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5 Ways to Help Slow Your Life Down

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Although it is the middle of summer, if you are like me, you may be filling in your calendar for the holidays already. Activities, commitments, obligations…they never seem to end. At times it can feel a bit like a hamster must feel running around on that little wheel. This is not always a good thing, and maybe you are left wondering how to slow your life down.

I think there is such pressure put on parents these days. Pressure to start our kids in activities right out of the womb it seems.

I was just talking with another mom the other day about how ridiculous it can be that kids don’t seem like they can play sports just for the fun of it anymore. It is year-round this, travel team that, and if you don’t jump into the rat race with all of this your kid will be able to be on the team, but will never play because there will be no way that he or she will be able to keep up if he didn’t start throwing curve balls as a toddler like his peers.

The pressure to over schedule only gets magnified if you homeschool, at least among myself and my homeschooling friends, since everyone else is so concerned that our children will never be socialized without being involved in at least 12 things a year. Maybe not 12 exactly, but you get the point.

What if running on the hamster wheel doesn’t appeal to you, but you have found yourself on it for one reason or another? How do we jump out of the rat race? How do we keep our heads and our schedules from spinning out of control?

In examining how to do this in my own life, I have come up with these five steps to help me slow down. Maybe they will help you, slow your life down, too.

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Jump out of the rat race gradually

No need to be extreme here. The goal is not to do a 180 in the other direction, unless of course your goal is to take a sabbatical from everything. If you are simply looking for some moderation, step away from just one thing at a time. If this involves your kids, going slowly may be necessary.

Be prepared to go it alone

Don’t expect the support of your children if you are limiting things that may never have been limited before. If you have determined that this is what is best for your family, stand firm, but be prepared to catch some flack for it.

Set a good example

Pay attention to balancing things out, especially where your kids are involved. It can’t only be your kids who are making these changes.

Stay the course

Once you have gotten off the hamster wheel, don’t jump back on – at least not unintentionally. Change takes time, and if it feels awkward, especially at first, but just embrace the change for awhile. Hold back from doing what is familiar. Expect it to be hard to say “no” to things. When the next thing creeps up, especially if you are feeling pressed by others to say “yes”, if you have made a commitment to doing less, then do less regardless of how others are going to feel about it.

Adjust when necessary

Don’t be so firm in your commitment to doing less that you let things that really are good pass by, however, if you say “yes” to something new, you should make an adjustment for that by saying “no” to something you currently have scheduled.

For instance, our winter calendar is full…or as full as I want it to be. Recently, an opportunity for my oldest to take some private music lessons presented itself. This is an amazing opportunity, and it is one that we can’t really turn down since at this point, she is wanting to make a career in music. For this reason, both because of time and financial constraints, we decided to allow her to pursue that while taking out a second session of swimming lessons that I had scheduled for a couple of the younger kids.

If at all possible, find a compromise whenever adjustments need to be made. For example, with the swimming lessons for my younger ones, I decided to get them to the pool and work with them myself instead. They have the fundamentals, I can just build on those. I am an accomplished swimmer myself and can work with them on what they have.

Do you see what I mean by a compromise? Get creative, find an alternative, be open to new ideas to make things work.

If you have had enough keeping up with life at a dizzying pace, stepping back is never easy, but it can bring you some much needed equilibrium in your life. Following these five steps just may be the steps you need to make this a reality in your own life.

Are you looking for some help in getting your life organized in the New Year? Don’t forget to join us as we commit to Starting the New Year Right!

A couple of really great resources when it comes to time management are these books. They are some of my favorites:


Just Too Busy: Taking your Family on a Radical Sabbatical

Too Busy Not to Pray Study Guide: Slowing Down to Be With God

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