits you’ve incorporated that you’ll be continuing on with? What have you let go of that just wasn’t working? I’d love to hear from you, drop a line in the comments below!