I don't know about you but for me, this time of year brings a certain amount of overwhelm.
The to-do list gets longer.
The bank balance gets lower.
The comparison gets stronger.
And the days seem to get shorter.
If I'm feeling like this then chances are you are too.
It got me thinking about just how much I need to find ways to include some slow the busyness, especially at this time of year.
So here are my favourite ways to add a little slow to your day or even just your week and why.
Go for a gentle walk
I love a gentle walk around the block without listening to anything but the birds and the wind.
I love a good podcast or a bangin' playlist just as much as the next person but have you ever gone for a walk with just you and your thoughts?
You'll be amazed at what amazing ideas or memories come up when you give them space to arrive.
And when I say gentle stroll, I mean it.
Don't track it on your Garmin.
Don't try to walk off yesterday's excess calories.
At whatever speed feels good.
Studies show that walking pushes your brain to release endorphins, which are known to help lighten your mood and build positive emotions throughout your body.
It's also free and doesn't need any additional equipment. Happy days.
Read a chapter
One of my great loves is reading.
But it wasn't always.
I'm guilty of calling myself a 'bad reader'.
Over time I realised I wasn't bad at it, it just wasn't something I'd ever prioritised.
Now, you'll always find a book on my nightstand.
You'll find a mixture of historical fiction, self-development and crime.
That's the best thing about books, there's something for everyone.
I try to read a chapter a night.
It's one daily habit to help improve my vocabulary and my sleep.
Reading is also known to reduce stress.
Sip a glass
Every night, while I'm cooking, I have a glass of wine.
I love cooking and enjoy pouring a glass of wine to sip while I'm cooking tea.
It's a wee ritual that I really enjoy.
Sometimes I also pop my favourite show on while I cook and the kids are happy doing their own thing.
I can remember tea time with little kids being quite overwhelming not so long ago and it's amazing how quickly the kids have grown and the 'Witching Hour' has become an hour of me-time.
*I drink any Central Otago Pinot Noir, just incase you're wondering 😘
Knit or crochet
You knew this one was coming.
I try to work some slowcraft into every part of my day.
My favourite time??
I know this might seem weird but if I find 20-30 minutes in the morning, I can go from feeling overwhelmed and stressed to realising that's what meant to find a way eventually will.
I'll make my coffee, spread my toast then head to my spot on the couch and get a few gentle rows in.
It's often a time that kids find me and chat about the most random but the most important things for them.
I find they feel way more comfortable chatting about the uncomfortable when we're not making eye contact.
And I am less prone to interrupt as my focus is half on my slowcraft while I'm listening.
So those are my favourite ways to tell the overwhelm to bugger off and to help put things in perspective.
I hope you feel a lovely sense of calm arrive when you allow some time to go a little slower, if it does, let me know by hitting reply.