It's Okay To Slow Down
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Ever feel like you are going a million miles a minute but going no where? Like no matter how many things you cross off of your to-do list, there is always more that still needs to get done? If you said yes, you are not alone, and I am here to tell you that it's okay to slow down.
We live in a society where it is cool and respected to be in a constant state of busy. We wear busy like a badge of honor and it's become the go-to answer to the simplest of questions "How are you?" ....."Good, busy!"
This especially comes into play with fitness and weight loss, where the harder you push and the bigger the loss on the scale is, the prouder you feel about yourself and you prove that you are not lazy and that you are fully committed to your goals.
I am here today to tell you that it is harder and mentally tougher to say, I need to slow down before I burn out, than it is to keep pushing and pushing out of fear, that someone might think you are lazy or not serious about your goals.
As a society we put too much stock into what everyone else is doing and what they think (or will think) about us. I have spoken about the social media highlight reel and how dangerous it is to compare yourself to it. The same goes for likes, shares and followers -- none of that stuff should have any affect on your self worth.
As I write this I am currently halfway through 75 Hard - if you are not familiar with it, you can learn more here. I have not shared that I am doing this publicly because I am not doing this for the public, I am doing this for myself.
Yes, I realize I just told the public that I am doing this, but I am trying to prove a point here so just roll with it.
This challenge does not have any rest days. None. Two 45 min workouts a day and one of those must be outdoors (no matter what the weather is) along with other nutrition and mindset tasks.
It is 75 days of simple tasks that are easy to complete or easy not to complete - think The Compound Effect here and if you don't know what I'm talking about - read this blog post and grab the book too! During these 75 days you need to check the boxes everyday and if you forget, neglect or "fail" to check a box, you start over...from Day 1.
Now, when you do a program like this, you have to listen to your body, you have to be crystal clear on what will and what will not get you to your goals and you have to gut check yourself often or you will fail because you will burn out, get injured or get frustrated and quit. All three of those options don't get you to Day 75.... that is why it's a mental toughness program.
A program, mind you that I refused to entertain for quite some time... because I wasn't ready to tackle it.
The first few weeks I was 100% team no days off. I pushed myself for each workout and checked all of the boxes. I was trying to get myself back on track after months or flailing through life and I was proud. I learned to embrace walking in the rain and waking up before the sun to beat the heat. I was flexing my mind muscle and I was unstoppable.
Then tiredness set it.
Between a full work schedule and pushing myself with new lifting and cardio workouts, I started to think about quitting because I was afraid of getting injured and burning out. Well duh... of course injury and burn out were a possibility, I wasn't allowing my body or my mind to rest at all.
I needed to expand my mind to accept that I could still achieve my 75 Hard goals while still honoring and thanking my body and mind for all of it's hard work.
This took a mindset shift and as I have discussed before, mindset shifts aren't always easy.
I needed to set a day of the week that was a slow down day. That didn't mean sit on the couch and do nothing - because that wouldn't be in line with the promise I made to myself or the challenge.
What slowing down in this case meant was a slow walk outside. Allowing myself to be active, but not hit a new PR that day.
I achieved this slow down with music. The same way you make a hype playlist to get you in the mood to workout hard, a chill/laid back playlist that doesn't make you want to kick ass or conquer the world is key. Guided walking meditation sessions are another great option.
My second workout later in the day is alway stretching or yoga, because that is what my body needs in order to recover. My mind appreciates it too because when the body slows down, the mind has the opportunity to do the same.
Thanking your body and giving it what it needs is always a good thing, don't let anyone tell you otherwise! I don't care how many followers they have, what their posts look like or what other BS they have to say.
The key here for me, is that I'm still active, I'm still moving my body, but I'm not in full on hustle mode.
I also adopted earlier bedtimes and I fully embrace 30 min naps whenever I can fit them in now and I feel so much better. These not only allow my body to get some much needed rest, but my mind benefits from it as well. If you're anything like me, your mind is like a browser with 100 tabs open and you just bounce from tab to tab all day long.
This slowing down and simplifying concept applies to work and other commitments in life too.
Don't be afraid to say no when people ask you to do things. Don't worry about what other people think if you pass on their invitation. Tell them you're flattered but you just can't take on another commitment right now. Be honest an put yourself first.
Cut things out wherever you can!
Take a look at your to-do list. Do you really need to do all of those things or do they just help you to feel busy, accomplished and give you something to complain about when comparing your lists to others?
Be honest and make changes where they are needed, because if you don't, no one else will do it for you.... and how will all of those things get done if you burn out?
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