On Slowing Down


The moss has replaced the green foliage of the trees, the mornings shroud themselves in fog, and the rain begins to fall. Samhain, All Hallows Eve has just passed, marking the midway point between the longest and shortest day of the year. The sun has become a less frequent visitor of the Pacific Northwest, tucking itself into bed before many of us have even finished our day’s work. This season asks of us to slow down, to be introspective; however, as an entrepreneur, artist, and maker, the holidays are one of my busier times of year. I’m sure I’m not alone in that claim.

Although I certainly find myself going through phases of letting busyness overwhelm me, I’ve found that incorporating rituals into daily life can be a helpful way to find pockets of time to bring myself back into the present moment. Replace mindless activities (like scrolling through a social media feed) with more intentional practices. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

  1. Make tea. Set the phone, computer, reading aside and spend five minutes enjoying the warmth of your ceramic mug between your hands and the aroma and flavor of freshly steeped herbs. Incorporate immune-boosting herbs into your tea blends. I like equal parts of elderberry, rosehip, and cinnamon. Other herbs to incorporate include: Astragalus, ashwagandha, cordyceps, holy basil, eletheuro, licorice root, reishi, and calendula.

  2. Journal. It could be five minutes or three pages. Writing first thing in the morning can help to clear your head for the rest of the day.

  3. Walk. Bundle up, grab an umbrella, and set out on a brisk walk. Again, it could be just around the block or twenty minutes. Notice the small shifts in nature. Maybe the grass is a little more green, the last couple of leaves have all fallen from the fig tree, or the morning fog has given the rising sun a slightly different sheen.

  4. Breathe. When all else fails, take three deep inhales and exhales.

    What are some of your favorite rituals?