Mental Health

7 Practical Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Life

Write down how you feel

I chose to start with this one, because how often do we really take the time to check in with ourselves? I think it is important that at least once a day, you take a few minutes to ask yourself, “How am I REALLY doing?” Part of the journey of healing trauma and negative emotions is first addressing them, then doing the work to process through them. We cannot practice healing if we never acknowledge what we need to heal from in the first place. 


Taking a few minutes out of the day to breathe is essential, especially if you have a stressful occupation or jam-packed day. Even if you don’t have enough time to just sit and relax for a minute, there are breathing exercises you can do at any time to help bring about calm and peace over an anxious heart.

One I love is the square breathing exercise:

  • Breathe in through your noise for 4 counts
  • Hold for 4 counts
  • Exhale through the mouth for 4 counts
  • Hold for 4 counts
  • Repeat a few times, then tune into how you feel

Enjoy a good meal & stay hydrated

This is a delicious addition to your routine. Simply taking the time to sit, drink water, mindfully chew your food, and enjoy what you are consuming. A lot of times when our schedules are busy we rush through lunch or scarf down dinner to where we do not actually enjoy the act of eating–instead it becomes a chore. It is important to enjoy food mindfully so that it is enjoyable for you and it digests well. 

De-clutter your space

There is nothing like a clean space to bring about productivity, clarity, and peace of mind. It can be easy to let the space you spend most of your time in become disorganized. However, setting time aside to rectify that can bring your space back to a place of calm enjoyment.

Make a gratitude list

We all have bad days right? Sometimes life can feel like it is moving in the wrong direction. However, we all have something to be grateful for at the end of the day. I find that making a gratitude list before bed not only declutters my mind from what may have been a horrible day, but also helps me refocus on the the things going well–this can be so refreshing.  

Move your body

This one is important, establishing a movement routine is essential for the health of our bodies and mind. Our limbs crave endorphins and the positive energy that exudes from exercising. Not only can lack of movement be detrimental for our health, but it can also wreak havoc on the mind. Try moving your body for at least 20 minutes a day, and I guarantee you will see a huge difference within yourself.

Make time for yourself 

Finding time for ourselves can be hard in a society constantly on the go. But we cannot forget to take care of ourselves and give our bodies the rest they need weekly. Even if only for 15 minutes, treat yourself to some self- care. Examples include: going for a walk, a warm bath, yoga, getting a massage, getting your nails done, reading a book, or even taking a nap. Making sure to carve out time for just you and loving yourself in the process.


If you liked this piece, be sure to check out They Say I’m Selfish

by kaylajonesxo

Kayla Jones is a writer and speaker located in Dallas, TX. There, she resides with her wonderful husband.

Her writing topics consist of wellness, personal development, spiritual devotion, and poetry. She has been featured among many online platforms and organizations such as; Black and Well, Radiant Magazine, Faithfully His Daughters, and We Are Unveiled.

She is dedicated to changing the world through her creative writing and knowledge of wellness from a holistic perspective. Her long-term goal is to be a full-time freelancer so she may serve as an encourager to help others achieve their aspirations and health goals. She currently travels teaching workshops to women and young girls on the importance of body image, nutrition, and female empowerment.


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