Life @ U of T

Introduction

How I Make Time To Slow Down and Spark Joy Every Day

How I Make Time To Slow Down and Spark Joy Every Day

Hustle culture is everywhere. Students, entrepreneurs and everybody in-between are encouraged to work, work, work and produce maximum results in the least amount of time. According to Inc Magazine, this type of environment is not actually that conducive to producing good results, nor is it the best way to spend your life. It’s easy to forget to fill your time with the important things, like friends, animals, nature, interesting hobbies and more, when you’re spending every minute of every day hustling.

More and more, we’re learning that the most significant predictors of strong mental and physical health is regular exercise, eating whole foods and conducting a mindfulness practice. It’s extremely important to take time out of every day to not only slow down, but to do an activity specifically for you.

I, for one, have a habit of overworking myself––particularly as a high-achieving student. I’ve recently had to learn how to overcome this challenge by making time to slow down, every. single. day. Even the thought of slowing down consistently can feel like another task on your list, but I’ve found that it’s worth it. Here’s a list of ways that I make time to slow down and spark joy every day:

1. Lighting Candles To Create An Atmosphere

a pink candle titled "japanese plum bloom"

One of my favourite practices of aromatherapy is lighting a candle in my apartment. I truly believe that once you find the right candle with a pleasant scent, it has the potential to calm and lull all troubles away. Whenever I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I find that taking a break from the stressor and lighting a candle creates an ambience of relaxation and peace.

2. Taking Pictures To Store Memories

top of rocky mountain with snow and green pine trees

For the past few years, I’ve had an obsession with taking instax camera photos on my Fujifilm Instant Wide 300. The fun is all in finding the perfect shot and watching it develop over a period of minutes into a beautiful, lifelong memory. While I lived in Spain last year, I found myself snapping shots of my friends, my apartment, nearby cities, buildings and everything in-between. Storing memories through photography is not only a fantastic way to get out and explore the city, but it’s also a consistent way to practice your creativity skills. Even mundane events or experiences can spark more joy when you whip out a camera.

3. Making Art

coloring books titled "watercolor with me" in the jungle by Dana Fox. Sloth, parrot, monkey and cheetah.

I’ve recently developed an interest in colouring and painting books––who knew it could be so relaxing? After a day of gruelling schoolwork, I often find myself itching for my coloured pencils, crayons and paintbrushes and spending hours just getting lost in the art. While I’m certainly not a seasoned artist, it’s comforting to know that that is not the point.

The point isn’t to become the next amazing artist––it’s to engage my creativity and practice art to the best of my ability.

All in all, slowing down isn’t just a cute idea, it’s a necessity for students. I’m truly grateful for the way that it allows me to disengage from stressful day-to-day activities and make time for pleasure, fun and enjoyment.

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