Management April 12, 2010 Last updated April 12th, 2010 674 Reads share

Slow Down….

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This is a true story

One evening, on my way home from the office, I was changing trains in one of Paris’s more busier stations when a man pushed his way past me running like crazy for his train.  Nothing unusual with that as rushing, pushing, shoving, honking and impatience has become a way of life for too many people.  About 20 steps in front of me this man slipped in something and fell in a spectacular fashion, bum first, then onto his back cracking his head on the ground and slid forward about five feet…. I had arrived to him by this time and helped him up, it was then we discovered that he had, in fact, slipped into a pool of someone’s vomit.

The first question he asked me was ‘is that vomit?’ to which I replied ‘I’m afraid so’ and after a brief panic attack on his part, we did the best we could to clean him down with a couple of ‘face wipes’ and a half packet of tissues I had in my bag.  Needless to say we both missed our train and were obliged to wait for the next which gave us the opportunity to grab a coffee from the vending machine and chat as the rest of the world gave the ‘vomit reeking’ couple a wide berth.

The moral of this story is ‘take the time to slow down’.

Life today seems to move at a hectic pace, with many of us rushing from one activity to the next.  But this type of life can only lead to stress and learning to slow down is vital, but in order to achieve this one must make a commitment to slowing down.  The stress of always rushing drains your spirit, it distracts the mind, can prevent you from focusing on what’s really important and looking around at the world.  Some people are so concerned with the goal or destination that they simply forget to enjoy the journey, by slowing things down a little we get the chance to look around us, to stop and enjoy the view, to chat with friends or colleagues, to see the little obstacles (or pools of vomit) in the way & have enough time to find a solution or jump out of the way, and, most importantly spend time with those we love.

So what can you do if your life feels like its out of control and you just don’t know how to slow it down? Why not start small; here are a few simple but effective ideas.

  • Learn to say no – Accept that you simply cannot do everything that’s asked of you. Saying NO politely but firmly is a skill that everybody should work on.
  • Take a break – day-to-day activities, commuting to and from work, daily stresses and hassles can drain your energy, so it’s vital to take some ‘time out’ throughout the day to recharge your mental and emotional batteries.  Take a walk in the park, read a chapter of your book, book a massage, play with the children, take the dog out for a run, have lunch with your ‘other half’…. It doesn’t matter; the important thing is that you spend a little time each day doing whatever works for you to renew your batteries for the day.
  • Change how you perceive time – try to stop thinking of unscheduled time as wasted time… some of life’s best moments come when you least expect them and likewise (as the vomit story clearly demonstrates) even having your time scheduled doesn’t mean that surprises are not waiting around the corner for you.

If we schedule every minute of our time we leave no time for relaxation or to enjoy life.  Slowing down doesn’t mean stopping; it simply means a pace that is healthy for our body and our emotional well-being.  So whether you’re on foot on in your car this evening make a conscience decision to slow down a little, you never know, you might just enjoy yourself….

Do you ever feel life is just too fast paced? How do you ‘slow things down’ for yourself? Why not tell me your own thoughts…..

Catherine A Connors

Catherine A Connors

I am a Stress Management Coach (also a Holistic & Natural therapist and teacher). I am dedicated to managing stress, resilience and well-being, my training courses and consultancy are designed to help create a working (or home) environment where resilience is enhanced and well-being is protected, allowing people to respond positively to challenges and perform at their best. I provide in-house training courses, consultancy and workshops to private and public sector organisations (also one-on-one sessions). I specialise in providing practical training for managers and employees aimed at minimising the risk of stress and enhancing well-being within the organisation.

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