SoulCare® Practices

Slowing down for mental wellness

In today's fast-paced world, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. We are constantly bombarded with messages that encourage us to do more, be more, and achieve more. While ambition and drive are certainly admirable qualities, it's important to remember the value of slowing down, especially when it comes to our mental wellness.

When we are constantly on the go, it can be difficult to find time for self-care, reflection, and relaxation. We may feel like we don't have a moment to spare, and as a result, our mental, physical, and emotional health can suffer. That's why it's so important to intentionally slow down and make time for the things that nourish our souls.

Slowing down can take many different forms. It might mean taking a few minutes each morning to meditate, doing a few simple stretches before bed, sitting down for a meal with loved ones, or simply carving out some quiet time each day to read, write, or reflect. Whatever form it takes, the act of slowing down can be incredibly beneficial for our mental wellbeing.

First and foremost, slowing down allows us to be more present in the moment. Do you know that humans have an average attention span of only 8 seconds? Studies have shown that human attention spans have drastically decreased over the last 15 years. When we're constantly rushing from one thing to the next, our minds can become overwhelmed with thoughts and worries about the future or regrets about the past. When we intentionally slow down and focus on the present moment, we give ourselves the gift of mindfulness. We can savor the simple pleasures of life, like the warmth of the sun on our skin, the taste of our favorite foods, or the sound of birds chirping outside our window.

Slowing down can also help us cultivate a greater sense of gratitude. When we're moving too quickly, it's easy to take the good things in our lives for granted. But when we intentionally slow down and reflect on what we're grateful for, we cultivate a sense of appreciation and contentment that can be incredibly healing.

In addition to these benefits, slowing down can also help us manage stress and anxiety. When we're constantly on the go, our bodies and minds can become exhausted and overstimulated. But when we intentionally slow down and make time for relaxation and self-care, we allow ourselves to rest and recharge. This can help us feel more balanced and centered, even in the midst of a busy and chaotic world.

Of course, slowing down is not always easy. It can be hard to break free from the momentum of our busy lives and intentionally choose to prioritize rest and relaxation. But the benefits of doing so are clear. By intentionally slowing down, we can cultivate greater mindfulness, gratitude, and emotional wellness.

This summer, think of simple ways you can intentionally incorporate slowing in to your weekly rhythm.

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 ideas for slowing down this summer:

  1. Unplug from technology: Take a break from your phone, computer, and other devices. Disconnecting from technology can help you focus on the present moment and reduce stress.
  2. Practice mindfulness: Try practicing mindfulness through activities like yoga, meditation, or simply sitting in silence and paying attention to your breath.
  3. Spend time in nature: Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride in nature. Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing.
  4. Read a book: Set aside time to read a book or magazine that you've been wanting to dive into. Reading can help you relax and unwind.
  5. Take a nap: Allow yourself to take a nap or get some extra rest. Getting enough sleep is essential for mental and physical health.
  6. Cook a meal: Spend time in the kitchen preparing a meal from scratch. Cooking can be a calming and enjoyable activity.
  7. Connect with loved ones: Spend quality time with friends or family members. Whether it's a phone call, video chat, or spending time together in person, connecting with loved ones can help you feel more grounded and connected.
  8. Listen to music: Put on some relaxing music and allow yourself to get lost in the melodies. Music can be a powerful tool for relaxation and stress relief.
  9. Declutter and organize: Spend some time decluttering and organizing your living space. A clean and organized environment can help reduce stress and improve focus.
  10. Engage in a creative activity: Whether it's painting, writing, or playing music, engaging in a creative activity can help you relax and tap into your inner creativity.