Life's a blur, but it doesn't have to be: 5 Tips for Slowing Down.
Hi beautiful humans,
I am SO sorry I've been a little MIA on the blog, but I'm here on this beautiful Saturday morning writing this hopefully decent blog post for your reading pleasure.
Alright, alright you caught me. I did not wake up early to write this blog post and instead wrote this post late last night while listening to the rain fall yet again (I swear New Haven never sees the sun) on a chilly fall New Haven evening.
This past week has been a massive blur- from a surprise trip into the city to see my Alpha Psi Omega (#theatrefrat) little Casey Martin Klein for his Off Broadway debut- to staff meetings, rehearsals, and production meetings.
Not to mention a *when did we get here* moment because it's November, which means some summer stocks are ALREADY posting job listings and it's been a hot minute since I have updated my resumé.
Which got me thinking.
We tend not to ever slow down in theatre.
We work six days of the week and so our "off day" is usually spent doing laundry, buying groceries, or cleaning the house. We are never comfortable- always looking for the next mountain to climb, to do list box to check off, or goal to accomplish. We rarely have a moment where we slow down and live in the moment.
I've gotten a lot better at this recently, but I was absolutely terrible at it in college. So bad at in fact, two of my best friends called me out. I was the assistant director on our MainStage musical Guys and Dolls and I was eating dinner with my friends Christina and Carson. After we finished eating I started gathering my trash to leave. Carson called me out saying, " Chels you aren't the SM on this show you don't have to get to rehearsal five hours early" (he was exaggerating).
It was in this moment I realized I was always rushing to get to the next thing. And when I had "extra" time to spare, I did not know what to do with myself. It honestly made me anxious because I was so used to always being on the move- it felt like I was forgetting something or something wasn't right.
Even though I still struggle with slowing down and stillness, I have gotten a lot better about not rushing through life.
Here are my Top Five Tips for Slowing Down:
Hi so remember when I said I was going to do a 30 day yoga challenge? Well I'm actually doing it. CRAZY RIGHT. It's been very difficult for this out of shape girl to do yoga every single day for thirteen days in a row now. But it's becoming a habit because I've forced myself to keep showing up (more on this later). However, yoga is one of my primary ways to slow down now. It forces you to shut off your brain from distraction, even if it's just for a few minutes of the day. Some days are easier than others and I still have trouble shutting off my brain, but hey I'm a work in progress.
2. Do nothing.
And by this I mean stay in bed for an entire morning (I did this on my last day off and it was beautiful). Take a bath. Light a candle. Put a face mask on and meditate. Even if it's for 10 minutes it's a good way to start slowing down.
3. Go for a walk.
While this isn't one of my go to activities as of late, it has been known to help clear my mind. Since I hate driving, I tend to prefer to walk to work when it is a sensible and safe option. While a lot of this time is spent talking with my Madre on the phone, sometimes I'll just enjoy the walk and the outside world for the few minutes I get to be outside. Peep some of these photos from my walk to work in Sacramento:
You don't have to be a blogger to write. I started actively journaling during my senior year of college for a voice class I was taking and fell in love with it. My favorite journaling style was "the dump method" aka literally writing whatever you wanted without overthinking it- no punctuation and no requirements. As someone who loves structure and organization I thought this would stress me out. But it turned out to be so helpful because I just got everything I was anxious about/overthinking out of my head and onto paper. While now I have a more public method of journaling, I still go back to the old pen and paper constantly because it helps me get my ideas and thoughts out.
I don't do this nearly as often as I should. Being plugged in all of the time means you are constantly cramming more and more information into your brain. Think about the times you are on your phone the most. Most likely they are when you first wake up and when you go to bed. These are CRUCIAL times for you to be either starting your day or unwinding after a long day. Give yourself this time to be off the clock. Disconnecting from the fast paced go-go-go attitude of this world around you is key to slowing down.
Slowing down is important because it helps you live in the moment. Worrying about the past or the future is unavoidable, but if you are so caught up in it you forget to enjoy the now. Life is a blur, but it doesn't have to be.
Much love always you beautiful humans,