I returned back from a couple of years of travelling in Jan 2017. I was chilled, living in the moment, resistant to cut off my travelling bracelets and give my hair a proper brush, and confused why all these Londoners were rushing around like mad just to tick things off a list. ‘Are these guys even having fun?’ I thought in my head.
Fast forward nearly 2 years and guess what? I’ve slowly merged into this same rushing stereotype. Whether I’m running late for something or not. Still rush rush rush.
I was determined it wouldn’t happen to me and thought I had the wisdom to avoid moulding into one of those rushing Londoners. Despite having the knowledge that rushing isn’t the best for health, happiness and you may be surprised to hear, productivity, I didn’t have the tool kit to stand back, recognise the rushing habits and choose not to become a rusher too.
The past 9 months or so I’ve begun to notice the toll of rushing on my body. The up and down adrenaline, the faster heart beat, the exhaustion (especially on Thursdays and Fridays), the shallow breathing, the overthinking and always thinking about what I think I should be doing when I’m doing something else. On top of this poor sleep (I get to sleep OK but wake up numerous times in the night- a sign of tired adrenal glands)…in combination this made me realise I NEED TO CHANGE THINGS.
As perfectly as timing could be, a friend told me she’d just read ‘The Rushing Woman Syndrome’ – a book my Aussie famous doctor Libby Weaver, all about what our crazy rushing society is doing to our bodies, female in particular. It completely changed my relationship with my body. I have learnt the importance now of rest, going easier on myself, breathing deeper whenever I remember and constantly working on reducing the stressors around me.
I’ve learnt that change takes time and I’m not there yet ( as of December 2018). I’m working on it but am confident I will become a low stress, minimal rushed individual in 2019…. Yes this is my no1 goal, my new years resolution!!
What I’ve learnt to do so far to reduce my rush that I hope will help you too:
1. Choose a yin style exercise to incorporate into your daily routine – even if this is just for 10 minutes. Yin refers to slower movements, where movement and breathing can be synchronised – for me this is slow yoga at home or yin yoga at a class. In the most simplest form a SLOW walk in the park listening to the sounds and looking at the trees is great too!
2. Meditation. This doesn’t have to be complex or involve sitting in a dark room for hours. I meditate using a guided meditation in bed every morning (apart from mornings where I have to get up before 6 am – for these mornings I do my meditation the night before). On weekends I meditate twice a day or days when I feel stressed/anxious meditation becomes number 1 on my to-do list.
3. Saying ‘no’ to more. I love my friends and am so fortunate to have amazing people around me. However, I want to give my friends my best energy and time when I see them. Therefore, aside from work events and things related to my yoga business, I socialise only really on weekends as this is when I have amazing energy and I don’t turn up hungover or from meeting another friend beforehand. My friends aren’t points on my to do list; they are my passion. Every evening my partner Sam and I spend 1 hour without our technology, being together and talking about things we are both passionate about. This I feel suffices me for my weekday socialisation
4. Eat slower- savour each mouthful. Really taste the food rather than wolfing it down.
5. Make lots of cups of tea. Something so therapeutic about making tea for others and others making tea for you. Enjoy the warmth of the cup on your hands.
6. Scheduling less. Selecting the 3 most important tasks of the day… maybe 4 and for the rest of the day creating more space for the less important tasks, creativity and passions. Since I’ve started doing this I’ve felt so much better about my to-do list. I used to schedule 20 ish things per day and literally by 3 pm I’d be exhausted. Instead, I cut out things which are nice to do’s but aren’t going to get me closer to my goal. In the space I’ve created I end up getting lots done, with more flexibility to focus on what I feel like doing at that point in time.
7. Massively reducing caffeine. Currently I’m not having coffee but have switched to green and other teas and lattes. I’m sure I’m not saying no to coffee forever but it’s definitely helping, especially for busy days. It honestly gets easier after a few days.
I’d love to hear what helps you to get away from the rush too xoxoxoxo