the simplest way to make life less stressful

I’d say I’m a relatively competent individual. I’m saying this not at all to self-aggrandize but rather because it’s relevant to the the advice I plan to give in this post. So about me: I graduated college, have a masters’ degree, have kept a few steady jobs, pay bills, usually get places on time. I make mistakes like everyone but I’m pretty good at keeping track of belongings, going to required medical appointments, making my kids’ lunches, buying groceries.

But here’s the catch: I’m a slow mover. I don’t do things very quickly. For a long time, I didn’t like this about myself. I tried to speed myself up. I hurried. I cut corners. Until more recently, when I had a revelation. Or maybe I just reminded myself of some wisdom others have been sharing forever:

Life is a journey, not a destination.

In the past year or so, I’ve made a conscious decision to slow down. And this seemingly small choice, just deciding not to rush, has decreased stress in my life dramatically.

Stress is terrible for our well-being. And I’m convinced, for me at least, there’s a direct correlation between feeling rushed and feeling stressed. When I’m feeling pressed for time I snap at my kids. I forget things. My blood pressure rises. It’s just not good all-around.

So I started telling myself to just slow down. To take my time, as has always been my nature. To do this, of course, you have to allot extra time to do things or get places. So that’s just what I do. If I need to be somewhere at 9am and I know it takes 10 minutes to get there, I leave the house at 8:30. Sure, you could say I’m wasting time by getting there early, but is stopping to breath some fresh air or check my Instagram really time "wasted?”

Of course, I recognize, this isn’t always possible. People have places to be and things to do. But whenever possible, I give myself and my family a little extra time to do what we need to do or to get where we need to be, and I think we’re all happier and more relaxed when we take this approach.

Happy weekend all! I hope you all have a moment to slow down.

kidsMelissa Colonno