20 Tips for Slowing Down the Wise Woman Way
by Corinna Wood
We’ve all been there. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's all too easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of tasks and responsibilities, each vying for your attention.
So often, we want it all. And we want it now.
Of course, you can't do it all. At least not all at once!
Yet the truth is, you probably can do most of the things you want—if you stretch it out over the course of a lifetime.
So let’s slow down the pace. And savor each step along the way…
Table of Contents
- Following the cycles of nature the Wise Woman Way
- 20 Tips for slowing down
- Reconnecting with your inner rhythms through slowing down
Following the cycles of nature the Wise Woman Way
As women, our bodies—as well as our psyches—naturally align with the rhythms of nature. Slowing down is part of attuning yourself to the cycles of the day and night, the phases of the moon, and the changing seasons of the Earth.
Think of the plants and trees going down to the roots in the winter. While you might not be able to hibernate in quite the same way, allow those natural cycles to guide and inspire your own daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal rhythms.
As women, we’re often taught to put the needs of others before our own, neglecting self-care. Yet through the lens of holistic healing, we recognize that selflessness can contribute to exhaustion, adrenal stress, core fatigue, and an array of stress-related health issues.
You need to nourish yourself first. Look at your favorite plant on your windowsill or in your garden—she needs water and nutrients to thrive.
You might wonder where you’ll squeeze in more self-care amidst the day-to-day frey. Chances are, there are hidden pockets where your time and energy drain away—whether it's in trying to please everyone around you, or in seeking solace through the seductive glow of electronic screens.
Hang on. It’s time to reset. Return to your natural rhythms. To allow your body, mind, and soul to down-regulate. To find that calming place of pause within you.
Here are 20 tips for slowing down. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed—I suggest you choose just one that resonates with you right now. I’ve broken them down into 4 main areas so you can pick one place to start and have several tips to choose from.
Part 1) Starting your day by slowing down
As the first rays of dawn reach the horizon, you’re wrapped in the cocoon of slumber.
In a world that constantly urges us to hurry, this is a precious moment. In this liminal space between sleeping and waking, you have the opportunity to embrace a different pace. A pace that cherishes the simplicity of life.
This is your chance to begin your day by slowing down.
It all begins with the wisdom of prioritizing sleep. Sleep is the cornerstone of physical and mental well-being, a foundation that sets the tone for a harmonious and intentional start to your day.
1. Prioritize sleep
Establish a regular bedtime that ensures you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. An eye mask (perhaps even one with lavender) helps you fall asleep and stay asleep despite ambient light. If you tend to awaken in the middle of the night, consider how to adjust your schedule to still allow for those 7-8 hours. And take an extra dose of a calmative nervine herb that soothes you back to sleep. Quality sleep is the foundation of a vibrant life.
2. Wind down for bed the night before
Create a nightly wind-down routine—perhaps a soothing bath, journaling, or reading—to signal your body that it's safe to relax and let go. Listen to gentle music or guided imagery; even if you conk out right away, they continue to calm your subconscious and support deeper sleep. (My favorites? Binaural Beats music and Belleruth Naparstek’s guided imagery.)
3. Ditch the alarm clock and wake naturally
Free yourself from the tyranny of alarm clocks. Aim to go to bed early enough that your body can awaken naturally—and slowly— feeling refreshed and ready to greet the day. Waking up without an alarm is a gentle way to start your day on your own terms.
4. Breathe in the new day
When you wake, resist the urge to rush into the flurry of tasks. Take time to focus on your breath. You might gently stroke your arm, appreciating yourself and your body. Or try out a simple chakra meditation or grounding visualization that sets a peaceful tone for the day ahead. I like to bring my awareness to my body, breathing deeply from my toes to my head.
5. Morning herbal infusion
Are you tempted to turn to caffeine to rev you up? Remember, it’ll leave you feeling tired later—that's how you get hooked. Instead, try a daily cup of herbal tea or infusion. In a wise woman herbal medicine chest, raspberry (tastes like black tea!) and nettle are two favorites. Nettle offers sustained nourishment to your adrenal system, supporting your energy levels over time. This small change can have a profound impact on your long-term health and vitality.
Part 2) Approaching your tasks at a healthy pace
As the day unfolds, you often find yourself caught in the whirlwind of tasks and responsibilities, juggling various roles and obligations.
In this section, we’ll explore how to approach your tasks at a healthy, manageable pace. A pace that allows you to accomplish what truly matters while maintaining your peace of mind. That your to-do lists may serve as guides rather than burdens.
6. Jot down your tasks
Free your mind by jotting down your tasks. Keep a checklist for everything, from travel essentials to groceries. Your task list is your external memory, allowing your mind to remain unburdened. No more fretting about forgetting.
7. Prioritize 3 things
There’s only so much you can do in one day, and you don’t want to drown in your to-do list. Keep a simple notebook close at hand, with a dedicated page for each week and/or day. Choose up to three priorities for your week. And up to three priorities for each day. Accomplishing most of your three highest priorities brings a sense of satisfaction and keeps your focus on what matters most.
8. Trim your to-do list
Now take a long, hard look at the remaining tasks on your to-do list. What can you gracefully cross off to simplify your life and lighten your time obligations? By consciously prioritizing tasks, you'll find that some are not as pressing as you once thought.
9. Focus on one thing at a time
As women, we're often praised for our multi-tasking skills. Yet it comes at a cost. Multitasking might seem efficient, but it often contributes to stress—and a lack of full engagement in each of the tasks at hand. Allocate time blocks for each task. When your focus is undivided, you'll be more present and effective.
10. Embrace the power of "no"
Does it resonate in your body as a resounding "yes”? Otherwise, don't hesitate to utter that magic word: "No." Guard your time and energy as the precious treasures they are. This is about setting boundaries and ensuring that your time is dedicated to what is most meaningful for you.
Part 3) Simplifying your days and your space
Amidst the bustling rhythm of your days, a tranquil path of simplicity beckons you. In this section, we’ll look at cultivating space in your days—like creating a sanctuary of self-care. Each moment of pause, connection with nature, and decluttering becomes a testament to your commitment to a slower, more intentional existence.
11. Create pause points
In the hustle of the day, carve out little breaks to reconnect with yourself. Every hour—or every 20 minutes—shift, breathe, and refresh. Perhaps touch your toes in waterfall pose, or grab a drink. Your body will thank you. These short breaks, even for just a few minutes, are like mini self-care rituals that keep you grounded.
12. Unplug for a while
Sometimes the best way to recharge is by disconnecting. Taking time away from your digital devices, you’ll reconnect with the tangible world around you. Unplugging is like hitting the reset button for your mind.
13. Enjoy the great outdoors
Nature offers a sense of serenity that is unmatched by any indoor environment. Dedicate a portion of your day to time outdoors. Even if it’s just a few breaths of fresh air. Better yet, a walk in the park. Or perhaps enjoying time in your garden. In any case, nature's calming influence rejuvenates your spirit.
14. Declutter your belongings
Embrace the philosophy of less is more. Reduce your possessions and experience the liberation that comes with having fewer belongings to care for. The act of decluttering isn't just about tidying up; it's about freeing your mind from unnecessary distractions.
15. Create a space for self-healing
It’s natural that you need a space to get away. Whether or not you have a room of your own, you can carve out a place for yourself and your truth. A place where you can set aside your roles—as daughter, partner, wife, boss, employee, girlfriend, mother . . . And just be. To focus on you for a few.
Part 4) Slowing down the chatter to integrate and reflect
In this final section of tips for slowing down toward a more deliberate and fulfilling life, we’ll look at some ways to slow down the mind for reflection and integration.
In these moments of introspection, the noise of the world fades, and the whispers of your inner wisdom come to the forefront.
16. Journal to relax your mind
The act of journaling has a magical way of quieting the mind. Your journal is a safe space for your innermost thoughts and feelings. As words pour out onto paper, you no longer need to keep processing. Your mind relaxes. Ground your emotions, clear your thoughts, and improve your sleep through the power of the pen.
17. Practice self-compassion
When you notice strong emotions rising to the surface, take a moment to breathe through them. It’s profoundly healing to accept and honor all of your feelings, the sad and angry ones as well as the joyful ones. Your desires and needs are just part of being human, and it’s natural to have strong emotions in the process of navigating your days. When you’re compassionate with yourself, you honor all of who you are.
18. Embrace silence
Whether it's during your walk or drive, silence the external noise. Perhaps you do so with soothing music. Or simply with silence. Listen to your inner thoughts, let them flow, and breathe in the quietude. These quiet moments are where profound insights and self-discovery often occur.
19. Speak your truth
Seek out a trusted confidante for mutual nourishment. Perhaps a precious girlfriend with whom you take turns listening and sharing from the heart. Or it might be a support group or co-counseling. Connecting with others who genuinely care can be a profound source of healing. Lighten your load and slow down the internal chatter by finding safe places to speak your truth.
20. Savor the moment
Let life's flavors linger on your tongue. Yes, slow down when you eat, savoring each bite. Yet this is not just about eating; it's about savoring the sweetness of life, no matter how small. I like to think of my day-to-day life experiences as a necklace of beads, each unique. Savor this moment in the necklace of your life.
Reconnecting with your inner rhythms through slowing down
In the midst of life's hustle and bustle, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of tips shared here.
Yet remember, you don't need to incorporate all these practices at once. In fact, that would go against the very essence of what we've been discussing.
Slowing down isn't about demanding yourself to incorporate new routines; it's about reconnecting with your inner rhythms.
It's about cherishing what truly matters, reconnecting with your inner self, and savoring life.
So, as you stand at the crossroads of these 20 tips, I invite you to take a deep breath and simply choose one that resonates with you right now. It might be a wind-down routine before bed, trimming your to-do list, or reconnecting with the world through the beauty of nature.
Exploring any one of these tips is a small yet powerful step on your journey to self-discovery and self-healing. An achievement for your peace of mind. A declaration of your commitment to self-care.
And a reminder that you have the power. The power to choose how you engage with life's demands.
Comments ~ what stands out for you today?