Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

5 Simple Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Life

Friends, I’m exhausted.  I’m ready to slow down for awhile.The car accident in February, followed by a broken toe, our sick cat (going on two months now), and other unmentionable shocks have colluded to drain my reserves.

If you feel overwhelmed, burned out, or just too buzzy, maybe you’d like to try out a season of slow living too — at least for a little while.

You don’t have to stop completely.  You can slow down just a little, a little more, or a lot — whatever makes sense for you and your life right now.  If you do, you’ll likely find more enjoyment, more connection, and more relaxation awaiting you. Your health may even begin to improve too.

Simple Ways to Slow Down

Here are 5 ways I’m choosing slow living right now.  See if something here tempts you, and don’t hesitate to go for it.

Slow Living | Slow Down | Stress Relief

Please note: this article contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking them. There is no cost to you and your support enables me to continue writing free articles for you. Thank you!

1. Slow Down with Mindful Eating

I just received the results from my G. I. Map test.  They indicate I’m not digesting properly.  As a result, I’m not absorbing my nutrients.  To offset this, I’ll take pancreatic enzymes and a supplement for fat digestion, once they arrive. Just as important, I’ve committed to mindful eating.

If you rush through meals, you may be missing out on nutrients too.  That’s because digestion begins with chewing, thanks to the digestive enzymes present in saliva. For the best assimilation, you need to chew food until it becomes liquid in your mouth. That means chewing at least 30 times.  And if you have chronic illness, it’s recommended to chew even more — 50 times at least.

Your digestion benefits when you slow down and eat in a relaxed environment as well, with no distractions like reading, texting, or browsing.  Take a few breaths at the start of your meal and allow your body to relax.  Then consciously enjoy a moment of gratitude for the sustenance you’re about to receive.  When you see your body as the vehicle for your soul’s expression, eating becomes a sacred act, one that deserves your undivided attention.

Eating can be a tiny pleasure too.  Small pleasures in healthy doses can inhibit stress by reducing anxiety responses in the brain.  So delight in the colors on your plate.  Inhale the aromas.  Allow the flavors to evoke your pleasure chemicals.

2. Find Ease with Blissful Massage

After my car accident, my doctor sent me to receive therapeutic massage.  The relaxing effects of massage always sneak up on me.  About halfway through a session, I suddenly realize I’m so relaxed I can barely move.  Sometimes, I fall into a half-sleep, half-awake state that’s profoundly refreshing and restorative.

Massage is the perfect way to slow down, put your worries aside for a while, and receive the care you so deserve.  Plus, more and more, scientific research validates the health giving benefits of massage, including:

  • Relief from stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Pain reduction in fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, low back and neck tension, and other pain syndromes
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Fewer migraine and tension headaches, better balance for the elderly, and a boost in exercise performance

If the cost seems prohibitive, look for a massage school in your area that offers reduced rates.  Or consider taking a massage class with your partner or a friend so you can exchange massages regularly.  Or you can exchange massages with your classmates.

You might think of massage as a luxury you don’t deserve.  But when you consider the amount you’ll save due to the preventative care, it might begin to seem like a bargain.

3. Delight in Gratitude

I have a brand new copy of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which contains questions, prompts, and coloring pages for a brighter and happier life.  I can’t wait to dive in.

The gorgeous Tiny Buddha Gratitude Journal

According to the author, Lori Deschene, gratitude, when practiced regularly, has been shown to:

  • Increase happiness, self-esteem, and overall well-being
  • Nurture hope, optimism, and resilience
  • Reduce envy, stress, anxiety, insecurity, and other draining emotions
  • Intensify feelings of love, connection, and empathy and, consequently, strengthen our relationships
  • Boost energy and immune systems
  • Improve the quality of our sleep
  • Ultimately increase our life-span, since all of the aforementioned benefits strengthen us physically and psychologically

The 160 pages includes a brief introduction, 15 stress-reducing coloring pages, and more than 130 different prompts and questions.  The prompts and questions are unique, providing the opportunity to practice gratitude from many different angles.

I like how the practice of gratitude encourages me to slow down, pay attention, and appreciate the goodness in my life.

I assume I received this free, advance copy in the mail because I reviewed Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges a few years ago, another keeper.

My heart lit up when I ripped open the envelope and found the gorgeous, soft cover journal inside.  You can pre-order your copy now for a June 13 release date.  This is a perfect self-care gift for yourself, a friend, or both of you.

4. Read in Leisure

I don’t read lightweight books, but just taking the time to read takes me out of action mode and puts me into receptive, reflective mode — a perfect fit for slow living.

I’ve come to see that long-held emotional patterns can keep us from moving forward on the spiritual path.  While a lot can be said for working with emotions as an object in mindfulness meditation, seeing and allowing them to pass by, understanding our emotional patterns can also help us uproot them.  That’s why the following books are on my reading list:

5. Tune Into Yourself

As a highly sensitive person who can unexpectedly go into emotional overwhelm, I know I would benefit from paying more attention to how others effect me, tuning into my own energy so I can distinguish what belongs to me and what belongs to others, and clearing my energy field every day.

I feel better when I slow down from time-to-time to feel my feet on the ground, check into my heart, and listen to my body.

I’m just starting to put energetic self-care practices in place.  I’m still a novice, but here are a few practices that feel good and work well for me.

  • I like to clear my energy in the shower.  I imagine anything that doesn’t belong to me flowing down the drain, leaving me completely refreshed and whole.
  • Other times, I imagine a bubble of soft protection around me.
  • Or sometimes I use my favorite mantra for clearing myself:  “This is my body.  This body belongs to me.”

There are so many different ways to slow down your life.  These are just my top choices right now.  I hope reading about them will encourage you to downtempo if that’s what you would like, and in so doing enjoy all the goodness each moment offers to you.

What are your favorite ways to slow down?  I would love to hear.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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8 Comments

  1. Donna Donabella

    Fabulous ideas….I do many but I need to reclaim my energy and love the idea of the shower….I will give it a try. I am adding an afternoon hour where ground myself, I read a short passage (right now it is E. Gilbert’s, Big Magic), do a journal where I answer 4 questions every day to get to the heart of things and pick 2 Tarot cards and see how they relate….then I spend time creating a bit of art for 10-20 minutes…playing with watercolors of chalk….has worked wonders.

    • I love these ideas, Donna. I can see why they have worked wonders. They seems so affirming and nurturing. What a great idea to add an afternoon hour, to recenter after whatever’s come up during the day. Thanks so much for sharing your favorite ways to slow down. I hope you enjoy the showing cleansing!

  2. I REALLY need to eat more mindfully, Sandra! I was asking my body what it needed to heal as I was out walking today and it answered that I need to slow way down on eating, and chew a lot more than I am doing, eat less and even take less supplements. I was sort of surprised to “hear” what my body was saying, but it was a very powerful experience. I also have found a new massage therapist who is worth saving up for, I think. 🙂 . I did have some slowed down time because of a studio renovation, but I am going to really need to be mindful of how I get back into my normal life and let a few things go. Great post and I am still praying for your kitty <3 Love to you! <3

    • How wonderful that you are so tuned into your body. That saves money. And I love the synchronicity of its message with my post. 🙂 I hope you get to enjoy all the massage you deserve. Yes, those traditions from slow to more activity can be tricky. Good luck with that. Thanks for thinking of my kitty. He’s doing well at the moment because he’s on a medication that’s helping, but unfortunately it cannot be continued on a daily basis for more than a few days. It gives us clues though!!!! Much love to you.

  3. I absolutely love the energy self-care Sandra. I’ve been practicing it a bit more lately…not as much as I think would be beneficial and these ideas of yours are right up my alley. Hopefully your new practices will allow you greater repose in a life that’s definitely been challenging over the past few months.

    I’m planning on them bringing ever more joy into my days. Thank you for this gift. 🙂

    • Here’s to ever more joy, Elle! I’m completely open to that. I’m glad you like the ideas for energetic self-care. That’s big for me right now! Thanks for your love and support too. Life has been challenging, but I know this too will pass.

  4. Love these ideas, Sandra. I find that these days, I always have to intentionally slow down, build in breaks, and remember to be mindful and good to myself. It definitely helps.
    I used to get a massage about every other week. I haven’t had one in a long time. I think it’s time to schedule one! 🙂

    • Debbie, I’m so glad you used the word “intentionally” as intention is a big factor for me as well when it comes to slowing down. It’s so easy to get sucked into the vortex again and again. I love the ways you’ve found to be good to yourself. Yes, sounds like it’s time for a massage. Enjoy!

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