Stress Buster! Slow Down
I use several sources to keep up with what’s going on the world. When two of those sources point to the same thing in the same day that catches my attention.
When it’s about stress management, it moves to the top of my “Things I want to blog about” list.
That’s how I came to the most obvious (and yet somehow overlooked by me) idea:
Here’s a link to the article that started my research.
Full disclosure: I don’t agree with everything they said.
Full disclosure part two: They reference a study by the Pew Research Center. If you read the article, read the study as well, because I drew a different conclusion from their study.
Intellectually I KNOW I need to Slow Down. I know that “moving at the speed of business” or one of 100 other buzzwords can cause stress. So when I see the idea of “Slow Down” I think “Who doesn’t know that?”
But there’s a huge distance from knowing something and practicing it.
Case in point: Last week the extended family was on vacation. We had every morning, noon and evening planned out – where we would eat, when we would go to the beach, and so on.
And then one night we sat down and started playing cards. That wasn’t on the agenda, but we had a deck of cards and a bottle of wine, and it just happened.
The next day my father in law said “Look, I know we were planning on going to the baseball game tonight, but I had so much fun drinking wine and playing cards last night – what if we did that again?”
And in that moment we dropped an early dinner, 30 minute drive to the game, 30 minute drive home and three hours at the game. All in favor of slowing down and playing some more cards.
(Note: we would have had fun at the game, but it was one more thing crammed into the vacation calendar and it didn’t need to be there).
So the first step in my person journey to slowing down was to actually slow down on vacation.
The articles and research have a lot of ideas on slowing down. The first one that caught my eye was an easy one: Sleep. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. (I did pretty well at this on vacation, great nights’ sleep plus a few cat naps thrown in).
Every time I see another article on sleep it seems like getting enough sleep is key to even more health benefits. (I’m going to do a separate post on getting enough sleep at some point).
Other ideas include limited screen time, and (my addition) turning off your messaging apps and email periodically. I’m a big believer in this one. In fact, I sometimes prefer just turning them on periodically. When you allow emails or messages to constantly interrupt your day you lose focus on your current task (causing stress) and you lose time, forcing you to work faster (and not smarter).
I’m also going to do a post on managing interruptions. And I’m going to do it later. Right now, I’m going to slow down and take a break.