practicing balance :: Slow Your Days
My baby will be one* in only a couple of short weeks. I'm feeling like time and days and years are whirling away from me, at an increasing speed. I want to grab hold of those moments - not to stop time, but to live within it, to appreciate it, to acknowledge it; rather than existing around it and constantly chasing time. I'm guessing this is something we all aim for, wish for….hope for.
I know we can't stop time; but we do have the mind power to slow time. I believe anyway. To be present and conscious is slowing time. To live inside time slows time. But how?
I'm working on this, slowly slowly. As a parent, as a creative artist and as a small business owner.
A few Slow Your Days tips ::
- When you have a baby or small children, don't fight the hard days. Give in to those days where they just need endless cuddles and lots of hands on active play. Pack away the jobs list, cause it ain't going to get done anyway, and you'll just end up feeling frustrated. Get down on their level, and play - really play with them.
- Go for a walk. Oh golly - this solves most any problem and hard day in our home. If baby won't sleep, or kids feel frustrated or I'm wound up I gather everyone up and out we go. It doesn't matter if you live in the forest or the city or near the beach. Just getting outside of your normal routine, slowing down and observing whats around you will help. Holding hands with little children, talking with them and noticing the things they show you. A half an hour walk will bring a feeling of fresh air and joy back into your home and help calm the crazy hour.
- A happy, well entertained baby will (theoretically, hopefully) sleep better. Spending time with little one should result in a decent nap which gives you quiet time for your own creative space or jobs list.
- Ask for help. With older kids, I think it's totally acceptable to expect them to contribute in a real way in the home. If you're working full or part time, and tending small children, running a business and trying to find time for your creative outlet - there isn't much time left for you and those beautiful cups of tea. Talk with the big kids about doing daily jobs - washing up, clearing the table, hanging washing, folding clothes, those every day jobs that the mamas tend to mostly end up doing. I think of it as training my kids for when they leave home. If I don't have to wash up every day, it gives me more time to spend doing other things, which in the end gives me more time to be with them.
- Journal - take small moments to write things down that you want to remember, or simply to get it out of your head.
- Remember the important things - step away from the computer or your device for just a little while.... look up at the sky, down at the grass, into your child's face, or your loved one's eyes.
- BREATHE - deeply, slowly, gently... right down into the bottom of your stomach, through your nose, not your mouth.
This one isn't easy - it's hard. Some days it's simpler to just do the job yourself; but in the end that won't help your kids learn. This is one of those ones that takes time, build it up slowly…. understand that some days you'll have to re-do their job, or they'll take four times longer than you, or you'll just have to do it on your own.
You will discover slowly, step by step, that you're finding moments to slip outside and breathe the evening air, or five minutes to sip your cup of tea while it's still warm. Those two things bring me more peace and calm, which carries through my whole day, than anything else. If you can manage a half hour yoga session yay for you. But five minutes with a cup of tea and the birds calling, and my family respecting my peace, me as a person - that slows my day immensely.
I'd love to hear your tips for slowing time, or finding time, making time….
* this post was originally published on my previous blog (which can now no longer be accessed) on 13th October 2015. My baby is now over 3.