#WellnessWednesday: Slowing Down

As we enter exam weeks, consider holiday preparations, and plan for the summer and/or life after graduation, it is easy to feel constantly overwhelmed. I often find myself creating lengthy to-do lists and thinking “so much to do, so little time.” Rushing around to get things done and hurrying to check tasks off the list can become habits that eventually lead to feeling burned out, frustrated, and dull. I’ve found that slowing down a bit allows me to live more purposefully and find more enjoyment in what I am doing while still remaining productive. As a college student, though, it is definitely difficult to slow down with seemingly so many things to accomplish each day. So, here are some here are some practical tips to slow down and live more purposefully without sacrificing productivity:

· Examine your to-do list and evaluate your priorities. Focus on what is essential and must be done, and let the rest go. Learning to say “no” and prioritizing helps to whittle down a lengthy list.

· Be where your feet are. Being present and aware of things going on around us allows us to focus on what we are doing right now. Staying focused on now and the people and/or task at hand increases the quality of our time spent.

· Eat slower. Not only is eating slower better for your digestion and physical health, it also is better for our minds. Eating is something that we have to do, so why not take the time to enjoy the food and company too.

· Spend some time each day outside. Research shows that being in nature slows down our heart rate and decreases our blood pressure. Taking time outside also helps to improve clarity of mind and overall mood, which is especially beneficial when returning to work or study.

· Do one thing at a time. Despite our best efforts, humans cannot do everything at once and are not the best multi-taskers. Refrain from jumping from task to task. Give one thing at a time your full attention.

· Disconnect. We all know how distracting it is to be constantly responding to texts, snapchats, or emails while trying to accomplish something. Take a break from technology that allows us to be in constant communication. Set rules for yourself. For example, try charging your phone overnight at a plug across the room instead of right by your bed so that you are less tempted to scroll through news feeds when you could be resting. If you use your phone as an alarm, this will also force you to get out of bed in the morning to turn it off (a win-win).

· Add a little “buffer time” to your schedule and show up early. Oftentimes, we underestimate how long something will take and then feel like we are always running behind. This can leave us feeling rushed and frustrated. Adding a little extra time to your allotted amount of time for an activity or meeting (like 5 extra minutes) can help. This way, you may end up with time to spare or show up early to your next commitment.

Start practicing one or more of these tips, and you’ll find it easier to slow down and manage busy days!

Sincerely,

The Wellness Ambassadors