We all look forward to weekends and holidays because it gives us the chance to take it easy and recover from the previous week. But how many of us actually use that time effectively? The weekend gives us time to choose what we want to do, and so often that means picking up the pieces from the week’s chaos, catching up with friends, and going for long boozy brunches.
Does this sound like you?
When is the last time you left your phone at home when you went out for the day? When is the last time you felt like you were on top of your schedule? As you read this article, are your shoulders up by your ears? Did you just release them back down to their resting position?
Truth is: when you’re constantly on the go, your brain is struggling to catch up; like mental multi-tasking. Science has already warned us that humans are not good at multi-tasking. So why aren’t we doing something about it?
Southeast Asia is busy peoples’ paradise
One of the things we all love about Southeast Asia is the pace of life. Torika grew up on the island country of Fiji. She gushes, “Everything happens a little slower, but it happens.” She begs other people to get on island time. Southeast Asia is a beautiful paradise, but it’s got more than just a pretty scene. People in Southeast Asia are happy – really happy. That’s another thing visitors always notice. The people here are always smiling. Can you guess why?
Maybe you love your job, and maybe you love going to see shows in your free time, and maybe catching up on work or even your favorite TV show is something you really look forward to on Saturday mornings. We live in an incredible world with so many incredible things to do and to see, and of course that is something to be celebrated.
But if you’re always busy, then you’re doing it wrong, dear friends. You could be functioning on a higher level – simply by making a conscious effort to slow down. This doesn’t have to be a major life change, but it will be life changing. It can and should be a lifestyle.
Slow down like a Southeast Asian
Southeast Asians have mastered the art of slowing down. It’s a central part of their culture. Why is it so important? Don’t think you have time to sit and meditate every morning before you begin your day?
We juggle the multiple screens, the simultaneous text messages and emails and other momentary claims to attention, yet it never quite feels right. We feel distracted, like we’re not functioning as effectively as possible. Focus no longer has clarity. Yet when, at the end of the day or while on vacation, we finally have a chance to concentrate, it no longer comes easily. -Brandon Keim
First, we would urge you just to get here. Come and see what the fuss is all about. The entire country of Cambodia is a retreat. The quiet countryside, the ancient temples of Angkor – everything about this place encourages mindfulness. Around every corner are sights that stop you in your tracks and it’s all you can do to take a deep a breath and try to take it all in. Some people call it stopping to smell the roses.
That, my friend, is all we’re asking you to do.
Slowing down takes practice
Yes, Southeast Asia encourages mindfulness. But consciously slowing down is crucial; especially when you are back home and busy as ever. When we slow down, we give our bodies the chance to catch up with our minds. Simple things like slowing our pace, slowing our thoughts, and even slowing our speech has the simple and powerful effect of clearing away needless tension in a pure and potent way. Remember when we asked you to relax your shoulders? Simply being conscious of your body for a moment was all you needed to relax.
Dividing attention across multiple activities is taxing on the brain, and can often come at the expense of real productivity.” –Arthur Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin
You can get more done with a clear head and with less effort when you just slow down – physically and mentally. Take five minutes to lie down in the grass, go for a walk on your lunch break. Here’s a crazy thought: leave your phone at your desk. Try doing nothing at all. Allowing your body to relax allows your mind to relax. Give your brain a breather. By taking control of your actions and consciously slowing them down, you can take back control of time. You give your brain a chance to catch up, and by extension, your productivity increases. Remember: this isn’t an opinion, it’s science.
If you need a little push in the right direction, come visit our wellness retreat in Southeast Asia. You can learn how to slow down straight from the experts. Whether you spend a few days wandering aimlessly through Siem Reap’s mystic temples, or you force yourself to drop your phone off at reception and spend three days letting someone else plan your schedule. A 3-Day Burnout Program schedule consists of morning yoga, massage, private meditation classes and more massage. You’ll relax, recharge, and pick up some helpful tricks to take back home with you.