Did Someone Hit the fast-forward >> button?
5 tips to make time slow down
Wow! Is it just me or is everyone else wondering how the *$!✻ we’re about to start the last weekend in August! The past 4 months seem to have whizzed passed at super speed and I doubt that Sept-Dec is going to be kind and go at a snails pace! How are we so busy all the time? Is that why times seem to have changed to 30 seconds in a minute! STOP THE CLOCKS!
I know times been flying for me for a number of reasons; The Haven being so busy, for which I’m very grateful, also watching my beautiful Niece Gracie, who’s 2 in October, grow into a joyful toddler, and our small puppy Bexley become a bounding doggy (he’ll be 1 in October).
Time appears to pass quicker when we have events coming up that we cant wait to happen, almost as if we wish the time a way. How often have you heard people counting down to a certain occasion or event? Weddings are a big one and holidays too. Our chance to escape the rat race, press ⏸ and chill out for a week or two if we’re lucky.
We get to our desired location and our tension dissipates over the first few days. Time seems to slow and we spend days doing things we really enjoy, be that doing nothing or exploring our destination or spending time with loved ones. Soon enough the days pass and although we may have a further 3 or 4 days we begin to start that dreaded count down again. ‘Urggh only 3 days left’, ‘this time next week we’ll be back at work/school/home’, as we start to think about our return to work/home/life time begins to speed up. One of the reasons of this is that our attentions begins to focus on the future, instead where we are now. We start to think of where we’ll be, the project we have to finish, the boss we don’t really want to deal with and soon enough we are actually there.
So how can we actually slow time down I hear your yell at the screen? Well you can’t, sorry but you can start to put a few practices in place for it to seem as though time has slowed.
❤︎ Start each day with Gratitude – firstly for yourself
🕖 When we start the day with gratitude, we start it with one positive thought, which can lead to another and another. This also helps us to remain in the present, instead of worrying about the past and future. When we are grateful for our self, it helps us focus on the joy and positive aspects of our life and its influence on others – You Rock!
❤︎ Meditate/be mindful/breathe/be in the now
🕗 Read any wellbeing blog and its likely to tell to meditate *we didn’t want to be left out. Many blog miss out on telling their readers that meditation is easy, but it really truly is. Unfortunately though many people think of meditation as daunting, because of the many per-conceived ideas about ‘how’ to meditate – *see monk sitting in lotus position, zen like for hours. One of the common ones is that you need to clear your mind of all thoughts, but you don’t, because that’s nigh on impossible unless you’ve got nothing in there to begin with.
A really simple way to start a meditation or mindfulness practice is to simply focus your attention. Many people choose to focus on their breathe. By allowing your breathing to slow, as you take long deep inhalations, counting in for 4 and out for 4 and repeating, you will begin to notice that you don’t have space in your head for the chatter and constant cycle of thoughts. I’ve just reminded myself this blog isn’t about how to meditate, its about slowing down time, but the two do really go hand in hand. Meditation is about focusing the mind and when we focus, time begins to slow. Try to do this as often as you can; waiting in traffic, standing in a que, on the toilet. The more you practice the easier it will become and the long you can do it for. Some days it will come easy, others you wont last past a few breathes, but that’s okay because its not about how good you are at it tomorrow, its about putting in the time today. You can also practice by focusing your attention whilst going about your daily life, notice the little things – see the flowers in a grass verge, notice the colour of peoples eyes, and see if you can recall them later on. Be present and focus on 1 thing at a time and time will begin to slow. You could also try listening to guided meditation on The Haven Podcast or Youtube.
❤︎ Plan your day/week/month
🕘 It sounds crazy that planning your day/week/month in advance can give you more time, as surely that’s going to take time to do, but when we get all the finer details out of our head and on paper/calendar/chalk board/phone, we can begin to focus on what’s important. Bullet Journals can really help, take a look at this video which explains how.
By loosely planning our time we reduce multitasking, how often are you writing an email, planning dinner, answering the phone, booking a hotel…. this list can go on (how many tabs do you have open??). When we focus on the task in hand, time begins slow. For example planning your weekly dinners on a Sunday stops the mad panic at 5:30 as to where to stop and what to buy for dinner or coming home and doing the fridge/freezer stare for 5 minutes trying to get inspiration. It also allows you to add new things into your life like planing a few different routes to work, sounds bizarre but changing up our normal daily routine can also make time move slower – see below 👇🏽.
❤︎ Spend 10 minutes or more a day doing something you really love
🕕 Now some people out there really love their job, and I’m one of them but that’s not what I’m talking about here. This has to be something that makes your heart sing, maybe that’s spending it with people you love but again I want you to try and focus on you first. When we start to plan our days we can actually start to put focused time in for us. Whether its being creative, attending a yoga class, reading a good book or just having a bath, try and taking time for yourself, start small if schedule is an issue (although hopefully we’ve started to put that in focus with the last one tip 👆🏼) and do something you really love and I guarantee it will bring more time to your day and wellbeing to your life. Did you know wellbeing is defined as being contented, healthy, or successful and I think we could all do with a little more of that. #CommitToWellbeing
❤︎ Change your routine
🕢 We are creatures of habit; alarm set at the same time daily, same journey to and from work, head down, same lunch, automatic route home, dinner and TV/computer/phone on before falling into bed and then waking the next morning still exhausted #changeitup . When we are children we see the world with awe, every experience is new so seems to last longer. Those 6 weeks of summer holiday were endless as each day was exciting and new. Break your routine, go explore your local neighbourhood, town or neighbouring town – and I don’t mean go and trawl the same shopping centre with the same shops. No wonder we feel like we’ve done it all before and time whizzes by.
If you can work from home, see if you can find somewhere else locally where you can go and work one day a week, or if you normally work in your office at home try working in the lounge, bedroom or garden ( I know that can be difficult but again changing up your routine really can help). Try and find something or somewhere new to explore, this is why holiday weeks seem to go a little slower as it’s normally in a new environment. Step out of your comfort zone and try and challenge yourself to do 5-10 new things a month, even little things like changing you lunchtime sandwich or gym workout. Have you tired one of the Havens Gong sound meditations? Give it a go, what have you got to lose.
I hope these 5 tips help you slow down and given you more time. Here’s to slow September and our move into Autumn going as slowly as a sloth😁
By Katie Palmer – Founder and Therapist at The Haven Wellbeing Hub