Slow Down to Speed Up

I’m in my kitchen. It’s after dinner, and I’m cleaning up. Exhaustion sets in.  We’ve all helped clean plates and wash dishes, but I feel the need to ensure that every pot and pan is returned to its rightful place so that counters are clutter free.  I feel fatigue from a long day. I look to see my husband sitting on the couch, snuggling with our daughter.  My first reaction is jealously and judgment.  Then I pause and ask myself, “why do I feel the need to clean? Why am I not resting and taking a moment with my family?”  This a goal for me in 2019. I stop and leave the dishes on the counter, but my compulsion to finish up is overwhelming. “Just a minute more,” I think, “and everything is in its place.”   I recall my December blog and sit with my family.

What is your focus for the year? It’s late January and many of us may have dropped or forgotten our resolutions (side note:  you don’t need a resolution.  Visit my December blog). Yet, any time is a good time to pause and review goals. What will the remainder of the year look like?  What does it look like to make my goals happen?

There are moments when we each feel pumped up and vigorous.  The energy level is soaring, and our goals feel like, “Wahoooo, let’s do this!!!”  At other moments, we can get in to a world of overwhelm and the self-talk that ensues becomes a downward spiral of reasons why we can’t.   What mind set are you?  What are you doing for YOU to keep the mindset positive and focused?

They’re always telling us when we fly on airplanes to place the oxygen mask on ourselves before helping our fellow passengers.  Do we take care of our mind and bodies on a regular basis to ensure we’re able to help those around us? How often when we make goals, are we budgeting time to rest and recharge?

Our body is a physical machine that supports our actions.  We often take for granted how it helps us live.  If you think about it, the magic of reading and comprehending is crazy cool.  Right at this second, your body is breathing, and you don’t have to tell it to do that.  It just knows how to function on its own. We are able to read and comprehend.  We can get up and walk across the room without first telling our mind: ‘ok, stand, and now right foot, left foot.’ It just happens.

If you talk to any specialist, that specialist will tell you how that body part supports the rest of the body. That specific body part is the most paramount. Your eye doctor will tell you it all begins with sight. The podiatrist will proclaim your feet are the foundation.  The chiropractor will tell you it’s the back because it connects the nervous system and the brain. 

One thing is for certain, as much as we are told to take care of our bodies, very few are proclaiming, It’s all about the sleep. Yet, rest to recharge, to regroup, to maintain and sustain our physical and mental capabilities is paramount.

There was a study I heard about years ago on worker productivity during construction of the Hoover Dam. I don’t recall if it was during a tour of the facility or during a training session, but they split two crews into two separate teams and measured productivity and injury levels.  They offered one group lunch and breaks throughout the day, and the other team a working lunch and minimal breaks.  Not surprisingly, the team with a lunch and breaks was more productive, and the team without breaks was not only less productive but had increased injuries.  This same study was recently performed during a bridge construction in Queensland, Australia and the same results ensued.

Slow Down to Speed Up is a phrase I first heard from Doug, a current colleague and a word wizard.  His phrases are often a paradox to make one think deeper.  Slowing down to speed up is one of my favorites. Basically, sometimes we have to slow down & stop and look at current operations, so we can see where, or if it needs tweaking.

Recently, I attended a networking event and the discussion was sleep and how it impacts our productivity.  The rep from Edgewood Clinical Services gave insights into how our bodies work in concert; how rest and better sleep result in better health.  So impactful, I reconnected with the presenter, Debbi Del Re, APN, PMHMP-BC, at Edgewood Clinical Services for further insights. 

Deb is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who has worked in mental health and psychiatric nursing for more than 25 years.  Her insights and suggestions for the mind and body are key as we look at new year resolutions and 2019 goals. Deb said, “taking care of the whole body and mind is key.” 

She communicated that many people have challenges sustaining new year resolutions and goal setting.  “We often set goals and resolutions for the new year, but too many changes all at once can set you up for failure.  Focus on two good habits for the next 30 days.” 

When asked to rank diet, sleep and exercise she said, “All of them are important.  What are you doing to move more? Enhance your mood? Eat better? Sleep better?  If you are good to your body, and listen to your body, your body will be good back to you.”

Deb emphasized that rest and good sleep are keys to help re-energize. 

“It helps hit the re-set button. Our bodies need time to rest and they need the down time to fuel it to move forward. What are you doing to tell your body it’s time to sleep?”

Below are a few additional tips to help you hit the re-set button when it comes to sleep.


  • Napping during the day?
    • Limit naps to a 20-25 minute power nap
    • Take naps before 3pm
  • Evaluate your nighttime routine
  • What are you snacking on before bedtime?
    • Limit evening snacks to lighter foods like pretzels, popcorn, or crackers
    • Limit sugar and caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime
  • Exercise is good but limit heavy cardio 3 to 4 hours before bedtime
  • Warm showers can help relax before sleep
  • Read a good book
  • Work late, so dinner is late? Choose lighter foods. Try to avoid fast food.

Deb concluded, “Everyone is different.  Find what works for you. Be Mindful.”

Sooooooooo……..What mind set are you?  What are you doing for YOU to keep the mindset positive and focused? Are you budgeting time for downtime

Give your brain time to rest.

Slow Down to Speed Up.

Slone Solutions, LLC provides hospitality solutions through customer service consulting, process improvement, and keynote speaking.

Edgewood Clinical Services offers a multitude of services including health assessments, counseling, behavior management, sleep studies and therapy to name a few.  Many thanks to Deb at Edgewood Clinical Services and Doug Fielder for their insights and inspirations for this article.

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