I recently went to a seminar entitles, "Hurry Up, Slow Down" given by author Linda Anderson. She was going full steam ahead and neglecting her health and relationships when she was struck with cancer. She said she felt so relieved when she had an excuse to X out all those committments on her calendar she no longer would be able to do. After 3 years of getting through the disease she was taught to slow down, whether she wanted to or not. In slowing down, she realized how much of life she was missing when she was racing through it.

She says she gets the comment often, "I just can't slow down." Linda says most of what we do is our choice. We chose this job, we can choose another for less money and more time. We choose to stay busy because we love how it sounds when we talk to other people. "Oh yes, I am just so busy doing ....." Busy comes to mean important. We choose to neglect our health by making other things more important. Sometimes, like when a family member is ill, we don't choose. But, these instances are more short term. We have so many possesions we don't need and we rush to get more instead of enjoying what we have.

In her book, Interludes, she writes, "We expertly dodge or perpetually postpone rest and balance, choosing instead the accumulation of things or titles or others' approval. Many times this is unintentional, but often it is simply the way we choose to live. As a result, many women are now feeling the pinch of the trap and are beginning to make courageous and often misunderstood choices to really live. To embrace time for rest, for play, for art, for love, for God. Life, as designed by our culture, has imploded on some, and they are rebelling." She warns we will be going against our culture and it may be difficult, but it is worth it.

Linda Anderson's book includes ideas for interludes, these times for rest, for solitude, for renewal. She has suggestions for 10-minute, 20-minute, 30-minute, one hour and full day interludes.

Are you stressed? Check out these signs of Stress.

Put yourself on your schedule. Plan ahead and make a Self-Care Schedule.

In Cheryl Richardson's book "Take Time for Your Life" she suggests taking one evening a week for yourself. Don't make any outside plans and just do what you want to do.

Now what do you do with this time away from everyone? Here is a list of suggestions, but the most important thing to remember is to do what makes you feel renewed.

List your 20 favorite things to do and plan at least 10 of them.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Do Yoga

Go to the make-up counter and try on some of the new make-up. Then buy yourself a little treat.

Plan something fun to look forward to every evening.

Take time to laugh with some comic books or rent a comedy.

Take a bubble bath. Light some candles and turn on some soothing music. Put on a face mask, deep condition your hair or just close your eyes and relax. After your bath, wrap yourself in a cozy, terry cloth robe.

Write your autobiography. I'll bet you will find you have had a pretty interesting life.

Plan to watch the sunrise every day this week.

Every week or every month review your list of goals. See what you have accomplished and congratulate yourself. Then see where you can improve on some goals. Decide what changes you need to make to make you more effective.

Do something that requires boldness- Learn to sail or draw, go rafting, hike a mountain. Do what you think you can't.

Write a mission statement. This is just a statement of what you want to do, who your want to be, and your purpose. The Covey Homepage has a wonderful Mission Statement Builder.

Take a nap. Naps are allowed for those of us over three, too.

Go to the movies or rent a movie to watch alone with no interuptions.

Listen to some music while lying on the couch, sing to your favorite CD's, play an instrument. I love the keyboard.

Stroke your cat, play with your dog, watch your fish, love your pet.


Take up a new hobby or renew an old one. Gardening, line dancing, model building.

Do something creative. Write, bake, paint, sculpt.

Move your body. Dance, bike ride, aerobics, ski, shoot baskets.

Meditate, pray or just be silent.

In her book Simple Abundance Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests making an illustrated discovery journal. This is a sketchbook where you paste pictures you cut out of magazines, quotes, postcards of things you love. The purpose is so you become closer to understanding what it is you truly enjoy. Here is my journey on the Simple Abundance Path.

Write in a journal. You don't just have to put in days events, you can write your goals, do character sketches of people you know, do journal exercises, or make a dream journal to record your nighttime dreams.

Say affirmations aloud. Affirmations are statements you want to come true. i.e. "I am a confident, successful person."

Start a collection. I love to wash and rearrange my unicorn collection.

Write letters. But, only personal correspondance if you enjoy it.

Sew. This personally makes me frustrated rather than relaxed. But, my mother-in-law loves to sit and crochet.

Make an idea file or notebook of anything that interests you. Ads from the paper, magazine articles, things off the internet.

Browse a bookstore or another store. Window shop. Go at your own pace.

Take a trip down memory lane. Reread old journals and love letters, look through old pictures, leaf through your scrapbooks. If you don't have any of these memory makers, why don't you start one?

Go to the library. Read some magazines. Check out some books on subjects you always wanted to learn about.

Play cards, a computer game or do a crossward puzzle or word game.

Take a walk. A walk in nature is especially theraputic. Pay attention to the colors of the trees, smell the air, thank God for his magnificence.


"While our lives are full, they seem somehow less than they could be. They resemble a page crammed with too much type--and the margins get narrower all the time."
-Timothy Jones



Now find that time alone to renew yourself so you can continue to do the good that you do.
Sweet Petite

Back to Contents