Happy Monday and welcome to another installment of "Ask Heather." When I read this question, I knew it was one we can all relate - and need the answer - to, so enjoy!
From Mamaofmany202: "Help! I find myself always rushing around, even if it is supposed to be a lazy weekend afternoon. I think about my To-Do list and how it seems to get longer and longer. I try to slow down, but it never works. Any hints on how to stop feeling like I need to hurry so much?"
Oh Mamaofmany202, I am right there with you. I often find myself having days where I never sit down, let alone remember to potty or eat. Work stuff, kids stuff, house stuff, wife stuff, don't even get me started on the me stuff that gets shoved to the very bottom of the list.
With so much mental space being used at all times, it's easy to fall into the pattern of hurrying and constantly doing...and when done often enough, it becomes our permanent state of being. Which isn't good for you - or anyone else. At those times when I really am frazzled I take a deep breath and think about the quote that hung in my kitchen growing up. It was a cross-stich done my Nana. "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get." Rings true, no?
But just breathing and remembering those words doesn't stop the rush-y feeling. There are some fabulous ways for all of us to slow down that I found. See what works for you:
-- Stop multitasking. Whether it is talking on the phone while you fold laundry or checking emails on your phone as you wait for preschool pickup, try -- more often than not -- to do only one thing at time. Be present with that task (it is also a form of being mindful). It will retrain your brain to focus and not feel scattered or rushed.
-- Change your expectation. It is okay of your don't get everything done. It is okay if the beds are not made for one day. If you have a day full of stuff every minute, take a moment at the beginning of the day and order it in priority. Does the laundry really need to get done today? Maybe not...while that doctor appointment and mailing that electric bill does. Re-evaluate how you approach your day and what you expect from it. It can help you to slow down.
-- Disconnect. Spend a day not on the computer or your email. Try it. If that seems too severe, limit it to checking it for 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunchtime, and then 15 minutes at night. You'd be surprised how freeing "unplugging" can be.
-- Do nothing for 15 minutes every day. We have so much going on, many of us have lost the ability to do nothing. Sit on your bed and just do nothing. See how it feels. Just breathe. This little moment of nothingness can transfer over to the rest of your day, calming it.
-- Learn to say no. Often we are rushing around for things or events that we are doing because we didn't want to say no. I admit I have done this on many occasion. Really examine why you are doing something, why you signed up for the bake sale and so on. Cut out the unnecessary bits that take up our focus and energy from things that really do matter (like doing nothing with our kids).
PS I love the site Zen Habits -- it gives a lot of great info about mindfulness and slowing down.
Do you feel like you are always hurrying? How do you stop the rush-around cycle?