Easy Ways to Slow Down And Do Less

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
— Lin Yutang

In Summer time there is so much opportunity and invitations to run around and do more. It is easy to forget, that even when it is easy to be 'expansive' we still need to balance all the "doing" with some simply "being".


1. Hit the Pause Button with a Massage. Rest deeply with a bodywork or a massage session. (Essex county favorite Andrea Silk. NYC favorite Pratima Ayurveda Spa. Hoboken favorites Susanne Ziegler and Hoboken Acupuncture.) Or relax and take time to enjoy a healing self-massage in the morning or evening (abyanga). Learn how.

2. Savor your next meal. Extend the length of one meal a day, or even one meal a week. Even an extra 10-20 minutes per meal to sit afterwards will feel like freedom. Enjoy a mindful eating meditation today. 

3 Free your mind. Turn off the TV a half hour earlier before bed and take a bath or do a restorative pose (see below for sample poses). Or Really Free Your Mind. This one is for me personally. Shut off all your technology for 10-30 minutes a day, or once a week. Enjoy the freedom from answering the phone, email, text, ect. (or if you are brave, pick one day where you will not be involved in your technology!) 

4. Take a 1/2 or full day retreat at home. Do a little yoga, eat a lovely meal and go for a long stroll. Just meander. Walk slowly at a park and smell the air. Notice the sounds. Savor each step and all the scenery you pass. Or if your budget allows, get a way for a night and stay in an inspiring natural environment like the beach, country, or mountains (but I’ve even retreated to the hotel in the neighboring town before!) And if you have the time to enjoy a longer get a way retreat – come join me for a full pause next week at Kripalu (July 16-21) or put time away this winter and join me for Winter Renewal retreat at Kripalu, or at the new Retreat Center, 1440 Multiveristy, which is beautifully nestled in the California redwoods.

5. It's legal to say "no".  You don’t actually have to do everything, or take every invitation, just because you think you "should'. Protect a little extra time on your schedule and read a book, write a letter, take a nap, draw, listen to music or relax in some other way.

Abraham Lincoln gave some good recommendations:

“Do not worry; eat three square meals a day; say your prayers; be courteous to your creditors; keep your digestion good; exercise; go slow and easy. Maybe there are other things your special case requires to make you happy; but, my friend, these I recommend.”