Wednesday, April 16, 2008

International Downshifting Week: A reminder to slow down

International Downshifting Week, not surprisingly, starts on a weekend. What better way to begin than on a lazy (or it should be) Saturday morning.

The sad thing is, we apparently now need a week to remind us to slow down. And it's no wonder. With two children under the age of 3, it takes me three hours to get to the office, I cram in my eight hours, rush back to daycare, do dinner, fight over how we don't have to watch a movie, begin the bedtime routines, attempt to clean up and go to bed, only to begin again. And my friends with older children only say it gets worse as homework and activities collide.

International Downshifting Week is a great notion. Slowing down doesn't mean turning in your notice to be a stay-at-home mom or move to a rural area. But ut does entail being cognizant about what resources you spend - financial, environmental, emotional and timewise.

Just a few ideas on how I can downshift in my life:
  • Reduce - or at least don't add to - my extracurricular commitments. Not saying no, particularly when it's a cause I am dear to, adds extra stress in my life as I work to squeeze those projects in on a hectic schedule. Not to mention I expend a lot of gas going back and forth to activities.
  • Prep my meals on a weekend. By doing my shopping and chopping in one day, I'm ahead of the game for the week. This reduces extra trips to the store and the stress of a "starving" child as I'm trying to get meals started later in the evening.
  • Use some of my scrapbooking supplies and create my own cards. It saves an extra trip, and I'll have cards on hand when I remember at 10 p.m.
  • Buy in bulk when it makes sense. It can save money and reduce packaging.
  • Try that slow cooker again.
Read other tips on how to get started on downshifting your life.

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