Summer’s almost over – that time when you were supposed to slow down, relax, take a vacation, recharge. Did you do it? If you’re like most of us, the answer is no, or not enough, and you’re wondering where did the time go? Fall, that time when school’s back in session, you and your kids are back into full schedules of activities, and the holidays are just around the corner.
Feeling stressed already? You’ve probably read about and even tried tips like making lists, meditating, and just allowing more time for yourself – easier said than done. Here are some simple and practical ideas you may not have considered that can help you and your family slow down and ease into the last quarter of the year.
1. Do one thing at a time.
According to this Huffington Post article, only about 2.5 percent of people can effectively focus on more than one task at a time. So instead of being the queen multi-tasker, try just doing one thing fully and completely.
2. Take the slower route.
Break your travel routine to work or errands instead of the speed limit. Take a different more scenic route or vary your route each day; try it for a week. A few extra minutes and a change of pace can leave you arriving less stressed.
3. Incorporate slower-paced exercise into your workout routine.
We all know exercise is a beneficial stress reliever. However, try adding more calming activities with relaxing music, like Tai Chi, stretching, and walking, in addition to your fast-paced and intense aerobics, spinning and cardio.
4. Turn off technology
No texting or emails at the dinner table, when stopped at a red light or in bed. Not only will you be calmer and more connected to your family and friends, but your co-workers and staff who are feeling stressed and pressured to respond to your 3am emails will undoubtedly thank you.
5. Don’t overschedule.
Are you double and triple booked with appointments and calls you can’t possibly do simultaneously? You can’t be mentally and physically “present” in those situations; start embracing “NO” in making your decisions.
6. “Dump your fear of missing out.”
Closely related, Courtney Carver of Be More with Less, suggests you “Dump your fear of missing out.” Whether at work or in your personal life, focus on quality, not quantity, and choose what matters most. It’s so easy to pack your day and your children with sports activities, lessons, parties and the like that you’re running from one to the next without time to breathe. Allow yourself to say it’s ok not to do everything.
7. Schedule unplanned time every day.
Putting “free time” on your calendar as a non-negotiable appointment will automatically guarantee you have 15 or 30 minutes more for yourself.
8. Finally, quit trying so hard.
Trying to force your mind or body to do anything can be exhausting and often counterproductive. That doesn’t mean give up on exercise, meditation, or any of these other suggested tips. Just try and see what works for you and do it with a relaxed approach.