It seems that in our culture, life moves fast. Schedules are busy, days are full of activities, and family calendars can become so cluttered that it becomes overwhelming to try and fit everything in. My husband and I have a routine: every Sunday we look at our family calendar and discuss the activities of the following week. Is the schedule too overwhelming? Do we feel tired or too busy? Do we have time for each other and our daughters? I’d like to share a few steps we that we find helpful in slowing down our pace of life.
1. Learn to say no.
If you are someone who says ‘yes’ to people often, there can be a fear of disappointing the people in your life when you first start saying ‘no’. However, in order to really invest time in the people and activities we love, we first have to have the space and time to do that. Sometimes we even have to say no to good things in order to truly say yes to other important things in life.
2. Make space in your week for ‘nothing’.
It’s important to make sure every minute isn’t scheduled. For our family, that means having some evenings or weekend time that is just for us! Sometimes this happens naturally, but at times this space needs to be intentionally ‘booked’- blocking off an evening or Saturday afternoon to slow down!
It’s best to be aware of how much is going on to the calendar as it gets booked… is this an activity we really want to do? Does it add value to our life? Is it a priority? Remove the ‘excess’ in your life that is causing stress or unneeded busyness. It takes time, but with practice, we can learn to more quickly identify what is important.
4. Re-evaluate and let go.
We can easily fall in to habits and continue to do an activity/hobby even past the point that it adds value to life. Life changes, what we need changes, and it’s okay to realize when something doesn’t fit our lifestyle anymore.
Slow down and experience the benefits of having less ‘stuff’ in the calendar and more time to enjoy life.