As my therapist is quick to remind me, we are human beings, not human doings
Slowing down is extremely hard for most of us to do. With the rapid pace of the Internet, email, and instant messages, it’s hard for us to slow down. If you are like me, you often can have a hard time knowing your own limits, which in turn, can make it hard for you to know when it’s time to slow down. If we don’t take time to slow down, our minds and bodies will force us to take a break.
Here are five signs you need to slow down:
1. You’re Dozing Off
The first sign you need to slow down is if you’re always dozing off. I have a friend who can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. Maybe you know somebody like that, or maybe you are that person. In either case, the person who is constantly dozing off needs to take time to slow down. If you are not getting enough sleep, you will consistently drift to sleep.
Our bodies naturally need sleep. If you neglect your time sleeping, it will affect your overall health, including your physical and mental health. I have struggled with insomnia since I was a teenager, so I can relate to you if you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. If you have trouble getting good, consistent sleep, make an appointment to see your doctor to rule out any underlying issues. Insomnia is a condition that can be helped by medication. Many individuals are hesitant about taking medication for problems outside basic healthcare, yet I can say from my own experience medications can be a major game changer in your life for the better.
God created us with amazing bodies, yet we still need our sleep. Try to get around eight hours of sleep each night. It helps to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time each day. It helps to establish a bedtime routine, which will help prepare your body for sleep. Avoid electronics, such as the computer, the television, or your phone, an hour before bed. Too much electronics before bed can stimulate your brain and keep you awake. Make sure you prioritize time to get restful sleep.
2. You’re Forgetting Important Dates
A second sign you need to slow down is if you are forgetting important dates. Forgetting important events, such as doctor appointments, loved ones' birthdays, or anniversaries can be a good sign that you need to pause and reprioritize. When we are constantly on the go or cramming our to-do list with more things to do, we will begin to forget important dates. Our brains are wonderful creations, yet if they are overworked, we can tend to forget what's important.
If you find yourself forgetting important dates, it’s time to slow down. Despite the world’s teachings, it is okay to take a break and rest. Give your mind some time to calm down and relax. Our brains aren’t made to be filled with stress and never-ending deadlines. You deserve a break, and your mind will thank you. Try detoxing from the never-ending information by taking a walk, reading an enjoyable book, or listening to some music.
If you don’t take time to relax, forgetfulness will get worse. Prioritize time to refresh and recharge each day. Take time to be with God and others. You don’t always have to be busy doing something. As my therapist is quick to remind me, we are human beings, not human doings. Breathe, take time to be with God, and slow down. God tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).
3. Doing So Much You Don’t Have Time to Breathe
A third sign you need to slow down is if you’re doing so much you don’t have time to breathe. While God wants us to be productive, He doesn’t want us to drown in things to do that we don’t have time to breathe. Many individuals believe we have to be constantly doing something to serve God. This is not true, as Jesus demonstrates in His interactions with Mary and Martha.
Martha was worried about the preparations, yet the Lord tells her, “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:38-42). Martha was so busy that she forgot to slow down and breathe. The Lord wants us to slow down, breathe, and rest at His feet. This leads us to our next sign you need to slow down.
4. You Have No Time for God
A fourth sign you need to slow down is if you have no time for God. Constantly being drowned with deadlines, to-do lists, and responsibilities from our job, school, or family life can cause us to neglect our time with God. If you have no time for God, this is a sure sign that you need to slow down. God is all-deserving of our time, and we must be intentional about spending time with Him. Nobody can “create” extra time in a day, but we can all carve out time in our day to spend with God.
The time we spend with God each day is the most important part of our day. If we are not consistently spending time with God in His Word and prayer, our relationship with Him will not be as strong as it should be. We will also be more easily led astray by sinful desires and temptations of the flesh. It will benefit your body and soul to carve out time with God each day.
It can be hard to slow down, yet it is vital. Not having time or energy to spend with God will hurt us and impair our relationship with Him. Slow down and be intentional about consistently spending time with God each day. The Lord loves you, and He wants to talk with you each day. He also speaks to us through His Word, therefore, if we are not taking the time to read His Word, we will not be able to hear life-changing truths from Him. If you don’t have time for God, you need to immediately slow down and reprioritize.
5. Making a Lot of Mistakes
A fifth sign you need to slow down is if you are making a lot of mistakes. I remember in elementary school, I used to speed through reading assignments and quizzes, and it caused me to make a lot of mistakes. I can’t remember how many times I got a bad grade on a quiz because I wouldn't slow down. Likewise, as adults, if we don’t slow down, we can make quite a few mistakes. Since we are rushing and not taking our time, we will mess up.
Once we slow down and take our time, we won’t make as many mistakes. Rushing, hurrying, and constantly being on the go put us under a great deal of stress. It’s not surprising then that we tend to make a great deal of mistakes. When you feel rushed or in a hurry, breathe, be patient, and take your time. Rushing and hurrying around will not benefit us in the long run. It will only cause us to make more mistakes. Mistakes can be costly, such as a bad grade could cost us our final grade or a bad report at work could cost us our job. If you have found that you’re making a lot of mistakes, you need to take time to slow down.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/tommaso79
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.