“To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive”
-Robert Louis Stevenson
Trying to slow down while living in South Korea is a bit of a struggle. While it’s impressive watching Korean women in six inch heels attaining speeds which would give Usain Bolt a run for his money, it doesn’t create an atmosphere conducive to just ambling along.
I often find myself striding along at a ridiculous pace. On the occasions when I catch myself doing it, I force myself to slow down. It’s rare that I’m actually in such a rush to get somewhere. This pressure that we sometimes feel to get places quickly or to do tasks faster is one we all need to be mindful of. Yes, there is a culture of quicker is better. I’m a BIG fan of hi-speed internet, speedy public transport and making my eyes water free-wheeling down big hills on my bicycle (not sure if that last one really counts). That said, slowing down and appreciating the now will lift stress off your shoulders that you might not realise is there.
1) Get Up Early
This will allow you to start the day right. I really enjoy being the first one up. I can sit in the morning quiet with a cup of tea and watch the world out of my window. I can muck about on the internet and I’ve always got plenty of time to get ready and fix myself a decent breakfast (never skip breakfast). Giving yourself just fifteen minutes to get up and out the door is just setting yourself up for failure.
2) Travel Under Your Own Steam
If you can cycle or walk to work, then do it. If you can walk to the shops, then do it. If it’s a reasonable distance, just give yourself the time you need to do it. Travelling using you-power will improve your health and save you money.
3) Unplug Your T.V.
In the U.K. you can watch pretty much everything the BBC does on it’s iplayer. A lot of channels allow you to watch whole programs for free on their websites. If you have a cable subscription, cancel it and use a service like itunes to watch what you want.
4) Schedule Free Time
Set aside a chunk of time in your schedule for you to do nothing. If you’re not comfortable doing nothing, try doing very little. Use the time to go for walk around a park, or sit and have a coffee while you watch the world go by.
5) Cook Your Own Food
Rather than ordering take out or just shoving something in the microwave, prepare a meal. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Boil some rice, steam some vegetables and grill some chicken breasts. You’ll know exactly what’s in your meal and it’ll taste better as a result. Just try it.
Do less now, and enjoy the benefits.
Let me know what you do to slow yourself down.