Today is my first day “back” after a month off of Instagram. This post is definitely not about that experience (I’m still processing that), but it’s related to much of what I’ve felt being off of social media. Anyone else have a hard time slowing down? Like even when you try to take a break, you’re still multi-tasking or thinking about a million things or feeling guilty for trying to slow down. Taking a month off of social media made me more aware of my behaviors, impulses and feelings. And I also noticed over time I felt less pressure to go, go, go.
On Slowing Down
It feels like I blinked and it’s August 1st. There’s less than a month of summer left (not technical summer but before school starts summer). I’ve probably been more present in my day to day life this summer than I have in years (embarrassed to admit that). Not only have I been off of social media but I’ve made an effort to slow down. It’s not easy. Society will tell you if you’re slowing down, you’re falling behind. You have to hustle. Multi-task. Don’t miss out. Even having fun turns into a rush to fit it all in.
And it makes sense. We live in a country that runs on capitalism, with no guaranteed paid sick leave, no paid vacation, no paid maternity leave, and no universal healthcare. How can anyone focus on slowing down when our society is telling us to hurry up. “No days off,” right?
Truth be told it wasn’t until I slowed down that I noticed all the things I was missing out on. The little details, the seemingly mundane. The stillness and the quiet. It also wasn’t until I slowed down that I realized how tired my mind has been. In slowing down I found clarity, boredom, curiosity, connection, and even fear. Who am I and what is my worth if I’m not doing or creating something?
Slowing down is a practice and one that takes effort. I am still unlearning the idea that I must always be busy, working, productive. But if there’s one thing I’ve noticed over the last month it’s that time goes by fast no matter what we do with it. At whatever pace it goes, slowing down can be time well spent.
Quotes on Slowing Down
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”Mahatma Gandhi
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”Lao Tzu
“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
“We may feel productive when we’re constantly switching between things, constantly doing something, but in all honesty, we’re not. We’re just distracted.”Leo Babauta