Hustle mode. Our American culture praises the "rise and grind" ways of living. If you're not putting in the extra effort into your side hustle, working overtime at your job, or making your purpose or dream into a reality during your free time, then what the heck are your doing!? I understand the value of going the extra mile for a goal to come into fruition, but when can time be put aside for slow living?
Slow living has become a foreign concept now that the pandemic lockdown is slowing getting behind us. It is highly common for our friends or co-workers to explain their lack of slow living: "I've been up since 5am and I've had less then 4 hours of sleep all week" "I worked over the weekend," "I only ate a granola bar all day and a large coffee - I don't have enough time for a day off." It is also common for us to go: "No way! Me too," or say "Take care of yourself!" But aren't many of us guilty of overlooking our lack of slow living?
What are some way to pause hustle mode? Here are some suggestions:
1. Create something while listening to music.
I like cooking because it helps keep me grounded and present. My favorite thing is cooking breakfast early in the morning - the process of gathering the ingredients together, the pans and utensils necessary, all while listening to music (my morning preference is folk music) is therapeutic. Cooking something doesn't mean it has to be a complex recipe - it can be as simple as toast and jam. Creating can also be drawing something or making your favorite cup of coffee. As long as you take the time necessary to be present as you create!
2. Hike without electronics.
I understand going on a hike and wanting to take a picture of the beautiful scenery, but try hiking without a phone to take pictures of listen to music. Enjoy the natural sounds the Earth has to offer, greet other fellow hikers and pause to enjoy the view. It can also help to bring a friend along to enjoy each other's company!
3. Go on a bike ride
Riding your bike is beneficial to decreasing stress levels as well as improving your heart, lungs and body circulation. Going on a bike ride is excellent to have some mental clarity when one can feel overwhelmed with hustle mode.
4. Let yourself do "nothing"
By "nothing" I mean take an hour or two to let your mind reset by sitting in silence or laying in bed and feel your body rest. As overwhelming as it may seem to do nothing while you have a lot to do, there are benefits to doing "nothing!" According to SCL Health, "Being alone with our thoughts makes us long for a larger sense of purpose, prompting us to try challenging and meaningful activities that extend beyond our own lives." Food for thought!
5. Go out by yourself and enjoy the present.
Whether it's getting your usual cup of coffee or going on a walk, remind yourself to embrace every moment of it. I used to live in Portland, Oregon for a few months and it was a learning experience of getting to know myself as well as a fun adventure. In a point in time for me, I used to walk around the city, shop at the record stores, and enjoy the combination of Downtown Portland's city life culture and the serene view of the trees and green grass as the city would turn into suburbs. It didn't occur to me that this wasn't going to be my leisure time activity forever since I no longer live in Oregon. I admit, there were times when I took what I had around me for granted, lived more internally instead of externally, and didn't always stop to enjoy the abundance I had during that time. You never know when change comes into your life - enjoy what's in front of you.
It is important to work hard. Especially when you know that the results will be worth all the sacrifices made. Slow living is just as crucial and has many benefits once you notice the improvements within.
What do you do so pause hustle mode?
"People are so busy chasing happiness - if they would slow down and turn around, they would give it a chance to catch up with them." - Harold S. Kushner
Written by: Brenda Garfias-Guzman