Does your life ever feel like endless routines?
Wash the laundry. Dry the laundry. Fold the laundry.
Make a grocery list. Go to grocery.
Put gas in the car.
Pay the bills.
You power through five days to complete your work week, but your routines follow you into your weekend. Soon enough it is Sunday night and you realize you spent your whole weekend with your chores, with your routines, and with your to-do lists.
Don’t get me wrong, routines have their benefits for sure. And chores need completed. But, if you take a look at your current life, and all it is are these routines and theses chores – then something needs re-evaluated.
HOW TO LITERALLY SLOW DOWN TIME
Did you know that you can literally slow down time?
Okay, yes, of course, there are always 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minutes in an hour.
Time may actually be objective, but our experience of time is subjective.
I know the old adage is “time flies when you are having fun” and time can feel slow when you are bored. This is true in a sense, but time can fly when you’re not having fun too. Even if my days at work are stressful and full of routines, work weeks still go by pretty fast. Even if they weren’t necessarily “fun.”
I am talking about something different. I am talking about when we are engaged in new experiences that completely immerse us… it is in these moments that time actually slows down.
Have you ever experienced this on a vacation? I remember taking a trip with friends to Colorado. The days felt so long and so full.
Why did the days feel this way? Because my mind wasn’t on autopilot. When you do the same thing over and over your mind doesn’t need to slow down to process anything. But when we live our life and our days in different ways, our brains take longer to process what is going on because it new, and in a very real sense, time slows down.
Why does time seem slower when we are kids, and seems to speed up once we are adults? This is exactly the reason. Our childhood was filled with all kinds of new and different experiences. But once we become adults, unfortunately, we often end up doing the exact same thing, the exact same routine, day after day, and then wonder how our life passed us by so quickly.
So we must do something new. The good news is, these changes don’t always have to be huge life altering changes. Which is really good news, because stability is quite important to me and maybe you too? I once had a year where I lived in three different states, four different cities, spent time with four different friend groups, and had seven different jobs/internships/volunteer positions all in one year. Needless to say, this was a very exciting year in which time “slowed down.” Also, needless to say, I was mentally unwell, burned out, and desperately yearned for some sense of stability.
So, I am not saying you have to drop all routines and all stability to slow down time. But you do have to do something different.
Here are just a few very simple ideas you can incorporate in your everyday life…
Go into work at a different time.
Go out for breakfast Saturday morning.
Go for a walk in nature.
Spend time with someone you don’t usually spend time with.
Do something very different than what you usually do on Friday night.
Volunteer one day a week somewhere new.
Go to a different church one weekend.
Take a new class.
Spend all of Sunday one weekend doing crafts instead of chores.
Make a really fancy dinner Saturday night.
Invite your friends over.
Invite your family over.
Shop at a different grocery store.
Take a different route home from work.
Re-arrange your living room.
Read a new book.
Get up later on the weekend than you usually do.
Get up earlier on the weekend than you usually do.
Try a new discipline in the morning – writing, reading, journaling, meditating, exercising.
HOW TO LIVE MORE FULLY
The point is, do one thing different! Anything! It will change your perspective. Your mind will not only slow down, but you will begin thinking differently.
Slowing our mind down, in turn, helps us live more fully. Our mind slows down and is more able to appreciate the little things.
When I tried going into work at a different time, I noticed that the sunrise stood out to me in a way it hadn’t before. I couldn’t even remember what the light was like when I drove to work usually. I had become too accustomed to it.
When I re-arranged my living room, every time I walked into the room I felt an appreciation I didn’t usually feel. I would think What a cozy little room..what a cozy little house we have.
Doing something different helps slow down our minds so we can appreciate the little joys in life that are often overlooked.
Doing something different also makes life feel more fresh, vibrant, and full. But, this can be misused. If you are in a committed relationship but feeling “bored,” it would not be my recommendation to move on to someone else for a sense of newness and excitement. However, I would recommend that you and your significant other engage in a new exciting adventure together.
Personally, I have struggled with feeling spiritually stagnant in recent years. I have a commitment to my faith. I attend a church whose values I very much agree with. But, something about attending the same church every week and hearing a similar message every week, has left me feeling stagnant. I have learned that I can stay committed to my church while also hearing a new perspective within my faith tradition from an outside voice. Whether I agree or disagree, hearing a different perspective helps me engage my faith in a new and different way. My mind is forced out of autopilot.
Hold on to your commitments while finding ways to engage and breathe new life into them.
EMBRACE THE NEW
Do you take cues from the past or the future?
I used to take all my cues from the past. If I was feeling sad, bored, or unengaged in my life I would look to the past when I was feeling better. What was I doing then? And how do I replicate it exactly?
I am not saying the past does not have good data to offer us. It does!
But, we can’t always take cues from the past. If we are always looking to the “good ol’ days” of the past, we will never experience the greatness the future has to offer us.
I mentioned lots of little things you can do to appreciate the small everyday moments a little bit more. But, if there are rumblings of bigger changes inside of you, do not ignore this!
Don’t force something that used to make you happy, make you feel happy now. You are growing. You are expanding. Let your life grow and expand with you. Don’t control your life to fit an old version of yourself. The old is passing and the new is becoming.
Do something new in your life!
I know that I have gained a lot from reading blog entries and I also know if I took the time and journaled about them for a few minutes they would affect me in an even deeper way and bring me to some truths I may have not come to otherwise. So if you have a few extra minutes and your journal handy…here you go!
1. Have you ever had the experience of “slowed down” time? When and why did you experience it? What was that feeling like?
2. Do you feel stuck in routines in your life right now? What small things could you do to have a new experience, “slow down time,” and engage in life more fully? Make a list of a few things you could commit to do in the upcoming week.
3. Are you taking cues from the past or the future? How could you let go of the “good ol’ days” and start living into the greatness of the future? Did anything specific pop into your mind when you read “Do something new in your life!”
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS!
Let me know if this entry helped you in any way, if you have any further questions, or if there is anything else you would be interested in learning related to this topic!
Also, I would love to hear how you have been able to slow down time, live more fully, and embrace newness!
Thanks for reading!