Slowing down has been an inevitable result of the recent coronavirus pandemic. This pandemic has turned our world inside out and upside down in a short window of time. Many of the worlds’ economies have come to a grinding halt. While essential workers in the medical, delivery, food, and water industries have remained busy many others have been told to stay at home to “flatten the curve” and save lives. The hope is staying at home will slow the transmission of the coronavirus so our hospital systems don’t become overwhelmed resulting in fewer deaths.
This drastic change to life as usual is akin to slamming on the brakes when cruising on the highway at full speed. Life as we knew it came to a grinding halt.
While I acknowledge the gravity of this situation is very serious, there is some silver lining in slowing down. I wanted to take the time to highlight some good news since the media these days are inundated with unpleasant news of all sorts.
Slowing Down Creates Space:
Slowing down gives us the gift of more time. When we have extra time on our hands we can enjoy the little things more. There is extra time to be spent with our loved ones. We might be able to enjoy quiet time to ourselves and afford the time to think. Also, we can think about our lives and who we want to be and how we want to be living going forward.
We can think about our dreams and goals and re-evaluate the way things are. With more time and space, we are able to consider things that we would not otherwise get the chance to while life is lived in the fast lane. It can be a good time to re-evaluate what we have been doing in the world, and the impact that we want to have in this life. This gives us a chance to optimize the effect that we have on people and the planet going forward.
Slowing Down Allows Us to Rest:
With some extra time on our hands we can sit back and take a breath. We can allow our bodies to rest. Maybe we are getting more sleep than usual. Or maybe we are getting a mental break from a stressful job. Either way, we may find that we are able to get more rest which can have a beneficial and relaxing effect on our mind, body, and spirit.
It Helps us to Process Our Emotions:
When you are constantly on the go, it is easy to shove aside uncomfortable emotions and not process them. In fact, our society encourages this type of behavior leaving little space for us to actually think about what we may be feeling. When we pause or take a break, we may find emotions bubbling up to the surface of our awareness that we previously didn’t know were there.
While it may not sound like a benefit at first, it is actually very healthy to allow these emotions to surface. You can deal with them as they come and process them by recognizing them, labeling them, journaling and writing your feelings down on paper.
Slowing Down Gives Us Space to Reconnect Spiritually
The gift of time allows us to reassess our life situation and to ask ourselves some deeper questions. Now is a great time to connect spiritually no matter your discipline or religion. Now is the time to pray, meditate, get out in nature if you are able to and to look at life with a bigger picture birds eye view.
We Have More Time to be Creative
What do we do with all of this time on our hands? Well maybe it is time to pursue a new passion or hobby or re-ignite a hobby that you have long ignored. More time gives us the space to be creative and add value to this world in a unique way that only you can do. Maybe it is a good time to learn a new language or another skill like playing an instrument.
Slowing Down has Helped the Planet
One good thing that has resulted due to world-wide stay at home orders and travel restrictions is a healthier planet. As you can imagine, with less cars on the road and fewer planes overhead, our impact on the planet in terms of pollution has been reduced. City skylines can be seen with very little smog, the air quality overall is much cleaner, and animals are starting to come into cities and towns where they previously had not been seen for generations due to human activity. Nature is showing us how quickly she can heal and recover with less human impact.
Suggestions for Slowing Down
- Take time to process your emotions or painful experiences from the past.
- Take a fresh look at what is going on in your world.
- Re-evaluate your long term and short term goals.
- Optimize your daily priorities with an organized list.
- Spend more quality time with the people you care about.
- Create or enhance a list of important people in your life to communicate with once a month with going forward.
- Try new recipes.
- Choose a topic of interest and do hours of research and learn about it
- Take up a useful activity that improves your life like gardening
- Take a look at your health and wellness, and maybe add things like yoga, nutrition, meditation and other fitness activities
- Practice self-care and self work, maybe starting with reading books like Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday which is perfect for this day and time.
- Contribute to a cause you care about.
- Take time to think about the kind of person that you want to be. Start treating other people in a way that’s consistent with the kind of person that you want to be.
- Think about ways that you can be more sustainable and lessen your impact on the environment. Start incorporating them in your every day life.
- Learn more about working online.