Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Slowing Down & Switching Out!

I felt it was a good time to write this blog while I am chilling out with some quiet “me” time at my beach bach.

I’m good at being on my own.  Are you?  Many people around me often ask if I get bored with my own company and the answer is always the same…a strong resounding NO.  I relish it! The question comes up as I often travel alone and I often choose to hang out on my own.  This might make me sound like some kind of recluse, but I can happily assure you that I am not.

Being a coach I am very involved in others amazing and busy lives and it can sometimes be intense.  I also have an active (sometimes over active) social life and many varied and wonderful interests that keep me busy and active.  I love to be out and amongst it.  Whilst I wouldn’t change any of that for the World, I need to have a life plan that keeps me grounded, positive and creative in my thinking. I am also someone who can switch off, and I take great pleasure in regularly chilling down and being with just me.  I like me, I like my company.  I can happily occupy myself for hours!! 

We live in a World of constant stimulation and with constant demands.  We can suffer from being continually “active” in our heads, even if not in a physical sense.   It can be relentless.  So, to counter this, I take the time to enjoy my own space, regularly.  To re-group, re-plan, slow down and just “be”.

Continual over stimulation, whether it be mental, physical or dietary, creates non-stop demands on our time, energy and resources.  We seem to do things faster and cram more in our days.  We may feel exhausted at the end of the day, yet many of us suffer from bad sleep.  Our diet can also add to the symptoms of being over stimulated, from needing that next coffee/sugar fix, a quick lunch on the run, the pleasure of a “happy hour” glass of wine to reward us for our big day/help us unwind….and so the cycle begins again.

Are you in the cycle of feeling constantly stimulated or rushed?  Could you be a habitual rusher?  Do you feel like you are always on the run, feel like you are racing to catch the next train?!  Do you sometimes ask yourself: “Why I am running around like a lunatic? “ “Am I a lunatic?” “Why am I even doing this?!”  “I know this is not a priority, but…. “

Could some of this rushing around and over stimulation create some sense of purpose and therefore maybe it’s secretly enjoyable?  Done, tick.  Done, tick.  You know the gig.  Do you feel guilty about relaxing?  Do you know how to relax?

Maybe reflect over your past week/month, do my words speak to you?  Even day-to-day tasks such as grocery shopping, collecting the kids from school can start to feel like a major thing to accomplish and therefore add to the rushing/racing feeling.  If you are a habitual rusher, the reduction of stimulation and adrenalin creating activities could be a very good thing to explore.

A simple start would be to practice taking a little time out.  Slow down a little.
I believe it is important to spend some time with yourself regularly, and maybe by doing this we can give ourselves a chance to get some creative thinking and relaxed planning happening.  A time to breathe and take a fresh, calm perspective.  Time to notice the priorities versus the urgencies.  Rediscover what’s important to you. Rediscover “you”. 

Cut out the stimuli for a bit.  Try to break the habit of being constantly stimulated by moving, rushing, doing.  Avoid filling those free gaps with “stuff”.  Learn to enjoy “your time”, it’s precious, just as you are.

It’s about quality rather than quantity, so start with small steps.  Book a half hour/hour appointment with yourself a couple of times a week.   Put the phone on silent .  Use these times to do things you WANT to.  The first sessions could be used working out the things you’d like to do, things that you have lost touch of maybe, your interests, your “thing”. Reconnect to you.  Maybe some time with a book and a cuppa, taking a bath, researching your next holiday, picking flowers, going through your cook books, painting your nails, walking the beach, writing, drawing etc.  The simple things.  You deserve this. 

Being able to be with yourself may help build your confidence and self esteem.  It will show you how resourceful you can be personally, without the need for external approval and support.  Being without constant external stimuli will help you relax.  Choosing some alone time may also help slow down your heart rate, your breathing, and therefore could reduce any anxiety feelings.  And while you’re at it, why not be kind to both your mind and body by cutting down on the dietary stimulants; caffeine, sugar and alchohol (that was tough to type – eek!!).

Who knows, you might become like me, where you relish the thought of a little bit of solitude, to quickly recharge the batteries, to reconnect to your priorities, to design the next cool phase of your life, to reflect on what great things you have around you, or….. just to turn the noise down for a while. Mmmmmmm……….

Good luck, live easy and go well.

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