Sunset in a salt lake city neighborhood

Thoughts On How To Slow Down

I’ve talked a lot about seizing the day. That life should be lived to the absolute fullest. But with that,  comes a constant anxiety that I should constantly be making future plans to ensure that I am making use of all my time. But instead, I should be focusing on living my life instead of thinking about what’s going on in one day, two weeks, next month etc.

But why is this? Why do I feel pressured to constantly be doing things and thinking about exactly what I will be doing in the future.

I think a lot of it comes from the hustle culture of today. That you need a job, a side job, a hobby, a go-to exercise, etc. I feel inclined to always do the most extreme. Go on a huge hike. Take a weekend road trip packed full of activities. Workout, run errands, cook dinner, and write all within 3 hours after my 8- 4. I see so many people around me that have different hobbies, and I feel like I need to add those hobbies to my existing list.

Another portion of it is from social media. I always talk about how social media is motivating me to go be outside. But at the same time, I am realizing that it is motivating me almost too much. It’s giving me a goal that is way out of reach, so I feel defeated if I don’t head outside every single day. I see others posting amazing pictures outside every hour thanks to refreshing Instagram pages, and it can be very overwhelming.

The last part of it is just my personality. I can’t sit still. I want to be up and doing things and taking walks, and going on errands, and being outside. I am definitely a morning person, so I always want to make the most of daylight hours.

So what are some ways that I am trying to combat this pressure:

wine and crime logo
One of my favorite podcasts is Wine and Crime. They are absolutely hilarious, and I love listening to subjects outside the ski and outdoor space.

Listen to podcasts

It’s any easy way to learn things while driving, working, or walking. Listening to podcasts is a great way to have some individual time in your head without just being alone with your own thoughts. Plus, if you’re like me, reading a book is a little hard to do with a scattered brain. Check out a few of my favorite podcasts here.

Take walks

When I’m not in the mood to full on workout or take a hike, this is one of my favorite ways to get out of the house. For instance, I’ll walk to the store to run errands after work. Luckily, I’m able to live within walking distance of several thrift stores and grocery stores (even a liquor store). Plus, everyday, I walk a loop on my lunch break to take time away from the screen. It’s a great time to slow down, enjoy outside, and have some personal time.

camping with friends in the summer in southern utah
I went a lot of cool places this summer, and fun pictures like this help me go back and appreciate the things I’ve done. 

Take lots of pictures

I love Instagram. And mostly just taking pictures. It gives me a portal to a moment back in time. Looking back at pictures helps me realize that I have done a lot of amazing things, so it’s okay if I take one day off to just lay in bed and reset.

Furby costume and Ruth from GLOW costume
Me and my friend Tawni both love DIY projects, and we both made our costumes this year. It’s great to have other hobbies other than just hiking and skiing.

Find a hobby outside of your usual repertoire

If you look at my social media, all you see are pictures outside. This is the way I define myself to the social world, as well as to myself: an outdoorsy chick that doesn’t do much else but “adventure” and hike. But recently, I’ve been trying to find little projects I can do inside. By adding other dimensions to myself that aren’t outdoor-related, I won’t get frustrated when I am not doing outdoor-related activities. To me, this looks like cooking (hello, part-time plants), sewing, and writing (hello, #nacforadventure).

backflipping on a trampline
We had a little false winter with cold temps and no snow, so we headed to the trampoline park on a Thursday for a date night ($9 for an hour and it was perfect!)

Weekday warriors

I feel like weekend warrioring can be a easy rut to get into. Putting your head down and working during the weekdays, coming home, being lazy in the evenings, then once Friday at 5 hits, you go all out on the recreational activities. Lately, we’ve been trying to find events to during the M-F evenings. Bingo nights. Trivia. Comedy open mic nights. Yoga events. Trampoline parks. Escape rooms. Most of these are very affordable, and they are events that are easy to invite others to go along with. Best thing is that you don’t have to plan anything except texting people the time and place.

Sunset in a salt lake city neighborhood
Slow down and take in the earth around you. The neighborhood street (complete with trash cans) can actually be really beautiful.

Lastly, get yourself to slow down

This has been the hardest transition. I want to be going going going all the time. When I am driving to work, I tell myself out loud: “wow, this sunrise in amazing with the mountains right now. Or when I’m on my walks, I take a couple deep breaths and appreciate where I am at. After work, I give myself a couple minutes to just flop on the floor and lay down before running errands or chores.

Slowing down also helps when hanging with loved ones. With the holidays and many gatherings coming up, it’s important to be grateful for what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have or what is wrong.

Writing how I feel about this topic started all over the place, but honestly, it feels good to just get random thoughts out on the page. And I think that everything should be in moderation and life is all about balance (cliche… I know). Anyone else with me?

Til the next outdoor OR indoor adventure (just don’t feel pressured),

AJ

 

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s