Why You Should Slow Down and Soak Up the Now

Life happens fast, and it can be hard to stay present. Check out a few key moments worth slowing down and soaking up, even if just for a bit.

Life happens fast. Whether we’re looking at the big picture or just day-to-day tasks, we always seem to be in a rush to get to the next thing. But in the hustle and bustle of it all, it seems like we’re fast-forwarding through some important stuff. We’ve gone from skimming the daily news to skimming everything.

Here are a few key moments worth slowing down and soaking up, even if just for a bit.

Waking Up

Mornings are magical. Even if you’re not a morning person, there’s something special about being given a clean slate each day. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s hopeful. It’s basically springtime. Don’t rush it. Instead of leaping out of bed raring to go or hitting the snooze button 42 times, try something that’s kind of in between—a happy medium.

Instead of reaching for your phone first thing, just reach. Take a deep inhale and stretch. You don’t even have to get up yet; you can lay under the covers and stretch your feet, wiggle your toes, reach your arms up, and roll your head side to side. My yoga teacher likes to say “do it for the fascia.” Fascia is the thin fibrous tissue surrounding your muscles and it loves a good stretch. It works kind of like lotion for your muscles.

After you’ve stretched, quietly set an intention for the day. Think about what you want to accomplish most. And then start your normal routine, hopefully unhurried and unstressed.

While Eating

The Slow Food Movement has been on the slowpoke bandwagon for years now. The concept is simple. It’s basically the opposite of fast food. Slow food comes from better ingredients. It’s fresh and takes a lot longer to make it to your table than a drive-thru window, but is indisputably well worth the wait.

And when you take it one step further and slow down to actually eat it (or any food for that matter), you end up taking in more flavor, feeling fuller quicker and, overall, you’ll be more satisfied. Sprinkle in lots of water, good conversation and ample laughter, and the pace will feel like you’ve taken a nice stroll with your lunch instead of scarfing it down.

If simply slowing meals down can be this miraculous, imagine what kind of power slowing down everything could harness.

When Traveling

At times, I admittedly have sloth-like speed. I like to mosey, get lost exploring, take unnecessary (OK, necessary) coffee breaks, daydream, nap, and snap lots of pictures. And I’m fully aware that this behavior has a special way of annoying others, especially travel buddies.

For most tourists, there’s an itinerary, things to do and sites to see. And these are all great things for seeing a lot in little time. But chasing a city is not only daunting, it’s exhausting.

Some of my fondest travel memories have been while getting lost in a new city, quietly meandering down a quaint street or off-beaten path into a tucked-away café. I’ve found that five minutes spent chatting with locals at the neighborhood pub can teach you more about a city’s culture than any tour guide.

So when life allows it, try tossing out the schedule for a bit. You may be surprised with what adventures await.

Ultimately, whether it’s walking in the rain, kissing the one you love, waiting in line at the grocery store or just going for a jog—soak it up. Try to stay present. Lean into the moment. And don’t be afraid to just. Slow. Things. Down.

Photo by Jake Laub 

Laci MosierLaci Mosier is a copywriter living and loving in Austin, Texas. She and her one-eyed pirate dog, live for exploring and discovering life’s magic. She is most inspired by yoga, running, Kundalini meditation, good books, great jams and even better coffee. Getting lost is where she is most often found. Follow her on the Twittersphere or Instagram.