“Slow down, Wawa”
‘Did you breathe?”
“Go for a walk”
“Go out for the sunshine”
It was hard for me to take when I first heard these words came from my boss.
The sounds are incredibly appealing, but does it ever really happen?
How can I, when the clock is ticking? There’s always chores to finish, meetings to attend, errands to run, places to be at, and of course, with the mobile phone attached to my palms, my mind still constantly busy with notifications ‘beeping’ from my mobile. I don’t see any reason for me to slow down or to take my own sweet time to breathe slower.
“Just Breathe”, he told me again.
I breathed in.
And I exhaled.
It does feel a little better.
Here are 5 ways that I discover on how to slow down and this time it is for real:
One Thing At A Time
If you’re king of answering calls, while reading an email and writing a note in office, stop!
And if you’re the king of making dinner while folding laundry and nagging your boyfriend over the phone, please just stop! Being multi-tasking might be smart, but it’s actually making you more stressed and it’s making your brain to have less attention span. In a second, you will lose the focus and might lose an important point told by your boss or got your pan on fire in the kitchen. I am telling base on my experience.
Answer the call and give full attention to the person who calls you.
Make dinner and enjoy the process – just for once, don’t think of other tasks you could fit in.
Go For A Walk
Taking a slow and scenic walk is one way to relax, the type of walking we do on a daily basis is anything but rushing and racing to our destination and cutting people off on the way, squeezing in a public train with bags shoving each others’ face. If your house is in a walking distance to your office, take a slow walk back home. And if you’re staying far, at least in once a week, find a time and make it a routine to walk around the park or the neighbourhood. Put on a Spotify with music you love, walk and leave the road rage to everyone else.
Watching a favourite TV series after a short swimming session at the end of a long day is one of the life’ truest pleasures, at least for me. Instead of watching The Suits while Whatsapp-ing friends, checking on Instagram, and commenting on your friends’ Facebook from your iPad, nix the devices. Physically put them away (let it charge properly), turn off your data plan (one way to turn off your social media) and enjoy just one thing.
Plan Nothing Once A Week
Once a week, set a hard “no-plan” rule and say “no” to yam-cha after work, “no” to attending any event and “no” taking extra work and stay back late in the office. After work shut down your laptop, grab your bag and go home. Take a nice hot shower, pamper yourself with a good body scrub, put up a face mask, read a book, or just go to bed early! Saying “no” does not means you are anti-social or seems to be selfish, but it is always important for your to carve a time for yourself. This helps you to recharge your energy for the next day in that week.
Sit and Breathe
Find a time in a day, be at a quiet corner, sit still and let your eyes rest. Even if your mind wanders, which it will definitely will, just focus (and it needs practice) to slow your body and brain. You can turn on a meditation song or any nature sound to help makes you feel calm. It is even better, recites the “Selawat” and good name of Allah s.w.t to ease your mind. Here is one sentence my mother always share to my sisters and me when we have our mind messed up. Make it a routine to recite this sentence. It is from Yassin (36:9):