If your life is like that of most modern people, then you're very busy. And if you're busy most of the year, then you're likely extra busy at Christmas time! As a result, you may be feeling more and more stressed as Christmas gets closer and closer.
If you’re starting to dream of the simple olden days or of moving to the country, that’s a sign that you need to slow down your life and try simple living. Luckily, it’s not hard to reduce your busy, stressful life down into a simple one that will allow you to enjoy the holiday season. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, check out these 10 ways to slow down as the Christmas rush begins.
1. Have Quiet, Slow Mornings
Rather than jumping out of bed and rushing to check your email and social media, try to wake up slowly. Sip your coffee and stare out the window for 15 minutes. Don’t turn on the computer or look at your planner. Just ease into the day. There will be plenty of time for everything else later.
2. Appreciate the Little Things
When was the last time you stopped to appreciate the sky on a nice day? Or even the home you work so hard to pay for? If you want to slow down your life, then you’ve got to take the time to appreciate all the small, beautiful things. And there are a lot of small, beautiful things in life.
3. Learn to Say No
It can be tempting to try to join every volunteer group and Christmas activity that you find. But the more things you’ve agreed to participate in, the more time you’re giving away, and the busier you’ll be. If you want to live simply, that doesn’t mean you can’t agree to volunteer anywhere, or that you can’t say yes to going to Christmas parties. You just can’t volunteer at every organisation in your village or city, and you can’t attend every party that’s happening this season. Decide which ones sound like the best use of your time, and say no to the rest.
4. Try to Accomplish Less
One of the major sources of stress in modern society is busyness. The problem is that society sees being busy as a good thing. But in reality, being busy all day every day is very stressful. If you want to live simply, you’ve got to slow down and try to accomplish less. You may get less done each day, but you’ll be happier and likely healthier as well.
5. Schedule Quiet Time
If you’re a busy person, then the only way for you to slow down may be by scheduling quiet time. Carve out a 30 minute to an hour long chunk of time in your day, and use the time to read or engage in a quiet activity.
6. Leave Your Email Alone
If you want to begin living simply, then you have to learn to stop obsessively checking your email. Yes, you do still need to check it occasionally. But no, you don’t need to check it every 10 minutes. Imagine what you could get done if you took all the 1-minute email checks you do during the day and put that time toward something truly productive!
7. Spend Face-to-Face Time with Others
If the main way you communicate with family and friends is through your phone and social media, that has to change, especially at Christmas time! People who have happy, simple lives take the time to talk with loved ones face-to-face. Rather than tweeting at your best friend, find a way to schedule time for the two of you to meet up at a coffee shop. Sure, you’ll probably discuss the same things either way. But there’s just something different (and better) about talking with a person face-to-face.
8. Do Only One Thing at a Time
Just as society praises those who are busy, it loves those who multitask. However, multitasking is actually quiet stressful, and the constant switching of focus may actually lead to you being less productive. Slow down and focus on one task at a time. You’ll accomplish just as much (if not more) and will feel less stressed.
9. Move Slower
If you want to slow down your life, then you’ve got to slow down your body. Stop power walking everywhere, and stop wolfing down your meals. Take your time to get where you’re going, and savour each bite of food.
10. Turn Off the Tech
There are a lot of pros to living in our modern technologically advanced world, and there are some cons. A major con is that all of our tech allows us to constantly be communicating and working. Learn to turn off your computer or smartphone for a little while, and see how much simpler your life instantly becomes.