We constantly feel the pressure of modern social expectations to make us work harder, faster, look a certain way, and idealize life in more ways than one.
It’s healthy and crucial to have goals, but technology, popular culture, and economic instability have forced us to constantly compare ourselves and our lives to others while ignoring some of the most basic human needs that benefit our mental and physical health.
We’ve gathered some straightforward tips to incorporate into your daily routine that will help you slow down and reflect on what’s important!
Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine setting your phone or laptop down for a couple of hours, especially if you have a job that depends on prolonged hours staring at a screen. Rather than jumping on the couch and binging that new show or scrolling through your phone for hours, consider leaving the screens at home and going for a short walk outside. Leave your phone in your bag or in another room during dinner, or consider keeping your notifications off on certain apps. It’s crucial to take breaks from your phone and emails; start small and work your way up!
Focus on the Moment
We’ve all had moments when we find ourselves zoned out and not present during a conversation or get-together. You might be distracted by something that happened at work or catch yourself wondering about what to do with that spinach that’s about to expire in the fridge. Make sure to try and stay present, focus on the people, and form deeper connections with those around you rather than distracting yourself with things that may be out of your control at the moment!
Practice Mindful Eating
We often feel rushed to get through basic human needs to continue working or being productive. Eating is often one of those needs. We typically feel—maybe subconsciously—rushed to finish our food to get back to things we perceive as more urgent. It’s essential to appreciate the food you’re eating and nourish yourself better by paying attention to the flavors, breathing, and enjoying the whole experience of a meal.
The idea of meditation might intimidate many people, but meditation can take on many different forms that garner even more benefits for our mind and body. Take a few minutes (or an hour if you can) every day to release judgment from your mind and focus on your breath. Close your eyes and focus on the sounds, smells, and feelings around you without putting a label on them. Meditation and breathing are excellent ways to slow down, get back in touch with your body, and increase mindfulness.
Write it Down
Sometimes we find it difficult to describe what and how we’re feeling. Put your thoughts down on paper the next time you feel overwhelmed or feel like you need to get something off of your chest. Consider purchasing a journal or notebook that you can keep on your nightstand. There are also apps dedicated to journaling. Write about your day, what you felt, and the experiences you’ve had. Reflecting on this can help you reconnect with yourself and clearly understand your needs and aspirations.
Escape to the Outdoors
Sunny days are an excellent excuse for a short, brisk walk outside or even sitting out on the porch for an hour. Even if it’s not the most scenic sight, being out in nature can help take your mind off daily pressures and enjoy the smaller things in life. Appreciate the trees, forms of life, and sounds around you to see the bigger picture!
Escape to Art
If you find art therapeutic or have a knack for creativity, spend more time making art or venturing into a new project. Take a pottery class or invest in some canvas and paint to start something at home. Opt for a couple of art nights a week, and challenge yourself to focus solely on what you’re creating rather than that unanswered text or update from Facebook.
Spend Time Alone
We can find out a lot about ourselves and our interests by spending time alone trying new things and seeing what kind of ideas we conjure amongst ourselves. Listen to some music or read a good book to shift your focus for a few hours. Spending time with friends and family is crucial for our happiness, but sometimes we just need to spend some time getting to know ourselves better!
Life forces us to progress at lightning speed. That can make it challenging to slow down and reprioritize our emotional and physical needs. These tips are solid steps to help you reconnect with yourself and spend some time away from daily responsibilities!