Slow it Down
The words “anxious” and “anxiety” are not something I was very familiar with until a few years ago. Of course I knew what the first one meant and that I had been anxious many times in my life, but it wasn’t until my mid-30’s when I really started to experience true anxiety. I am talking about the kind that is somewhat debilitating and may cause you to stay in bed all day. Having children and a life full of busy will do that to you sometimes.
I believe oftentimes as parents, we are spread very thin and can become so caught up with taking care of our children and making sure we protect them, that we occasionally forget that our own well-being is paramount as well.
In addition to raising our families, many of us have careers and goals we are trying to attain. On top of that our life may include happenings in our extended families that are out of our control.Life can get crazy!Our days are filled with worry about our kids’ futures, while at the same time we are trying to plan the best birthday party on the planet, one that will rival that of another friends’, or even a stranger on Pinterest. I am not saying that is something bad to focus on, I’m only pointing out how there are many things in our lives that can add undue stress. Meanwhile, what is most important is sitting on the sofa next to us, grasping their favorite stuffed animal.
My family has been on the other side of my frustration when something is making me anxious and it’s not fun for any of us. I can usually pinpoint the cause of my own feelings of anxiety, and I know it often comes on when I feel like I have way too many things on my “to-do” list. In that instance, it typically means something important (at least to me), must fall by the wayside.
It also usually means I have to adjust my general focus and take some time to be quiet or calm. One way that’s easy for me to do this is to read something that makes me feel better or helps me reflect on my own life.
Recently, while cleaning out a desk drawer, I rediscovered a little book that I have had for many years. It is called Slow-down Therapy, a small book with 35 ways to “slow down” in this crazy world. One of my favorite ways, which I have read over and over because I always need reminding, is number 3:
Who knew it’s okay to tell them that? I used to have no idea. Sometimes I still forget! People usually understand if we tell them this because they feel pushed at times too. We all do at some point. I have also realized that my own anxiety is often brought on by my feelings of being rushed, and I even do this to myself. I have told myself to stop pushing! It may sound silly, but it’s true.
In the same vein, number 23 states,
“When you find yourself rushing and anxious, stop. Ask yourself why are you rushing and anxious. The reasons may improve your self-understanding.”
Hmm…. good one, right?
Another little gem that I adore is number 34.
“When things are in chaos and you are in a frenzy, ask yourself: ‘What is right about now?’ Chances are, you already know what is wrong.”
Nailed it again.
It also gives advice on how to appreciate the little things, for instance, number 9.
This one might be my favorite, number 11.
“Allow yourself time to be lazy and unproductive. Rest isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.”
This short, but effective little guide to life also suggests we simply take time to listen to the birds sing and look up at the night sky. It really wants us to just chill out, and it has helped me slow down. I now keep it on my nightstand and when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I take a deep breath and pick a random page. Each little reminder is like a gift in my sometimes super-charged life. I’m not saying it’s a complete solution, but it definitely helps me re-focus.
Have you taken any time lately to just be lazy? Or to simply slow down and breathe for a moment? I suggest you try it. We all need a break occasionally no matter how hectic our life is.
Share this with someone who could use this advice!
*All excerpts from Slow-down Therapy by Linus Mundy. Each one features a cute illustration with little elves and this book is one of a collection of “elf-help books”.
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This post was written by Elaine Alguire exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.