Tracy's Wellness Journey: Get in the Habit of Slowing Down
Do you find it hard to recall life before cell phones, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest? Technology has undoubtedly propelled us forward and created many opportunities, yet at the same time, it has taken us away from meaningful face-to-face conversations. I remember a time where gifts were made by hand and the meals we prepared for our families took root in our backyard gardens.
I have spent copious amounts of time reflecting and dreaming about my life as a child, especially the simplicity of that time. The scents of cinnamon, pumpkin and nutmeg remind me of afternoons spent in the kitchen with my grandma. My grandfather spent countless hours picking the fruits and vegetables from the garden and orchard. He never had too much to say, yet while in the garden with him, I felt connected. Canning, baking, and preserving the harvest was something my grandparents did well. Their lifestyle felt purposeful versus rushed and forced. They were not burning the candle at both ends.
I believe most people in our society live an overstimulated life. We operate in survival mode. We use caffeine to stay awake, alcohol to calm us down, fast food to fuel our bodies and technology to keep us connected. We don’t talk about our feelings because we can’t even feel them. Anxiety, depression, and fatigue are rampant — and not just in women, but children and men, as well. The sad part is we don’t even realize we are modeling this behavior.
Just thinking about those times with my grandparents adds a level of calmness to my life. I’ve come to realize life’s greatest joys come not from speeding up, but rather from slowing down. It’s about stepping away from our go-go-go routines that we’ve created and learning to embrace a simpler way of living. I’m sure you have heard, and maybe even experienced, the age-old adage: Less is MORE.
A life with less demands on my time and mental resources sounds freeing and delightful. Meaningful conversations, walks in the park, watering my flowers and plants, prepping real food, and cooking our meals at home, reading, writing, and journaling and more time for self-care and self-love are all at the top of my Christmas wishlist this year.
I have started the process by creating new habits. Baby steps, though… I’m tracking my water intake and the movement of my body — both physical exercise and the number of steps I get in each day. This is a big step and has been eye opening.
I then layer in counting “wins” of the day and week, and life has started to feel more intentional and meaningful.