Practical Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Life

 
Slow Down and Enjoy Life
 

Slowing Down and Enjoying Life. 

Isn't that what so many of us want? In my last post, I had mentioned a camping trip that really changed my own perspective on how I was living my life. I was overwhelmed (in all the best ways) by the simplicity of living a present life. Being present requires us to slow down, savor the moment, and truly focus in on our loved ones, our friends, and God's fingerprints all around us. It's so easy to be distracted, living a fast-paced life. Our culture puts such a pressure on being busy, but busy isn't productive. Busy is just a distraction.

Related Post: A Few Reasons Why You Should Make Time For Slow Moments.

Have you ever noticed how you can look super busy but not actually get anything done? One of the most mind-boggling truths I've discovered in my short "slow life" journey is that you really accomplish the same amount of work whether you choose to be "busy" all the time or if you choose to slow down and enjoy the moment. The only difference, really, is whether you're going to approach life with a stressed out mind or one with peace. 

You see, I think when God created us, I don't think He intended for us to be so absorbed in busyness, productivity, and tasks that we forget to slow down and appreciate the beauty that He created all around us. I mean, He put 6 days of effort into all creation. Doesn't busyness just focus us on our own selves or one small part of life? What about all those other magnificent things He created. Shouldn't we notice those as well?

What about Him? The biggest benefit in a slower paced life is the ability to truly SEE Him. We see and appreciate His blessings. We see and appreciate His fingerprints over the world around us and the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in. Even the toughest of seasons aren't void of His presence, care, and love! How could slowing down and truly noticing Him change your perspective on your own life, faith, and worship?

In light of this whole conversation on slowing down, I think the biggest question so many of us would have (because it's been my biggest question) is "how?" I've spent so much of my life chasing after it rather than living it, that I do struggle with this whole idea of slowing down. What does it mean for me? What does it look like?

Here are some practical tips to intentionally slow down and enjoy the moment (and your life):

  • Sit down and enjoy a beverage. Hot or cold. Caffeinated or not. Whatever you choose, don't guzzle the beverage but savor it. {If you need to, guzzle that first cup and savor the second ;) }

  • Look for hobbies with delayed gratification: reading a book, crocheting/knitting, doing a puzzle, etc. I've begun working on a Christmas present (a crocheted blanket) for my husband. I appreciate how it makes me sit down and focus on one task. 

  • Go for a walk. Put your phone on do not disturb (or completely off or leave it at home altogether), grab a buddy, and go for a walk. Talk about your day, your dreams, or simply ponder what you would do with your life if you had no limits on funds. Enjoy the conversation, quality time, and the smell of fresh air!

  • Eat a mid-afternoon snack at the table with family. Laugh together as you tell knock knock jokes or embarrassing moments you’ve had along your life’s journey. (My kid’s favorite knock knock joke is “knock knock” who’s there? “Interrupting cow” “interrupting co-“MOOOOOOOOO!”)

  • Are you a parent? Get outside and play with your kids. One of my leaders would constantly remind us youth pastors to “play before you pray.” Meaning that you had to put in the work to earn the right to be able to pray with students. As parents, we can't be all business. Put the work in (play) before you have those meaningful conversations where your kid wants to tell you about their day or pray with them through a struggle (pray). 

  • Get outside! My bff loves hiking with his wife. Another friend likes exploring the nearby national parks. Still another friend loves to explore her local beaches. Something about getting outside and away from home responsibilities allows us to clear our minds and focus on the important people in our life WHILE taking in the beauty of God’s creation. My kids and I have been learning about Creation, it would be a shame to miss out on all the amazing effort God and value of all the things God created on each of the six days!

  • Lay in the grass and watch the clouds (or admire the stars). My six-year-old requested this of me recently. I was more amazed that out of everything he could have asked of me, he asked me to watch the clouds with him! 

  • Remember in times past when people (friends and family) used to sit on their front porches and mend clothes or ready food for preserving (like peas and green beans)? Invite a friend over for a delicious treat that you make together. If you and a friend knit/crochet, bring your projects to the front porch and chat while you work on them. Look for ways to slow down and just enjoy your friend’s company.

  • Snuggle. Whether you snuggle you spouse, your kids, or your pet make time to snuggle and focus on them. One thing my mom has long talked about as her favorite thing is how my siblings and I would come into her room, sit on her bed, eat candy with her and talked about the things that mattered to us. The idea of snuggling is very similar to what my mom appreciated— quality time. It’s time where we focus on someone else and give them our undivided attention. So stay in bed a little longer!

  • Take time to journal. Grab your favorite beverage, head over to a cozy spot, and write in your journal. Write the things you're thankful for. Write the things you notice when you've slowed down. 

Please note, the beauty of this list is that it's entirely incomplete! God created each of us to be individuals. My list might not be "you." My prayer is that this list would inspire you to think about the things YOU enjoy and how YOU best worship Him. Make your own list of ways that you'd best slow down and be present in your life. Then look at your day and pick one thing (or multiple things) from your list and do them. Enjoy how intentionally choosing to slow down completely changes your perspective on life!

Let's Discuss! Comment Below
How will you slow down and be present TODAY?