Just Breathe: How to Slow Down in the Rat Race

Just Breathe: How to Slow Down in the Rat Race

Note: This letter was originally published in our weekly newsletter and is being republished here.

Hey guys,

After travelling to Melbourne and Sydney, I’m now back at the farm and catching up on work (and rest actually) before Ben and I head to my birth country, the Philippines for a couple of weeks.

I’ve been reflecting on my time in the urban jungle, and how I change and become a different person. I speed up and fill my time up so when I finally lay my head down on the pillow, I’m knocked out; I race around from appointment to appointment feeling anxious if I’m running late; I find myself in a state of chaos and around me I notice other people doing the very same thing. On public transport I observe people hiding on their phones, avoiding gazes, many faces looking haggard and exhausted, dark circles around their eyes from lack of quality sleep. It’s like people are too busy to give a f*ck about anyone else, the level of rudeness and abrupt behaviour goes up a notch even at the airport; perhaps it’s the high priced mortgages and high cost of living that has people so stressed that they have little time for kindness and patience? 

One of the reasons I embarked on a tree change was because I was tired of city living and the rat race that seemed to pit each individual against the other in a mad rush to ‘success’ and the ‘top’ whatever that even means. I had no room to breathe, to be myself, to connect to who I was, to create without the expectation of outcome and to ponder on life’s questions. 

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Now if you’re reading this and you can relate to my city experiences, wish to bring some zen back into your life but have no inclination to escape from the city like I did, here’s how you can slow down when everything around you is designed to speed you up:

Just breathe. Put your damned phone away. Delete those social media apps (or as many as you can, I deleted Snapchat, Facebook and my email app off of my phone). Turn off notifications so you don’t get pinged each time someone reacts/comments/messages (I did this for all apps, no app is going to dictate to me how I should live, behave or when I should respond). Take at least 5 minutes out of your day to really pay attention to your surroundings, even if you’ve driven down that road many a time, or walked the same street countless times. Meditate. Practice yoga or Pilates or something designed to slow you down (may I suggest gardening?!) Watch the sun set. Take your shoes off, place your bare feet on the grass and just earth out. Or do what I do when I’m in my parents’ backyard in Melbourne and just lie down on the grass, watch the clouds float on by while listening to the birds (and cars, and trains… lol).

Want to learn how I practice slow living in amongst the busyness of ecopreneurial life? Read this post.

Anyway, have an awesome week and if you’re keen to follow my Filipino adventures, make sure to follow on Instagram here.

Peace, love and all that jazz,

Jen xx

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