Life can get so noisy with so many pressing demands on our time and attention. In a world that glorifies productivity and being busy, you could say slowing down is a rebellious act. We’re conditioned to live life on a treadmill – squeezing in that self-improvement podcast on the way to work and catching up with the world news via Twitter on the way home from yoga – and so hopping off can understandably feel pretty alien.
But being a good friend, employee, partner, mother, even yogi – the list goes on – can be exhausting (or ‘completely and utterly draining’, depending on how euphemistic you’re feeling) and too often we leave nothing for ourselves. What’s that saying so popular amongst the Instamum brigade – you can’t pour from an empty cup? Well, here at Flock, we concur wholeheartedly. We’re all about the pursuit of those moments – short or long – where you just…stop. It’s essential for your wellbeing, physical and mental.
Still not convinced? Well, take a look at Thinking, Fast and Slow, where legendary behavioural psychologist Daniel Kahneman explores the two systems our brains use to think: the impulsive, automatic ‘fast’ system 1, and the more thoughtful and deliberate ‘slow’ system 2. Fast thinking feels deceptively reasoned, not to mention efficient, whereas in reality it often leads us into making snap judgements and giving into prejudices. Dealing with one angry client/boss/mother-in-law/hysterical toddler is the kind of stressful situation that puts fast thinking in the driving seat, ignoring rationality and sending us the message that we’re terrible at what we do; in fact, we’re pathetic and laughable and our-entire-future-is-doomed! Slow thinking – deeper, broader, more considered – could really help us out in those situations, but here’s the issue: slow thinking requires our deliberate effort.
So what we’re saying is that not only is pressing pause vital to avoid unnecessary stress, unhappiness or even burnout, it also takes practice. Shocking, I know – who would have thought that taking some time to stop and do – well, nothing – would be something we’d need to book into the diary? But it is.
So here’s our gift to you: our very best tried and tested tips to press pause on a busy life. Enjoy.
Here at Flock, we love using the power of fragrance to help us find balance and relax. My Monday night ritual is to light a fragranced candle or oil burner; even if I’m busy with admin or chores, I find it really helps me to wind down. Clary sage, lavender, geranium are lovely, calming fragrances – in fact, some sources use the word ‘sedate’ when describing the effects of clary sage, which is maybe why I like it on a Monday!
Write down your thoughts
I find writing things down at the end of the day really calms my frazzled, frantic mind. I started a bullet journal at the beginning of the year – it certainly doesn’t look like those beautiful works of art you’ll find on Pinterest, but just the simple process of doodling around the words is surprisingly soothing.
Another great distraction for a chattery brain. Holiday playlists can transport you anywhere; Moby’s Play takes me right back to Australia circa 2000 and the to do lists are gone in an instant!
A 20 minute walk and connecting with nature is one of the most effective ways of quieting a busy mind.
The ritual of changing out of my work clothes and into my ‘comfies’ is the signal my brain needs to unwind at the end of the day. I love comfort but I definitely don’t want to compromise on style, and that’s where Flock’s elegant knitwear range comes in. Just because clothes are ‘end of the day clothes’ doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make you feel fabulous – think of it as a little reward for getting through the day unscathed!
By using the finest merino, we’ve created a fabric which is as soft as cashmere and can ‘drape’ to create beautiful, stylish silhouettes. In the Phoebe, we’ve created a fabric so sheer people often ask if it’s blended with silk (it isn’t, we promise!) Merino is also renowned for its ability to help you regulate your body temperature, so our garments will keep you cool in spring and summer and perfectly comfortable through quick changes of environment e.g. nipping in and out of air conditioned buildings.
Treat yourself to pressing pause. It’s so worth it – and you are, too.