Lockdown Tip: Intentionally Slow Down

That’s my personal tip today, and one I am implementing while being in lockdown and working remotely. Apparently a sabbatical does not take into account pandemics and lockdowns 🙂

Last night an absolute gift came across my FaceBook feed. A live video of someone playing the piano while this mesmerising electronic visual just swirled in and out, dots, colours, like a river of pixels. I had to just stop, listen and watch the dots move. It was a gift. Here’s the science as to why we need to slow down right now.
Your brain is processing a lot of information and making micro and macro decisions on the go. And it has been doing so for the last 18 months. The new way of watching news is to be ready for immediate action. How many cases, which variant, what do the new health orders mean, what can we and can’t do. If you have family members with you, they will have a variety of opinions about what is or is not allowed. You are calculating whether to give in to the hoarding effect (don’t!) and if you don’t, how to shop for next week. In this state of constant alert and processing, your brain is tiring. Picture those mental cogs going around and around the whole time.
You will start to get tired, more rigid and inflexible, less able to tolerate others, and more anxious.
So – slow down. You are going to probably wade through the day doing much less than what you were able to do. That is A-OK. Head for some really basic and routine things. It’s not a laughing matter to knead some dough (not to learn new COVID skills, but just to slow down), paint something, smell a rose or two…
Here’s what I have got going, join me:
1. Literally I have roses purchased with the weekly grocery shop. They sit on my desk so I can periodically gaze, touch and smell them
2. I have a paint by numbers piece going at the dining table, often joined by another family member
3. I am making my tea much slower, and brewing on the stove top. Chai ….. get those smells swirling in the home
4. Both my car and home have got nature sound playlists going
5. I am getting out of bed slower. Staying in my pyjamas and sitting up in bed for that extra 15 minutes just breathing
Do you have anything to add?
Hey – take it easy, take it slow.

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