Stress | A Blog About Slowing Down
Recent circumstances have imposed limits on my availability and ability to fulfill both personal and professional duties. I use the word ‘imposed’ because it is, essentially, an imposition. It just is. Slowing down in order to hone in on priorities doesn’t sound like an imposition, it sounds sensible. But try it, and I promise, that for most people, it’s not so easy. Sensible – yes. But not easy.
The pace with which most of us have to contend is fast. That’s no big revelation. In order to keep up, compete, challenge one’s self and the like, a person has no choice but to operate at a fast pace, primarily because everyone else does. Nobody likes the feeling of falling short of responsibility or expectations, and not many people enjoy feeling left out. So we continue at the pace of everyone else in order to feel as though we’re satisfying the demands necessary for life to go on. My most used statement over the past couple of years? “I can’t relax until I send this email.”
And it’s true. If I feel as though things are left unfinished, it is difficult for me to rest. I’ve talked with a lot of people recently who feel the same way… in fact, the majority.
I hear a lot of colleagues and friends say that, when they go on vacation, it takes them three or more days to truly feel like they are on vacation. I’ve had the same feeling. And this, too, is true. Our metabolic system is working at a rate that doesn’t allow us to feel relaxed for 3 or more days. Sometimes, instead of a vacation, it takes an unwelcome event for us to slow down. I’ve been challenging myself to accept this fact with grace, and to allow a slower pace to enter the fold. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t feel foreign, but I’m also getting acquainted with it, and little by little, savoring it.
My challenge to you is to do it on your own and see what happens. I’m pretty relaxed and there’s quite a snowball effect from that (in a good way)… and my inbox is full of unopened emails.
Written by Ann Kellogg, MS, LPC