Tips for slowing down

How to focus on what’s important.

Life moves pretty fast, especially when you are balancing kid duties, house duties, work duties and partner duties. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget to slow down and actually appreciate what’s important. I know I am guilty of doing this- finding that happy balance between all of the different things going on in your life is incredibly difficult and sometimes everything gets so blurred that you forget to actually enjoy what you have. So here are some ways to make every moment count that will hopefully help you bring some harmony back into your life: 

1. Play with your kids, every day, without any distractions
Even if it’s just for a half an hour at the end of the day, sit down on the floor and play Lego. Ignore the pile of washing. Get out the colouring books and colour in Elsa and Olaf. Head to the park with the soccer ball. Not only is it great for your kids, but also for you. I actually find that nothing calms me down after a long day quite like laying on the floor building Lego cities with my kids. 

2. Set a to-do list
Even if you don’t get through it, that’s okay. Setting a to-do list every day allows you to see what you have achieved and how productive you actually have been. It feels great to complete a task, even if it’s incredibly menial like paying a bill or fuelling up the car, and physically checking it off the list. 

3. Work with your most productive time during the day
Everyone has a certain time during the day that they are ‘on fire.’ For me this is in the morning after my first cup of coffee. But for others, it might be at night, in the middle of the day or after dinner. Use this productive time when your motivation levels are the highest to tackle your most intense jobs for the day. 

4. Really use your weekends as down time to recharge the batteries
Weekends are for relaxing but often our schedules are so jam packed with birthday parties, BBQs and social events that we don’t have a chance to relax. Furthermore, you may use your weekends to complete the tasks that you couldn’t get finished during the week which means you actually haven’t had a break at all. Set at least one afternoon or morning off every weekend to sit down, watch a movie with the family, take a bath or read a book. Your body and soul will feel so much better on Monday morning. 

5. Take fifteen minutes every day to do absolutely nothing
 And sitting on the toilet doesn’t count. You need fifteen minutes of peace, silence and solitude. It can be hard to find it but it is important that you do, even if this means waking up five minutes earlier every morning and taking another ten at night. Close your eyes and just relax. It will help you start your day right and also hopefully help you wind down at the end of the day. 

6. Turn your phone off
This is the trickiest one for me but switching off mentally means switching off socially as well. So eliminate screen time at night and set a time when the phone is shut off for the night. It can wait until the morning. Trust me. 

7. Make time for couples time
And, finally, don’t neglect your partner. I find that with work and my kids, that my relationship is the thing that gets put last. And it suffers because of it. I’m not saying you should put your partner before your kids but it is important to give them all fair attention. Even if you just set a half an hour every day to chat one on one with your partner, to discuss the day and to release the tension, this will help immensely in the long run. 

Time moves too fast. Blink and you may miss it. So take the time every day to look around, to kiss your kids, to talk to your partner, to look within and to really appreciate every little thing around you. It can be hard to slow down when life is so fast paced but give it a try. You will be glad that you did. 

Jody Allen - Stay At Home Mum

Hi everyone! My name is Jody Allen and I am the founder of Stay At Home Mum. I started Stay at Home Mum so I could share all the tips and hints on living simply. I really wanted to make ‘being frugal’ – cool. Stay at Home Mum is an Australia’s largest online mother’s group, providing a non-judgemental platform to relate our inner most thoughts.