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Here's 9 strategies you can use for slowing down

9 times out of 10, you ask a woman how life has been and the answer is “busy”. Here, Anna offers her strategies for slowing down

9 times out of 10, you ask a woman how life has been and the answer is “busy”.

We wear busyness as if it’s a badge of honour, and our lives a series of accomplishments - with success being some elusive end goal more often than not tied to financial gain or life milestones achieved.

University, marriage, kids, mortgage.… you know the rhetoric.

Life is fast, and it’s only getting faster. One of the most common things I help my clients with in my coaching practice is learning how to slow down and enjoy life.

Which is a paradox, as they often come to me wanting and feeling as if they need to be doing “more”. 

But that’s just it - we actually need to be doing less. Less of what drains us to make room for more of what energises us, and lights us up.

Four years ago I was living a ‘busy’ life, working a corporate job with huge demands, playing indoor netball, studying part-time, filling my weekends , seeing my family - doing all of the things - and I burnt out. I found myself in A&E having a panic attack at the weight of the demands and pressure I’d put myself under.

That was a huge turning point for me, as I realised I was living a life out of integrity with who I was and how I was wired to function. My body was shutting down and my mental health was suffering. Now I coach women in the same boat, teaching them how to tune into their minds and bodies and slow down so they can actually enjoy their lives, not whittle through a series of achievements that aren’t actually making them happy.

No longer living up to the expectations that their parents, or socialisation has forced upon them.

 

My tips for slowing down:

 

Set an intention.

Most goals fail because the ‘why’ isn’t strong enough. Why do you want to slow down? Is it so you can optimise your fertility and become pregnant; start the family you’ve always wanted? Is it so you can finally create the space to start the business you’ve always dreamed of? Or is it simply so you can learn to love yourself deeply? Vague goals produce vague results, so get super clear on what you want and what achieving the goal will allow you to be, do or have.

 

Woman writing in journal

 

Know your boundaries.

What activities and commitments in your life are you doing that you don’t need to? What are you saying yes to that you don’t actually want to do? Do you need to fill every weekend with back-to-back social plans? Get radically honest with yourself and ask why you have filled every moment of your week. What is it about being with yourself that scares you? What are you avoiding? What is the story you’re telling yourself about having no plans? Is it that you’re lazy? That you won’t meet anyone staying at home? Drop the stories and think about everything you will GAIN from implementing white space.

 

Write a joy list.

Many of the women I work with have actually forgotten what joy feels like, and what activities actually bring them joy. (And if you’re not aware of what makes you feel good, you’re probably not going to prioritise it, right?) So we go right back to basics and make a ‘joy list’. This might include: throwing sticks in the ocean for my dog. The first sip of my morning coffee with the sun streaming on my face and birds chirping. An 80’s dance class. Wearing a colourful outfit. Sitting in the library with a book. Listening to Spotify and dancing around my room. Painting. All of these activities create a pleasurable response in the body and encourage us to slow down and savour the moment.

 

 Man and dog on beach catching ball

 

Schedule white space.

One of my favourite things is having white space in my diary where I have no clients, no plans, and it’s time where I decide how I will fill it. Sometimes that means I’ll do nothing at all, except laze on the couch and read a book, or watch a Netflix show, or go for a walk, or create new content for my business. I get a lot of my ideas and inspiration in this ‘white space’ and I highly recommend it - not only for peace of mind, but for clarity and creative inspiration.

 

Love yourself first.

The tips I’ve shared already provide a solid foundation for practicing deep self-love. When you love and honour yourself fully, you set the expectation for others to do the same. You become a magnet for it. The most important and impactful way I practice self-love is by saying no to things I don’t want to do or that don’t light me up. More often than not we say yes because we don’t want to seem mean or ungrateful. Boundaries aren’t mean or selfish; they’re necessary to build thriving relationships.


Self care isn't selfish sign

 

Honour your cycle.

I’m a firm believer in living in accordance with my menstrual cycle and honouring its rhythms. As women, our hormone profiles change every single day, yet most of us think we should be doing the same intensity of exercise every day, eating the same type and level of foods, and managing our time and schedules consistently, every day of the month. But this isn’t the best thing for us physiologically and can lead to hormone issues. So I really listen to my body and what it needs on a daily basis, and honour that. Bottom-line: women need to stop living like men. High intensity exercise and keto diets were created by men, for men and are only ever tested on men. Something isn’t right there…

 

So if you want to live more in tune with your intuition and experience greater inner harmony, less resistance and less anxiety - focus on slowing down.

Remove things from your life that don’t light you up - people, habits, beliefs, clothes, physical clutter. It all holds energy that either fuels you or drains you.

Looking for more information on keeping your body happy and healthy? We've got lots of great blogs and articles you can check out. Plus you can subscribe to our newsletter for articles in your inbox plus special offers, details on our upcoming events and the LiveFit Festival!

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About the author

Anna Squelch

Anna Squelch is a holistic life coach, speaker & voice of The Full Circle Podcast based in Auckland, New Zealand on a mission to help spiritually-inclined women do hard things, like put themselves first, say ‘no’ to people and raise a middle finger to society by choosing an uncommon - but wildly authentic - path.

She noticed a gap in the industry for coaches who taught the woo-woo, but in a grounded, no-fluff, easy to digest way, whilst having fun at the same time.

Anna is of the firm belief that we all carry trauma, and it’s this trauma or shadow work that is the most important journey we’ll ever embark on in order to reach our highest potential in this evolution.

Through her radically authentic approach to personal development, Anna leads online group and one-on-one programs, facilitates workshops in schools (teaching young girls all the things they actually need to learn - not just history and maths), and hosts live events and workshops.

Her mission is to teach people-pleasing women how to know, love and trust themselves so they can live their truth and amplify their relationships.

When she’s not inviting women to delve into the deepest corners of their souls, she loves hanging out with her dog Billie, travelling to destinations near and far and attempting to surf.

 

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