When I know it is time to listen to my body and slow down

I’ve been caught up in a community passion project, and found that although I started it for all the right reasons, I still needed to remind myself to take a breather. Passion is an amazing thing, but it is also very consuming. Passion also tends to bring out my perfectionist tendencies and drains me if I stay too focused for too long without coming out for rest.

I used to be the queen of ignoring the signs from my body gave when it was time to slow down, but now instead of criticizing my body’s inability to keep up with my racing mind, I use these indicators to slow down and refuel:

⁘ General tiredness
⁘ Foggy head/ inability to think clearly
⁘ Lack of creativity
⁘ Lack of motivation
⁘ Inability to regulate emotions
⁘ Clinging on to perfectionism in my work
⁘ Anxiety spirals

I know when my body starts to fight me, that it is time to step away from my desk (which is super hard for me at times because I love completing tasks!) and refuel by:

Getting some movement in. Dance parties or walks in nature are my favourites. Especially next to the ocean.
Singing or screaming. I’m not talented in the singing department by any means, but belting out a tune helps to clear pent up energy. The first time I screamed alone in my car I felt so weird, but then it was quickly replaced by such a cathartic feeling!
Meditating. There was a point in my life where I couldn’t sit for more than a few seconds because of the anxiety vibrating in my body, so I started with walking meditation. Depending on my mood or what is happening around me, mediating could range from just a few moments of deep breathing and clearing my thoughts, or popping on a favourite guided meditation while taking a warm shower or bath.
Smudging. Pausing to clear the energy in my space and taking a few deep breaths, helps me to ground and refocus my energy, letting go of anything that isn’t serving me in the moment. And the smell is lovely!
Making a cup of tea. Like smudging, the ritual of making tea is comforting, and allows me to ground my energy and focus on a tactile task. And in the end I get to sip a lil’ bit of joy from the mug!
Creating with my hands. So much of my business is done on a laptop, and I feel so recharged by digging my hands into anything that isn’t based in technology! Cooking, drawing, gardening, playing with clay, even just rubbing my fingers along the edges of a crystal I am feeling drawn to.
Replacing the negative self talk with compassion. We are all human. Let me repeat that- we are all human. We can have the best intentions and still become victim to old patterns. Love yourself and give yourself the same compassion you would a loved one. Release yourself from the need of being perfect.

Is your body trying to help you to slow down before you burn out? What are some signals that are red lights for you? What helps you to refuel?

Don’t forget, it’s not all about the result, but the joy of the journey of creation along the way. And in order to enjoy the journey, you need to pace yourself!