16 Ways to Press Pause & Slow Down

This is a guest post by Loren Pinilis, who stumbled on my blog a few weeks ago and requested a guest post. Loren writes on time management and living a balanced life, all from a Christian perspective.

Go. Go. Go.

That seems to be the pace of modern life. Everything around us is telling us to go faster, do more, and try harder.

Taking extended breaks to rest and rejuvenate is essential. But you don’t have to wait until the weekend or until your next vacation to recharge.

With just a few minutes of intentional action, you can start today – even right now – to press pause, slow down, and relax. Here are 16 easy things you can do when you need to refresh yourself mentally and physically during your day.

1. Write an encouraging Email to someone.  A lot of people only hear complaints. Compliment someone on what they’re doing. It’ll lift your spirits and give you some perspective.

2. Wash your face. Try this one – it works. Cool water can refresh you when you’re hot, and warm water is very soothing when it’s cold.

3. Pray. Briefly give thanks to God or pray for strength and peace.

4. Stretch.  Get out of your chair and move around. There is loads of science out there that confirms the effectiveness of stretching, both physically and mentally.

5. Get a breath of fresh air. Step outside. Get out in the sunshine.

6. Have a snack. A light healthy snack does wonders to help you slow down, and gives you the energy needed for the next push.

7. Laugh. Watch a funny YouTube clip, or have a conversation with someone who makes you smile.

8. Think of a few things for which you’re grateful. Take a moment to count your blessings.

9. Breathe. It’s cliché for a reason – it works. Take a little while to breathe deeply and slowly.

10. Take off your shoes. Scrunch up your toes and rub your heels. This really does wonders if you’ve been on your feet all day.

11. Pay attention to your posture. Sit or stand up straight. Make sure your desk and chair are correctly positioned.

12. Drink some water. Don’t gulp. Sip on a cool, clean glassful.

13. Listen to a worship song. These do well to help you take a step back and regain an eternal perspective.

14. Get physical. A few jumping jacks or a brief walk around the office can refresh you immensely.

15. Unplug. Turn off your digital devices for an hour and do your most important work.

16. Get perspective on work. Remind yourself that your work is an opportunity and not a burden. Be grateful for the blessing of an income.

A few minutes later, you’re hopefully refreshed and ready to tackle life again.

What are some “tricks” you use to press pause and slow down?

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34 Comments on “16 Ways to Press Pause & Slow Down

  1. I pray. A lot. On Sundays, I generally try to avoid getting on my computer at all, but if I do, I at least avoid Facebook. I also try to get a song that I enjoy and know well, usually a worship song, stuck in my head before I head to work; that helps refocus and gives me something else to think about when I’m getting frustrated.
    Thanks for sharing these ideas!

    • Those are great things to do. I especially like the idea of getting a song in your head before you start your day. I’ve found that keeping music going, if it’s not distracting, can really affect my mood in a positive way throughout the day.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. I think that Capitalist America has totally pushed people to work in such a way that they forget to live. I will be practicing some of these techniques. Thanks for sharing.

    Raj H.

      • Loren,

        I do believe there is an inner drive to accomplish or at least survive. I believe are cultured has pushed us to believe we have to overachieve or we are worthless. I have been to so many countries where people are so laid back it’s almost unreal (not to say that the other extreme is good either). Any ways, as you said, slowing down is a very wise decision.

        Raj H.

  3. Thanks for the valuable tips! We get so busy in our lives that we forget that sometimes the easiest thing like taking a breath can help us get through a stressful moment!

  4. In true British fashion, when I’m getting too stressed with my work or I’m feeling like I’m not getting anywhere with my essays, I go downstairs and make a cup of tea. Works wonders!

  5. Good practical advice Loren.
    I just subscribed to your page via rss.

    I would add “read a short chapter of a mindless fiction book” to the list!

    • Thanks, Chris!
      I myself couldn’t read a chapter of fiction – it would only draw me in and frustrate me when I wanted to keep going, haha. But I could see that really helping you hit the pause button.

  6. I hear too much about good dedicated work no longer being appreciated; to take it slow and easy. We don’t fully live being zen most of the time. I need help organizing my day so I work smarter. I love this entry because each suggestion is small yet mighty.

  7. Very practical ways of refresh yourself. Everyone should (Needs) to take the time to take care of themselves. I have found reading allows me to slow down and be refreshed. It also gives me energy and motivated me. Great post Loren!!!

  8. This is great. And very practical, especially now that days seem to go by too fast.

    Personally, I unwind through reading first after I come home from school, before I begin any of my school work and whatever. It really helps clear my mind this way…

    Plus, sleep is good.

    • A little cat nap can go a long way. I’ve never been able to get the hang of that – I always get sleepier and want to nap for a few hours. I’m jealous of those that can take “power naps” and quickly get rejuvenated. 🙂

  9. Awesome, simple list.

    My favorites, personally, are laugh – just finding humor in things, having a more light-hearted attitude does wonders for getting rid of that “busy” feeling. And being grateful & praying go hand and hand… that gives me a slowed down, relaxed feeling immediately 🙂

  10. Pingback: Highlight (12.17) | Entreprelife

  11. Love the advice. One thing I do is leave the car stereo off on the drive to work, and use that time as time to pray or reflect on the previous day, just some time without the noises and distractions going on all the time.

  12. Another mindblowing post Tom! Loved it. Thank you so much for sharing such a pinup list 🙂 Merry Christmas and happy new year to you!

  13. Pingback: 12 Simple Steps to a Simple Life | writersfield

  14. Pingback: Relax by Changing Your Definition of Success | Life of a Steward

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