Slowing Down A Fast-Paced Mind

by Brittany on February 17, 2012

Happy Friday!

As a pure bred Miami girl at heart (minus the part about having a single Hispanic bone in my body) the “fast + efficient” gene has been instilled deeeeep down in my bones. Although I do my best to appreciate life and the little things on a daily basis, I often get caught up in my to-do lists, tasks, and priorities, and try to git ‘er done as quick and painlessly as possible.

Although this sounds like a blessing in disguise because of my ability to multitask and prioritize like nobody’s biznass, it can also be a major downfall. You see, even though I consider myself efficient with goals and things that I need to knock out of the way, my to-do list is also never-ending. No matter how much I jam pack into my day, I will ALWAYS find more to do. Fact.

Luckily, in the past few months I have become extremely aware of this trait of mine, so have in turn made a conscious effort to take days off (ahem, today) and not rush myself through objectives.

Task #1: Savoring breakfast this morning :D

oatmeal pancake

I woke up with my heart set on turkey bacon, but after realizing that my stash had run out, I scrolled through my recipe page in search for the next best thing. One of my wheat-free vegan oat pancakes was the breakfast of choice, which I topped with a freshly sliced peach, coconut butter, and chia seeds.

peach and coconut butter

Good news! The coconut butter was ACTUALLY already melted at room temperature when I peeked into the jar. This meant there was less of a chance that I would burn it in the microwave 8)

After breakfast, I decided to conduct a Google search and investigate ways that I could learn to slow down my fast-paced nature, and start to appreciate the quality of my daily objectives rather than the quantity of them. Here are the pointers I came across:

slow down a fast-paced mind

  1. Get lost in a good book
  2. Put space between tasks & appointments
  3. Meditate each day
  4. Express gratitude
  5. Don’t use instant coffee (Already got this one down ;) )
  6. Eat at a new restaurant
  7. Take a walk by yourself
  8. Eat slower
  9. Drive slower
  10. Single-task, don’t multi-task
  11. Focus on people rather than things or technology
  12. Learn a new skill
  13. Take an extra-long bath
  14. Learn to say “no”
  15. Pamper yourself

I love a lot of these ideas, especially the ones regarding dedicating time to spend with myself. Maybe it’s time that I took a nice long walk outside…

slow down popcorn

A bit to think about: Do you consider yourself “fast-paced”, “slow-paced”, or in the middle?

Do you have anything to add to the list?

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire @ Live and Love to Eat February 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

My dog is the perfect example of being slow-paced… she relaxes all day, gets genuinely excited about things that matter to her (when we come home, when she gets to eat), and only freaks out once in a while (ie, when the mailman comes). ;)
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chelcie @ chelcie's food files February 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

I am definitely a fast paced person! I think its good every now in then to take a breath and “enjoy the ride” so they say haha
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Miz February 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

I focus on this daily too.
slowing down.
savoring.
letting the stuffs which are NOT really important just pass.me.by.
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Faith @ For the Health of It February 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

Thank you SO much for these awesome tips! I’m a very fast-paced person, and it makes me rush through things (and often mess them up in the process). I ended up with the nickname Hurricane Faith because of the trait! While I do feel proud of my plunge-ahead nature at certain times (like when things absolutely have to get done), it can be SUPER stressful day-to-day. I’m really trying to slow things down, and one of my favorite ways is just to crawl in bed early on a weeknight, light a candle and read a book (a real book, not a magazine that I can skip through and be done with in 20 minutes)…so relaxing and helps get my mind to just ease up a little bit!

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Faith @ For the Health of It February 17, 2012 at 8:58 am

Alternate-nostril breathing also helps a lot! It’s a technique I picked up in yoga (and I know it sounds super hippy-dippy-crazy) but seriously, it works, and you can do it super subtly at your desk/in the car/etc with awesome results!

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Brittany February 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Thank YOU for the tips! We sound very much the same!
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Heather February 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

I’m like you–being in school there is ALWAYS something I can be doing and I really have little free time right now. But…when I do allow myself to relax, I usually will take that nice hot bath, take a quick nap with my chihuahua, or even just watch an episode or two of television to zone out.

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Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life February 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

I am definitely fast paced! Even when I am trying to zone out or fall asleep, my mind is constantly moving a mile a minute my favorite way to slow down is baking, watching a movie, or even taking a short nap!
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Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups February 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

I always try to slow down but I feel like I’m always go go go! There’s always something that needs to be done!
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Molly February 17, 2012 at 9:20 am

i definitely consider myself fast paced!
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Kat February 17, 2012 at 9:22 am

man I am sooo slow paced, UNLESS there are plans or people coming over, then Im buzzing around nonstop like a bee. But for the most part, after everything on my list is handled, I can relax and just take it slow no problem!
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Brittany February 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Gah, you lucky girl! You’re one of the few haha
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Sarah February 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

oh goodness I do this too. Loving the list – it always feels sooo good to slow down some days
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Christina February 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

Yea I’m definately a fast paced person. I’m almost always multitasking. With school, there is always something I need to be doing. To chill out though, I actually add it to my to do lists. I will schedule sometimes just an hour where I do whatever I want. I read a little, watch a little tv, take a bubble bath, or take the hounds out for a walk. Every now and then, I’m lucky enough to get a whole day off. But it’s definately an important thing to take a little time to chill out. Take Popcorn for a little stroll!

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Theresa February 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

i am so fast paced and sometimes I actually find it hard to relax…I always feel like I need to be doing SOMETHING! I dont know why that is but i’ve definitely been trying to just take some me time and let myself unwind and relax at times..always easier said then done!
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Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles February 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

Those are all such great tips! While I’m at work, I am constantly doing 1,000 things at the same time so I’m pretty face paced but while at home, I can take the slower pace but I need to get lost in a good book for sure!!! :)

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Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health February 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

Ooo I love this. I definitely need to learn to slow down sometimes! I may feel like I’m relaxing but even then I tend to do multiple things at once. I need to do more of the ones that focus on myself!
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Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud! February 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

I am def a fast paced all over the place person! it doesnt help that i have a super short attention span and get distracted easily either!
I love all the tips!
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Liz @ Southern Charm February 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

I’m VERY face paced and agree with all of your tips!

One thing I’d add is to breathe slowly and often … breathe in for 10, hold in the air for 10 and breathe out for 10. Repeat 3-4 times every few hours or so. My doc recommended this and I’ve noticed a difference!
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Brittany February 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Thanks Liz!
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Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine February 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

I’m a very energetic read:anxious person. I find the best way to slow down is to focus on my breathing for a few minutes. It really helps.
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Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

I am SO fast paced. Gotta slow down too……. :) I def eat slow, which helps, but I nEED to stop multi-tasking!!
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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy February 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I’m a fast-paced person…there’s always something on my mental to-do list. I work in technology, so my brain is trained to think this way. It’s not good for me…I need to let myself relax :/.
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Mattie @ Comfy and Confident February 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Such a good idea! I need to slow down sometimes and just relax. A lot of time I think I am relaxing and instead I am making a list in my head of everything I need to do.
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Erica @ For the Sake of Cake February 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I’m definitely more fast-passed! I need to learn how to slow down sometimes; those are great tips.
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Linz @ Itz Linz February 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm

slow paced. :) i’m on my own schedule as my husband likes to tell me. :)
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Allie Q February 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm

You should check out zenhabits.com.
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Brittany February 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I’m on my way! Thanks Allie
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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries February 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm

ah yes, this post is just what i need to hear. i’m totally a fast paced person, so i need to force myself to slow down sometimes. i’ve definitely gotten better at it within the past year or so, but my type a personality will probably always shine through! ;)
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Rach February 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Ooh, I need to get lost in a good book sometime soon. :)
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Tracy @ Tracy's Treats February 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Like you, I’m constantly finding things to do and adding stuff to my to-do list! It’s usually a good thing, and it’s made me successful, but you’re right – it can be overwhelming sometimes! I try to let myself completely unwind over the weekend by sleeping in (at least for my standards :-)), taking time to cook, and spending time with friends!
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Julia {girls with a stethoscope} February 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm

This is an awesome post – especially for me! I am always on the go and running like 1,000 miles per hour and I dont really take the time to slow down and just relax. These tips are all really good and I will def make a conscious effort to just slow down.
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Brittany February 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I can only imagine with your schedule how busy you are! This is something we both will work on :)
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Rebecca February 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I’m definitely pretty fast-paced. I have a friend who likes to remind me that I walk really fast. I like to get things done quickly. I multi-task too much, probably…
I do chill out by walking most days, though! If I walk to class, especially when it’s kind of chilly out in the mornings, I’ve found it wakes me up more, which is kinda good.
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Kristen @ notsodomesticated February 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I’m fast paced the majority of the time. It’s funny because I think I WANT to slow down and just chill out, but then I still end up finding random things to do around the house. Or I pick up my computer. Bad habit!
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Emily February 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm

These tips are amazing! I have such a fast-paced mind, sometimes I wish I could just turn it off for a while. Wouldn’t that be nice?
But, it’s definitely a blessing as well. It allows me to stay focused and driven, which I love.
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Pure2raw twins February 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm

girl we are the same way, our to do list just seems to keep growing and we never seem like we really get ‘caught’ up! we need more time in the day haha
but actually that might makes things worse as we would probably add on more things to do ;)
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