Work Hard, Rest Harder: 3 Ways To Slow Down

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We live in a society that glorifies *busy*. There’s a weird sense of failure if your schedule is not packed from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep. There’s an inherent pressure to constantly be *doing* + *going*, to push your limits + to see exactly how much you can accomplish in 24 hours. It’s almost frowned upon to simply *do nothing*. But why?

It’s easy to think that we’re just living our lives to the fullest by filling each day with everything from meetings + workouts, to classes + projects, to work + social activities. But the truth [whether we like it or not ; )] is that this lifestyle + mentality are not healthy.

By relentlessly exhausting ourselves mentally, emotionally + physically — day in + day out — we’re really limiting ourselves from being the best, healthiest + happiest versions of ourselves. One of the many facts of life is that it’s hard to change habits. So if being on the go 24/7 is the essence of your daily routine, slowing down probably sounds impossible. But while it is challenging, the key point to remember is that it is absolutely necessary to your overall well-being.

There’s no doubt that sleep + rest are what recharge your mind + body. Getting your seven to eight hours of sleep will help you retain more information in your long-term memory. Rest days help your muscles heal + grow. Pushing yourself to your limits + into overdrive will catch up to you — you’re going to feel it. The fatigue, the sugar cravings + the hormonal imbalances will take their toll on you eventually. Long-term boosts in adrenaline + cortisol [the stress hormone] in your bloodstream can result in depression, weight gain + chronic fatigue. Ready to start slowing down yet? Here’s how:

1] SCHEDULE IT

If you’re like most busy people, you’ve probably got your entire year planned out already. Living a life of structure is absolutely a positive thing — so use it to your advantage when practicing the art of slowing your pace.

Treat your *rest time* as an item on your to-do list. If you don’t, you’ll end up pushing it to the back burner, leaving it as that one thing you’ll maybe get around to at the end of the day. But at the end of the day, after you’ve exhausted yourself with your obligations + responsibilities, you’re more likely to end up on your phone catching up on the tweets + Instagram posts you missed. You might be lying in bed, but your mind is still going. So, instead, try scheduling in some time to take it easy earlier in your day. Giving your mind a break in the midst of the chaos of your hectic schedule will re-energize you!

2] LEARN HOW TO SAY NO

It is entirely too easy to say yes these days. To want to take on more responsibilities, to want to *do it all*. We have become a society of *yes* women, + it’s time for us to learn the importance of being able to say *no*. It is completely okay to say no to a night out with your friends if you are feeling tired + opt for a solo movie night instead. Don’t feel obligated to participate in every social event if you aren’t feeling your best. If you’re swamped with school work + exams, it is completely okay to say no to taking on another task that week. It’s so important to remember that we’re all human + can’t possibly do everything [no matter how much we’d like to think we can ; )].

3] THINK OF YOURSELF AS A PRIORITY

The key to learning how to *slow down* is changing your thinking. Perspective is everything. Rather than focusing all of your energy + attention on the things you have to do, start focusing more on how you are feeling. Be a little more selfish. Be in tune with your body + mind, + be able to recognize when enough is enough. Know your limits + try not to push them too hard or too often. You are important + capable of doing amazing things — don’t hold yourself back from reaching your potential by overworking yourself unnecessarily! When you start thinking of yourself as a priority in your own life — above the exams, above the meetings + appointments, above all else — the *slowing down* will happen naturally. : )

++ Christina [@christi_inchaarg // OSU CHAARG]

+ Photography // Kaitlyn Bowman [@kaitb_inchaarg]

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