HURRY LESS - SLOWING DOWN TO APPRECIATE LIFE

It's time to slow down - step away from the rush, the busyness and the need to always be "on". It's time to live a little more in the moment, to slow down and breathe. #slow #unbusy

HURRY NEVER

One of the recommendations from William Henry Channing in creating a life SYMPHONY is to "hurry never" and as I thought about this concept, I came across the wonderful Swedish term "Fika" which roughly translates into taking a coffee break, but it has a deeper meaning which relates to the idea of slowing down and focusing on meaningful moments. It's about stopping the rush for a moment and slowing down, pausing to breathe and to stop hurrying through life. We need to hurry less, stress less, breathe more, and to stop for a moment to be grateful for this wonderful life we've been given. 

WHAT IS FIKA?

In Sweden "Fika" relates to drinking coffee and eating cake - sounds perfect to me already! But, there's an underlying depth to the term - because it's not about having a coffee at your desk at work; it's about taking time out of your busy work day to be with friends and to have some down time. It's about a moment in time where you slow down and appreciate all that you have in life. Swedes consider it important to make time to stop and socialise, to take a pause, because it refreshes the brain and strengthens relationships.

In today's busy world we tend to rush from one appointment to the next. We may squeeze in a quick coffee if we have time, but coffee on the run has become the norm - have you noticed that these days it's normal for everyone to drive-through and grab a coffee in their car on the way to or from work? The idea of slowing down, sharing conversation, focusing on the moment seems to have been lost in the fast pace of life. Taking a little Fika time would do us all a world of good.

Fika - |fee-ka| Swedish A break in the day for coffee and something sweet, expressly for the purpose of setting aside a moment for quality time. #quotes

There's a great article on Fika by Everything Sweden that gives a really good overview of how it looks in the Swedish workplace and even gives some information on the delicious food you're supposed to eat while taking that coffee break and conversation. I think we all need to add a little "Fika" into our lives each day - it slows the "hurry" and in doing so, it reduces the stress that has become such a normal part of life for most of us.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HURRYING LESS

Retirement has taught me a lot about being less hurried and less stressed. You can't be unstressed and unbothered if you're constantly rushing from one busy engagement to the next, so if you can't be retired, taking a step back and focusing on the present moment can help make all the difference during a busy day. Why do we allow ourselves to be so overtaken by life? What drives us to work ridiculous hours, juggle our family time, and spend our weekends trying to do all the chores and commitments we missed out on finishing during the working week? What happened to finding a little bit of rest in our lives each day? You don't have to be retired to know that a regular break is important for your mental health and wellbeing.

Perhaps it's time to slow down - step away from the rush, the busyness and the need to always be "on". Maybe it's time to live a little more in the moment, to slow down long enough to breathe and appreciate all that we already have. I think we all deserve a little pause now and then to remember how blessed we are and to find gratitude in our heart for all that we take for granted.

Just slow down - Slow down your speech. Slow down your breathing.  Slow down your walking. Slow down your eating. And let this slower, steadier pace perfume your mind. Doko #lifequotes
Making a living is necessary,  but making  a life is what really counts. LLC #lifequotes

WHY WE NEED TO HURRY NEVER

I completely understand those in the early days of their careers being overly focused on work and having less time for 'play', but for those of us in the second half of life maybe it's time to dial it back a little. Perhaps we can take time each day to savour the moment, to drink coffee (or tea, or water) and to pause and appreciate where we are and the fact that all our previous hard work has come to fruition. It's almost a sigh of relief isn't it?

The hustle and bustle of life doesn't need to be the norm anymore, we can choose to step back and rest a little. Hurrying through life means we miss so much - it blurs into the background and we miss those precious moments. Now is the time to decide what really matters and to slow down long enough to give ourselves time to indulge in what's really important. Making a living is necessary, but making a life is what really counts.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Have you slowed down to smell the roses? Have you discovered what's really important in life? Or are you still on the treadmill (the hamster wheel) of life where it's go, go, go and you've forgotten how to Fika? I hope you find some time today to breathe and to share your life with the people who matter the most.

RELATED POSTS


It's time to slow down - step away from the rush, the busyness and the need to always be "on". It's time to live a little more in the moment, to slow down and breathe. #slow #unbusy
It's time to slow down - step away from the rush, the busyness and the need to always be "on". It's time to live a little more in the moment, to slow down and breathe. #slow #unbusy

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31 comments

  1. I popped in today to send you an email and then I saw this and had to comment. I KNOW I need to slow down and I have in some ways. I knew I spoke to fast...and have slowed it somewhat. I was told by a psychologist that it meant I was anxious (and she was right because I did not like her!) then the one I saw I did like asked me to 'slow down' and I said, I have so much to tell you!! She laughed as we had already established a great rapport. I too have in the past walked TOO fast and now slow down to deliberately notice more. I used to walk fast because "somewhere I read it was good for fitness". Sigh. Anyway like this post a lot..now will send you the email. Denyse x

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    1. Hi Denyse - I'm gradually learning that slowing down a bit isn't a bad thing. When you stop work there's less need to rush and as I've taken it a bit slower I'm finding a real sense of peace and calmness that was missing before. Maybe I'm not running away from stuff? Or maybe I'm not wishing my days away like I was when I was in that horrible job? Whatever the reason, I think the busy-ness of life is not something to be sought after like society seems to promote - I'm going for the opposite!

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    2. It is a constant state of changing this life thing with more choices that YOU own. It's a good thing!! Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week is 7/51 T: Telling Self-Care Stories #1. 17.2.2020. Hope to see you there AND the next 10 prompts are on the home page now! Denyse.

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  2. I am retired and love the concept of Fika and Hurry Less, and this is the season of my life where I can do this when I think of it. I try to have one day a week when I don't go anywhere in my car, it is blissful to hang out at home. Of course I take two walks with my dog each day which is relaxing and fun.

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    1. Terra I'm exactly the same - Thursday is going to be my 'at-home' day this year and I'm already savouring it. I love it when I don't have anything scheduled for the day (other than my neighbourhood walks) and life just flows along. Not working is just the best thing ever!

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  3. Love the definition of FIKA, which I have always added to my day. What's a day without the sound of fresh coffee beans turning into a great cup of coffee, not forgetting the aroma. Slowing down has more positives than negatives, how to achieve that when working fulltime and with a family? A challenge. As a retired person it is much easier and more enjoyable.

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    1. Suzanne I think you're right about how hard it is for busy working Mums to find time for themselves. The thing with Midlife is that we've earned this time to slow things down a bit - the hard yards are (hopefully) behind us and we can savour that coffee (I remember drinking my coffee cold most days as a Mum and when I was working) drinking a coffee at just the right temperature is the reward for all those lukewarm cuppas!

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  4. Sometimes I feel like my husband and I are like rats in a cage, running around chasing our tails and getting no-where. I'd love to get off this treadmill and slow down. Hopefully we're going in the right direction towards that goal. Thankyou for your article

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    1. I hate that feeling - and sometimes I think we do it for longer than we need to. Once we took a serious look at our financial situation I realized that we could manage quite well without both of us running ourselves into the ground. We've always been very 'considered' (frugal) in our spending and we had enough put away to keep the wolf from the door - so it's turned out to be an absolute joy to step back a little and stop the busy-ness. I hope you get there soon too xx

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  5. Lovely, lovely post! Ahhhhhhh............

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    1. Thanks Sandy - was that a lovely deep sigh of slowing down?

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  6. HI, Leanne - In my work life, I could (rightfully) be accused of being driven, and hurrying to keep up with it all. In my retirement, I have been working hard to sloooow down. Although I haven't acheived star status with my efforts, slowiing down and not rushing does feel fabulous. Great post!

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    1. Hi Donna - I think we all had to be pretty driven - or at least constantly on the ball - to keep up with our work lives. When you remove that performance expectation, then you allow yourself a little more breathing room and it's a lovely feeling. I don't think we'll all be sitting around contemplating our navels, but taking it back a notch is definitely a lovely way to live in this second half of life.

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  7. Hi Leanne,

    This topic is one of my favourites. If I remember right, I had blogged on this many years ago. But I had never heard this word called Fika, and its many shades of meaning. Thank you for introducing me to it.

    Today, with more technological devices and platforms, the hurrying has only increased compared to earlier. Information, for example, now flows so fast. People are chasing it on social media platforms; and it has become so complicated and complex.

    In the second half of my life, I have definitely slowed down. I am not racing to anywhere, but "stopping by to smell the roses", as you have nicely put it.

    My suggestion is that even people in the first half of their life must try to slow down as and when they can.

    Nice and a very relevant post.

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    1. Hi Pradeep - yes, I completely agree that those who are younger than us need to put the brakes on occasionally and smell the roses too. Life's too short to live it all at full speed and taking a breather regularly works really well for me these days. I liked that Fika was about more than just chugging down a coffee, it was about pausing and enjoying cake and conversation - now that's my idea of a lovely break!

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  8. My "career" has looked a little different: an eighteen-year patchwork of various forms of teaching, often in combination - homeschooling my own all the way through, teaching in our homeschool cooperative, leading enrichment classes, tutoring, and classroom teaching for the past six years. Last year, I just hit a wall and knew I had to stop. I just fizzled out! With my husband's full support, I'm now at home and loving it. At times I feel guilty for getting out of the grind when I have friends who are still in the thick of it. However, I see the benefits in my own mood and outlook, in my home and family, and also in being more "present" for my loved ones. I think that by being more in the moment and slowing down to smell the roses myself, I can be more conscious of helping others in my little world who are still so busy to do the same.

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    1. Laura you summed up my life perfectly. I've had several different worklife incarnations, and when I hit the wall last year and left the horrible job, I felt guilty for being able to not have to run after another job. My mindset since leaving has run the full gamut from thinking I needed to get straight back into it, to enjoying "a break", to finally realizing that not having to work is such a privilege and one I don't want to waste or not appreciate. Every day is a joy for me now and I'm hoping that I can share that with others and make the best use of this quieter phase of life. I want to encourage others to join us before they waste too many more years in the 9-5 grind if they've had enough.

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  9. Hi Leanne, The pausing to breathe is always a good reminder. I think for many of us, we catch ourselves holding our breath often. I already see a cultural difference in Sweden. It is frowned upon to stop and socialize, especially at work. Our brain would welcome a refresh button. Ultimately, we are more productive when we are less stressed. I found when I stopped working, I would continue to pack in too many appointments and shoulds throughout the day. I am learning to space out my day and my week. A great post!

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    1. I'm doing the same Erica - I don't buy coffee on the run. If I'm going to pay for a cup of coffee I want it to be a social occasion - full of conversation and laughter - not chugging down a lukewarm drink between emails. My brain is so much more settled these days - I'm not jumping from one thing to the next, or trying to squeeze everything in around my work days.
      Retirement and Fika go hand in hand!

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  10. What a great word, FIKA. Thanks for that, Leanne. I am sure we will all want to use that one as it says a lot in one little word. Anyway I am here to say that our Elise has chosen this post to be featured in the next Blogger's Pit Stop. We so appreciate the quality you bring in your posts. We are wanting to build more quality into our Linkup to promote our Bloggers.

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    1. Hi Kathleen - that's so lovely of Elise to have chosen my post - I do try hard to make my writing a little bit thought provoking and to bring ideas to others that I find interesting. I love the concept of Fika vs the current trend of grabbing a coffee on the run. I think we miss so much these days if we're rushing from one thing to the next. Slowing down and appreciating what we have is so important isn't it?

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  11. Love this, Leanne! I think you're never too young to start to slow down! Indeed if more people in their 20's and 30's started practising Fika, they'd have really mastered the art of it by the time they reached mid/late life. I think life moves very fast and stopping to smell the roses (or have a coffee or just appreciate the moment) is always a good idea.

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    1. Me too Sam - I think it's such a shame that the coffee culture has become a "grab and go" experience, rather than a time of socializing and sharing time with others. Everyone seems to be in such a rush - and that saddens me more as time goes by. We're only on this planet for such a short time, so we need to savour the moments more.

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  12. This resonated with me!! When I worked I had a reputation of walking everywhere very fast and can hear my clip clopping fast moving feet in my head even now! One of the things I understand from retiring is that, in hindsight, the hustle and bustle is entirely overrated and I feel I want to tell those caught up in it to stop and slow down it's not that important!! We embraced the whole Fika movement after hosting a Swedish boy on Rotary Youth Exchange and then visiting Sweden, it's a great way to be. Thanks for the memories and reminder to slow down Leanne :) #lifethisweek

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    1. Hi Deb - when I was working I always felt like I was doing the extra work that a less "able" colleague would leave unfinished. It meant always being a little bit rushed to finish my workload + some of their's! Now I just have my own needs to worry about, it's allowed me to take things at a more leisurely pace and I REALLY enjoy that. I'm glad you're not clopping around anymore - and that you got to remember your Swedish times too x

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  13. Slowing down and having fika time is definitely much easier in retirement - just had lunch with a friend and it sure was nice to have time to visit! Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger's Pit Stop!

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    1. I completely agree Roseann - I love having leisurely coffee dates with friends, or lingering over my morning coffee at home. Retirement has been such a lovely exercise in slowing down my pace and allowing myself to just "be" instead of rushing onto the next thing.

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  14. Hi Leanne, I have made a morning ritual of making a coffee and taking it onto my balcony to look at the ocean. It calms me and stops me from getting into the day with all cylinders firing. The Swedes have some great terms and I like the idea of Fika time. Have you heard of Hygge. It is a Danish term which I've written about and is 'a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being'. Sounds lovely doesn't it? x

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    1. Hi Sue - yes I think Hygge has such a lovely feel too it - even more so if you lived in a really cold country - I always think of it when I see people snuggled up next to an open fireplace. I loved the idea that Fika entailed more than just chugging down a coffee at your desk, but that there was a social component to it that we often don't appreciate in our busyness.

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  15. This concept speaks to me big time. After becoming ill, a few years ago now, I questioned why I rushed through my days and decided I didn't want to do that anymore. I really had to look hard at how to implement that into my life. I still find myself rushing from time to time but soon take measures to reel it back in. Isn't awareness of how we tick a helpful thing? Loved this, thank you. Sandra Xx

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    1. Hi Sandra - illness is often a sign that our minds and bodies want us to back off a bit and slow down. So many people find that they can't continue to maintain a frantic pace without something giving way. I love that I've been able to pull back, get my mind back on track, and to really savour my free time. Life in the slower lane is lovely.

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