If you're a Type A person like I am, you probably feel like you're always on the go, whether that means crossing off your to-do list or attached to your phone / iPad / laptop - or maybe even all three at once! Hey, it's happened before!
And while you may feel like you don't suffer from emotional stress, the Type-A lifestyle in and of itself is a stressor.
Not sure what I mean? Let's take a look at a typical day:
5 am: Alarm goes off (or maybe you're the type of person who wakes up before the alarm)
5:10 am: Wash-up
5:15 am: Get dressed for your workout
5:20 am: Scarf down a banana
5:30 am: Out the door for a run or to the gym
7:00 am: Rush home and get ready for work
7:45 am: Hastily make a breakfast smoothie, pack your lunch bag, grab your computer bag, your handbag and any other "bag" you'll need for the day.
7:55 am: Out the door and on the road for a painful commute
8:00 am: Check your phone to catch up on emails while driving, or on the call for your first (of many) conference calls for the day.
9:00 am: You arrive at work for a full day of deadlines, meetings, and endless emails each one demanding something from you.
6:00 pm: Leave work for the other half of a painful commute
7:00 pm: Make dinner, chores, family time
10:00 pm: Bedtime
And you get to do it all again tomorrow!
What's missing from this all-too-common schedule?
How about some downtime with our loved ones?
There has never been an easier time to connect with someone, no matter where they are in the world. Yet most of us are disconnected from the people closest to us!
We have more apps and devices than ever to simplify our tasks and accomplish more - faster, yet our to-do lists have never been longer.
But here's the bottom line - life is short, and time flies, especially in today’s fast-paced world. If you don't take the time to slow down and enjoy the present moment, it will just pass you by.
But some of us are so wired always to be on the go; we just don't know how to do it!
Here are some tips to help you slow down, enjoy life and focus only on the important parts of your day:
1 | Make time to prioritize your daily objectives
By focusing on the most important tasks for the day, you can eliminate the hustle and stress of trying to accomplish everything at once.
Review your to-do list at the end of your day and pick three things (only 3!) that you need to get done tomorrow. Those three things are the only thing you focus on the next day. If you can get them done, anything else you can accomplish is just gravy!
Tip: The Productivity Planner is a useful tool to helping you learn how to do this I've been using it for more than over a year (and I'm not an affiliate - I just love their product).
2 | Cut personal internet use by half
Oooh, this is a juicy one!
Technology is a big element in most of our lives. It is in mine.
Social networking, email, Googling, Amazon shopping, keeping up with your maxed out amount of Words With Friends Games (oh, is that just me?) - it can occasionally cause our minds to lose focus and wander through hundreds of topics, thoughts, and ideas.
Try to reduce your online time and spend it exploring a new hobby, working out, meditating or connecting with people in real life.
An excellent way to do this is by closing all of your browser tabs and turning off all push notifications on your phone. I've been doing this for over a week now, and I can't begin to tell you how more productive I am! And the more productive I am, the quicker I get things done, and the more time I have to play!
3 | Enjoy nature
Use your newfound extra hours in the day to disconnect and take a break. Step outside, go for a walk or run and breathe in some fresh air.
4 | Eat slower
Do you speed through your meals? Many of us do, missing the chance to appreciate different textures and flavors of our food.
Start to chew foods slower. Not only will you begin to distinguish new tastes, aromas, and consistencies, but you'll also improve your digestion!
5 | Connect with family and friends
We all want to spend more time with close friends and family. But how often do we make the time for it?
Sure there's social media, and text messaging, but how often do we catch up while truly listening and connecting? Put away the cell phones, steer clear of noisy environments, and connect on a deeper level.
6 | Make time for yourself
Be honest, when did you last spend valuable time with yourself?
Designate a night on your calendar to read that book you've been putting off for months, take an Epsom salt bath or get a massage, watch a movie or simply do some restorative yoga and meditate. It will do wonders for your stress level!
7 | Give yourself more time
If you're like me, you tend to stick to a tight schedule and plan all of your daily events. Next time you’re adding new tasks to your to-do list, factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take.
I try to add everything to my Google calendar. It looks like a color-coded headache, but it's no big deal because I've added in extra time so I can take my time and don't feel rushed.
8 | Take the scenic route
The next time you’re on a road trip, whether it's across town or several hours away, take the scenic route. Driving through open fields, along the coast, through the mountains, or viewing a city skyline can be very relaxing.
9 | Sit for a minute with your eyes closed before you turn on your laptop
Even just a few moments of meditation can set the tone for the rest of your day. If you don't have time to do a formal meditation session before you start your day, try this tip instead. Empty your mind and take deep breaths before jumping into your day’s work.
10 | Remember your "why"
Each morning when you wake up, take a few moments to think about your life goals and aspirations. Recall the milestones you’ve already made in your life, and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for about five minutes before getting out of bed to start your day. It can be part of your "Early Morning Pages" practice.
If you don't take the time to slow down, manage your stress, get enough sleep and enjoy life, eating all the veggies in the world and exercising for hours every week won't matter.
I know, because I've been there. Yes, clean eating and exercising are essential, but it must be in the balance with everything else going on in the rest of your life.
If you feel tired, but are too wired to sleep, have low stamina and easily irritated, have chronic infections, experience low blood sugar and more, it's possible that your Type-A lifestyle is working against you.
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Hi, I'm Naomi!
I help smart and savvy women who suffer from chronic stress, unexplained weight gain and burnout, breakthrough their healthy blind spots and relieve symptoms through natural healing with whole foods and by making lifestyle and environmental changes. Why feel tired when you can feel fired up and ready to go every single day?
I love running outdoors, connecting with like-minded people, and exploring the San Francisco Bay Area with my pup, Coco Pop.