Happy New Year fam!! Wow! A new year and a new decade - it is all so exciting! Started out the New Year with a BANG at Beats and Bubbly, a party at Hotel Zaza and had a lovely holiday season and birthday with my family! Now, it's back to the grind. But, this season has been completely different from the rest and I didn't really know where to start. After depression, still figuring out ADHD and constant migraines, I was not looking forward to getting back to "normal". I don't feel like I have a "normal".
I find my Apple Watch beeping at me throughout the day to breathe, and I just keep going. I go and tension continuously builds up in my neck, shoulders and all along my face and jaw. A tension I can’t explain but when I feel it, it feels like my shoulder is being ripped off. Something has to change. But not just change for a month - I mean real change. I have already started taking steps towards this, but man, is it a process. I need to just slow down.
My “word” for 2020. This is the first year I am picking a word. It seemed a little less overwhelming then making a list, I ALWAYS do lists and it doesn’t seem nearly as effective. S-L-O-W. Why? Because I haven’t been present. I am always in a hurry, always thinking about the next thing. No wonder I am so anxious. I am working on easing and resting my mind and that involves me slowing down in every aspect. Taking things OFF my mind, OFF my plate. That does not mean certain items are not important, but that means my mental health is more important right now, and I am putting it first this year.
There have been countless times I try to change my patterns and my ways, and I always end up disappointed. Especially after the New Year. I know I am not the only one. I believe that we all try to do so many different things at once and we end up failing because we become so overwhelmed, we can’t handle it all. It is much more effective if we take smaller steps each week (or each month, whatever works for you!) to improve upon ONE THING, rather than every aspect of our life. For example, my therapist wants me to get good – REALLY good - at an early bed time of 10pm. With the holidays and all that, it hasn’t been the BEST, but I am starting to get into a routine. We will not add anything else to that until I am solid on my 10pm bedtime. Sure, I have started working out, but I have not put any pressure on myself to lose weight or diet, but just to go when I can go, and I am calling that a WIN! Other things I would like to implement to my routine this year are: waking up earlier and regular quiet times with the Lord. All of this comes with SLOWING down.
Here are 5 practical ways for you to SLOW DOWN this year:
1. Planning NOTHING. Evaluate your month ahead of schedule and every week. Make sure you have at least 2 nights where NOTHING is planned – not even a date night or GNO. NOTHING!
2. Regular bedtime – YES even on the weekends. Try it out for a month. I know there are always exceptions to this rule and life happens, but I can’t tell you how much better I feel!
3. Notice your breathing. A simple one, but I constantly catch myself at work being tense with a clinched jaw. I take a few minutes and breathe DEEP. I walk a little slower, things will still get done, it’s OK!
4. Prayer/Journal – This automatically helps your brain slow down and truly think about what is going on around you and process through that. Not only is it therapeutic, it will ease your mind.
5. UNPLUG – I mean completely. No phone for 24 hrs. Set some boundaries with your phone during the week and on the weekend. It can be a deadly rabbit hole and if you don’t set time limits, your day will just drift away! Something to think about 😊. I used to get on it first thing in the morning - not anymore!
It is always good to evaluate and re-evaluate what works and what doesn’t, because you may not even think you need to slow down, and that’s okay too 😊. It has been hard for me to accept that I am wired different from everyone else and function at a different pace! Regardless, I am very excited about the new year – who knows what the Lord has in store! WE GOT THIS GUYS! Whatever it is that you want to do in 2020, we are just getting started, so keep the faith and let’s do this!!