How to Slow Down When You Have To Speed Up
This past week was a little insane. I have been on a planning committee for a big event in town for months, and this past week was go time. Though my role in the whole thing was small, adding something like that into an already busy life schedule can take its toll.
This week I was able to really test how effective my self-care practices are. That how keeping your body and mind maintained on a regular basis can help you have the coping mechanisms needed when its time to hustle.
For those times in life when you have to pull all-nighters, remind yourself to eat, and are running around like a crazy person for hours on end, here are some tips for staying in the moment, taking good care, and slowing down while you hustle.
Slow Down And Breathe
Yes, yes, I do talk about breathwork a lot. Yes, I do think healthy breathing is the solution to all of life’s problems. But seriously. Slowing down your breath will slow down all of the other systems in your body that are being freaked out by stress.
You can still be doing all of the tasks you need to do. And to the untrained eye you may look like the same busy crazy person, but on the inside you have a slow and grounded breath powering you through each movement and task.
A few breathing techniques:
Breathe in and out through your nose. If you really need to, you can exhale through your mouth with a heavier breath, but if you can’t keep it moving through the nose, you are moving to fast.
Keep the breath in the belly. Fill the belly with air first and then expand your lungs and chest outward. The muscles used with this breath are your primary breathing muscles and should be treated as such. Not your neck and shoulders and pec muscles.
Use the exhale to release any muscle tension and negative energy happening either within yourself or with those you are working with.
And no, I’m not talking about energy drinks, coffee, and donuts someone brought to you to liven the mood. Food is fuel and we need to treat it that way. And during stressful and busy times, it’s even more important than in everyday life. Give your body the tools it needs to be successful.
Have a powered green drink handy to make at any time. Carry healthy snacks in your bag. Order food to be delivered at a specific time so it can arrive without you thinking about it. And once it does, you will be reminded to eat. Prepare food and snacks the night before. Have it all ready to go so you don’t have to think about it in the morning.
Set a timer on your phone or wherever to be reminded to check in with yourself. How are you doing? Take some deep breaths. Do you need water/food/a bathroom? It only needs to take 30 seconds to a minute. But doing this can really help you with your endurance on those marathon days. These mini-breaks can give you just the oomph you need to keep going.
It can also tune you into anything going wrong in the body if you have been pushing yourself too hard. Allow your adrenaline to calm down so you can tune in and act accordingly. This can prevent injuries, muscle pain, heart attacks (not kidding on this one), and all other sorts of ailments.
Stand Up For Your Needs
For whatever reason, it has become almost shameful to take time for yourself, especially in the middle of a very demanding project or event. But when people are maxed out and overworked, that is when things can go wrong and tensions can arise.
If you need to check out for a moment, do it. Find a wise time to do so because I know during some things there is very little time to do so, but do it. Figure it out in a way that works for you. Things will get done. Others can step in. People might be upset, but they can deal with it and are probably just mad that they aren’t standing up for their own selves.
And if you are one of those people that needs permission to do anything, I give you permission to take 5 or 10 min to take care of yourself during a busy project.
The reason I take the time for this blog is to spread the self-care love so that when poop hits the fan, you can be in the best state ever to deal with it. That daily maintenance of yourself is best. But if you haven’t been doing it, start applying these tips NOW! And then when life normalizes you can start building yourself up for the next busy time.
Also, when scheduling your next crazy season, schedule in some recoup time. Communicate to whomever you need to make sure that you have a day or even just a few hours to recover, sleep, eat, take a bath, whatever it is that you need.