“We are human beings, not human doings.” ~ Deepak Chopra

My friends it’s time for another love letter.  I write these letters to you out of love and care for your health. And when I talk about health and stress together I am always talking about both Emotional AND Physical health!

It is actually a dear friend of mine who prompted this letter. I won’t throw her under the bus by calling her out by name, but here’s how our conversation went:

HER: How was your day?

ME: It was good, a little traffic getting up the mountain (this was during my Asheville, NC trip), but it’s such a beautiful drive it didn’t matter.  How was your day?

HER: Unicorn Sticker

HER: LOL, it was good. Been going non-stop for days, but doing great.

ME: Cat Sticker

ME: Time to slow down my love.

HER: NOPE –  ☺

 

I hear it all the time from my clients, friends and neighbors… I can’t slow down!  

– To be fair, my friend did not say she “can’t.” –  But, I often find that once we delve into the topic, it’s really more that people “won’t” slow down.  And I think that is really what she was saying. She “won’t” slow down.

My new friend and collaborative wellness partner, Kelly George, from Still Soul Meditation Studio here in Charleston, SC ,  in a recent Skirt Magazine interview, hits the nail on the head when it comes to what is going on in our society today. To quote:

 

“Our bodies are in constant fight-versus-flight mode… We used to work and then we went home and we rested and recovered. Now, work is 24/7. There often is not time for the rest and recovery.”

I would hasten to add that so many of us, even when we are not working at a paid job, are still keeping ourselves overly busy – with kids, with volunteering, with partying, with physically exerting exercise.  All of which, while beneficial in their place, are physically exhausting! AND REQUIRE REST AND RECOVERY!

 

REST AND RECOVERY ARE REQUIRED

 

20 minutes of meditation gives your body the same amount of rest as a 60 minute nap!

Let me start with the example of exercise that requires a lot of physical exertion to underscore my point.  I often get a lot of push-back when I recommend to people that they need to replace part of their high-impact/ weight-lifting/ cardio routine with yoga and meditation.  They say, “but EVERYONE knows that exercise is one of the best things you can do for stress!”

Yes, that is true! The endorphins and adrenaline your brain receives from your endocrine system are great mood elevators! However, your brain also needs oxytocin and serotonin in order to even out your mood. These are the relaxation hormones that are so necessary to keep your stress under control.

Think of it this way, if you are lifting weights any good trainer or coach will recommend giving your muscles a rest and restore time. This allows the fibers in your muscles to repair, rebuild and strengthen. Check out this informative article on verywellfit.com for more on this. 

 

Kelly George goes on to discuss how meditation allows us, as human beings as opposed to human doings, allows us to rest and recover.  Just as our muscles need rest and recovery after a workout, so do our entire bodies throughout our busy days!

Did you know that 20 minutes of meditation equals the rest your body gets in a 60 minute nap???  

Our bodies NEED to rest and recover throughout our days.  Binge watching Netflix as you fall exhausted onto the couch at the end of a non-stop day is not the same thing as giving ourselves mindfulness breaks throughout the day.  Going Non-Stop for days, weeks and months on end is not giving your body what it needs to rest and recover!

It’s recipe for physical and emotional exhaustion.

 

YOU CAN’T SLOW DOWN?

If you looked at the title of this blog and your response was, “I truly can’t slow down!”   we need to talk about what needs to change in order to get you to the place where you say, “I CAN SLOW DOWN..”  

This is where you go to www.peacefullivingwellness.com and book your coaching consultation with me!  Okay, sorry, shameless promotion – LoL ☺

 

In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you started:

  1.  Pop your Helium Hand!  A woman in one of my groups used that term the other day. It’s perfect. Stop raising your hand like a balloon at every opportunity. Don’t fall down the guilt-infused rabbit hole of feeling like you have to do everything – YES, EVEN WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR KIDS!  

This does not mean that you can or should not volunteer for things. Just pick ONE thing. For example, I am the president of the middle school band boosters at my daughter’s school. This may sound like a big job. But, it’s really not. AND it gives me the opportunity to set a boundary with the high school band boosters and say, “no” to volunteering for them.

  1. Take Breaks! I know, I know, you don’t have time to take breaks… but, I assure you that if you take a 5 to 10 minute break every hour or two, your brain will pay you back by functioning more efficiently and productively.  For more on this subject check out my Breaking Busy blog.
  2. Eat 3 meals and 2 to 3 Snacks per day. Consistent nutrition is very important. Notice that I use the word nutrition.  It’s not only important that you take a break and eat on a regular basis, but it’s also important that you eat healthy foods.  

Now, here’s a little something different for you to chew on – get it? “chew on?” LOL – Sorry, pun humor… you don’t have to stick to low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, etc.  In fact, I am going to tell you that research on how our bodies use food as energy shows that WE NEED CARBS!!! But, no don’t indulge in processed white bread. Here’s your formula for stable blood sugar – e.g. sustained energy:

Protein + Whole Grain Carbohydrates = Sustained Energy

Taking a break to have a meal and/ or a snack also gives you the breaks you need to rest and restore your body.

Remember: EAT MINDFULLY

These are just a few of the things I cover in my coaching sessions.  But, they will get you started on your road to slowing down.

 

YOU WON’T SLOW DOWN

Okay, fair enough, you don’t want to.  What can I say… I can lead y’all to Peaceful Living, but I can’t make you practice it.

 

When you’re ready, give me a call ☺  

 

With Much Love & Light!

 

Jen

 

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