Today’s post is all about how to slow down in a world that seems to get busier and move faster all the time. I’m sharing 20 simple and practical strategies you can start using today to help you slow down and enjoy life more.
Why slow down?
In a world that often feels more fast-paced, busier & more hectic than ever, it’s easy to get swept up in the feeling of needing to do more, just to keep up.
But the trouble is, sometimes we spend so much time and energy trying to keep up and fit everything into our days that we can’t even enjoy them!
Slow down to enjoy life more
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, frantic or like you’re always rushing from one thing to the next, learning how to slow down may be just what you need.
When you intentionally slow down your days and your life, it helps you become more present and mindful in your days. And even better, when you aren’t rushing from one thing to the next, struggling just to keep up, life can be a lot more enjoyable too!
How to slow down in a world that values busy
But learning how to slow down isn’t always easy. It takes intentional effort to resist the societal norm that “busy is better”, or that being busy equals productivity and importance. Choosing to slow down instead.
Maybe you’re ready to slow down, but don’t know exactly how to do it. How do you get out of the fast lane and embrace a slower pace of life??
Learn how to slow down in a simple, stress-free way!
That’s exactly what this post will help you do!
I’m sharing a list of 20 simple ways to help you learn how to slow down and enjoy life more. They are simple and practical ways to start slowing down and simplifying your life that can be implemented today.
Keep it simple and stress-free
Don’t put any pressure on yourself to do everything on the list all at once. Start by trying one thing on the list. Try another when you feel ready.
Hopefully, over time, these suggestions of ways to slow down will become engrained in your daily routines and rhythms so you can live a slower life you enjoy.
How to slow down and enjoy life more!
Here are 20 ideas to help you slow down and create a slower, simpler life.
1. Get outside
Spending time outside in nature has been proven to have a wide range of physical and mental health benefits.
Getting outside can lower your blood pressure, reduce feelings of stress or anxiety, increase creativity and memory, boost immunity and more.
But another great benefit of getting outside in nature is the way it helps you slow down and let go of some of the busyness of life. Go for a walk, or even just sit outside for a few minutes. It’ll do your body and your mind good!
2. Turn off your phone
Technology is a wonderful thing. It makes life easier in so many ways and provides us with many opportunities to innovate, connect and create.
But it can also become all-consuming when you’re always connected, always reachable, always plugged in.
A great way to practice slowing down is unplugging. Turn your phone off for an hour, a day, a weekend, etc. At the very least, trying silencing some (or all!) of the notifications on your phone so there are fewer dings, beeps and badges vying for your attention.
Technology can be a wonderful addition to our lives. As long as we have boundaries to make sure it is adding value to our lives. Rather than becoming an unwanted distraction from the people and activities that matter most.
3. Spend 5 minutes noticing your breath
A wonderfully simple way to slow down is taking some time to sit and notice your breath.
Noticing your breath is a form of meditation. But meditation doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating.
Try sitting and noticing your breath, for 5 minutes. If 5 minutes feels too long, try 2 minutes! When you notice your mind wandering (and it will!), return your attention to your breath.
Not only are you teaching your brain to be more mindful by returning your focus to your breath again and again. But you are also making an intentional choice to sit and slow down for a few minutes. Which is a great way to practice slowing down in general!
4. Take 3 deep breaths
Deep breathing is another great way to use your breath to slow down when you find yourself feeling rushed, busy or overwhelmed.
Try taking 3 deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth to help release some of the stress and busyness. And help you find a calmer, slower pace to carry with you during the rest of your day.
5. Savour your coffee or tea
Taking the time to mindfully notice and savour small moments throughout your day is a great way to learn how to slow down.
Practice noticing, appreciating and savouring your coffee or tea as you drink it.
Instead of checking your phone or drinking it while doing something else, try to be present for the experience of drinking your favourite drink. Really taste it. Notice and pay attention to the color, the smell, the taste.
Anytime you are able to add small moments of mindfulness into your day, you’re practicing slowing down.
6. Start your day intentionally slower
However you start your day, usually sets the tone for the rest of the day. When you start your day in a rush, you often feel rushed, frantic and behind for the rest of your day.
A great way to learn how to slow down is by starting your day a little slower and more intentionally right from the beginning.
Wake up earlier
Get up 15 minutes earlier so you can start your day slower. When you wake up earlier, not only can you avoid rushing. But you can also include things in your morning routine you enjoy, make you feel good and have a positive impact on the rest of your day.
For example, you can meditate, journal, read, exercise or simply have a few minutes to savour your coffee in peace!
If you start your day slower and with more intention, your mornings can be more enjoyable. And hopefully, you can carry that slower, more enjoyable pace with you throughout the rest of your day.
7. Cross something off your to-do list
No matter how much you simplify your life, there will always be things that still need to be done. However, one way to slow down is by really assessing your to-do list and getting rid of anything that doesn’t necessarily need to be done.
Is there anything on your to-do list you could let go of? Learning to prioritize how you spend your time and letting go of things that don’t add value to your life or simply don’t need to be done is a great way to slow down.
See if there is anything you can take off the list to give yourself the opportunity to slow down a bit.
8. Turn off the noise
Sometimes simply turning off the literal noise in your life is a great way to slow down and give yourself a breather.
Try turning off the tv, music, podcast, radio, etc. for a few minutes to give yourself some silence. Take a minute to notice and really pay attention to where you are, what you’re doing and what’s going on around you.
In a world full of noise, sometimes silence really can be golden.
9. Really listen when you’re talking to someone
Another great way to turn off the noise and tune in to what’s going on around you is by really listening when you’re talking to someone.
Try giving your next conversation your undivided attention. Practice listening to understand, not listening to respond.
Finding moments of connection and truly listening to the person you’re talking to is a great way to help you slow down and be more present in your life.
10. Add some white space to your home
One of my favourite ways to slow down and simplify is clearing the clutter from your home. When you have less stuff in your home, you have less stuff requiring your time, energy and attention to manage it all.
Quite simply, having less stuff gives you more time!
Just like removing non-essential things from your to-do list can help you learn how to slow down. Removing non-essential things from your home is another great way to slow down as well!
Remember, every piece of clutter you remove from your home adds up to more time, space and energy you get to reclaim!
11. Add some white space to your schedule
If life is feeling busy, hectic and overwhelming, a great way to slow down is by removing some of the activities and commitments making you feel that way in the first place.
Take a critical look at your calendar and schedule. Look for activities or commitments you don’t enjoy, are no longer working for you or your family, or are simply adding more stress than value to your life. See if you can eliminate or at least reduce those kinds of activities and commitments.
12. Say no more often
An important way to start adding more white space to your schedule is by practicing saying “no” more often.
Learning to say no can be hard at first, especially if you’re a people pleaser or don’t want to feel like you’re letting people down.
But learning to say no is an important way to set boundaries to protect your time and well-being. Helping you slow down and focus on what is most important to you instead.
Every time you say yes to something, it means you have less time, energy and attention for other things in your life. Make sure your “yeses” align with your priorities and what you value. And learn to say no if something doesn’t.
13. Set your priorities
Having clear priorities in your life is an important part of simplifying your calendar and learning to set boundaries.
When you have clear priorities of what is most important to you in your current season of life, it makes it easier to assess what is adding value to your life and what isn’t.
Knowing exactly what your priorities are gives you a compass to steer and guide your decisions about how you’ll use your time, space, energy, money, etc. So, you can keep your focus on your priorities instead of getting swept away in the busyness of life.
14. Clean out your closet
Cleaning out my closet and decluttering my clothes is the simplifying project that’s had the biggest impact on my life so far. I didn’t realize the heaviness and stress a closet full of clothes added to my life until I got rid of most of them!
A smaller wardrobe makes getting dressed faster and easier, so you can start your days with a little less stress and a little more ease.
Check out this post for a step by step guide to help you downsize and declutter your wardrobe!
15. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a great way to slow down and find more enjoyment in life. Not only does it help bring you back to the present moment, but it also shifts your mindset in a positive direction.
The great thing about practicing gratitude is it’s something you can do anywhere, anytime. All you need to do is take a few minutes and think of a few things you’re grateful for. Sometimes they are big things, like your health. Sometimes they are small things, like a warm pair of socks.
The key is making an effort to shift your mindset to gratitude to help you slow down and find more to appreciate and enjoy in life.
16. Start a family gratitude practice
An awesome way to practice gratitude is by making it a family practice.
Make a point of sharing what you’re grateful for as a family, maybe during dinner time or before bed. It’s a great way to connect as a family and share the parts of your day you’re grateful for.
Gratitude is a mindset that is often contagious. The more you share what you’re grateful for, the more you’ll encourage those around you to look for things they’re grateful for as well!
17. Spend time with the people you love
Spending time with the people you love and really being present during that time is a great way to practice slowing down.
When you spend time with people you love, it helps remind you of what matters most in life. Making it easier to step away from some of the busyness and embrace a slower life focused on spending your time with those you love.
18. Ground yourself through your senses
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, rushed or frantic, a great way to slow down is by grounding yourself through your senses.
Using your senses can help calm you and bring you back to the present moment because you need to concentrate and pay attention to what’s going on around you.
My favourite way to ground through the senses is taking a moment to name:
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can feel
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
19. Eat slowly
Sitting down and eating mindfully is a great way to practice slowing down. Instead of rushing through your meal or trying to read, respond to emails, drive, etc. while you eat, make a point of savouring your meal and eating slowly.
Not only will you slow down and feel less rushed and overwhelmed, but you will also probably enjoy your meals a lot more too!
20. Do one thing at a time
Very few people can multi-task effectively. Usually, multi-tasking leaves you feeling rushed, frazzled, stressed and not doing any of the tasks particularly well.
Instead, try doing one task at a time. Not only will you practice slowing down. But there’s a good chance you’ll also do a better job at whatever you’re doing when you aren’t distracted and jumping back and forth between multiple tasks.
How to slow down, simplify & enjoy life more
These are some simple ways you can work on slowing down so you can enjoy your life more.
Whenever you’re feeling rushed, overly busy or simply overwhelmed, try some of these tips to help you slow down, calm down and feel more content!
What is your favourite way to slow down when life feels busy and hectic?