Life Copes

3 Effective Ways to Slow Down When Life is Speeding Up


Holy Moly! There are times when life seems like a runaway train. Oh, the train’s on the track but rolls along at a rate that requires I do nothing but hold on white knuckling it all the way! I just hit the horn <hoooooonnnkkk hoooooonnnk> so other’s know I’m coming. There’s no sign of slowing down. Oh no, no slowing down.


I think that about sums up my life as of late. Things have just sort of careened out of control but nothing that would really derail me.

It’s all just sort of running away with me. Things are piling up a bit, things are breaking down a bit, things are getting pushed aside a bit. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, a bit exhausted, and a bit confused about what step to take next on several things.

I’ve been making it through by doing 3 small, simple things; these things are keeping me at peace (OK, sane), slowing me down, and keeping me from rolling along scared and worried about where this train is going and whether it may actually stop at the next station.

Losing sanity is never a good thing. Slowing down is ALWAYS a good thing. Worry and scared NEVER solve anything. So, what do you do about it?


Find Quiet Time with God Every. Single. Day. it doesn’t matter if it’s 5 sec, 5 minutes or 5 hours; try to find some place and time to spend a few minutes reading the word or simply saying a small prayer. Read a devotion (I’m currently doing one called Real-Life Devotions by Lysa Terkeurst and love it. Nope, didn’t get paid for that plug). Listen to worship music or just close your eyes and be still for a moment. Do whatever feels like a good way to connect with Him in that minute. I find myself talking out loud to Him frequently (most people think I’m talking to myself, but I’m not, well at least not all the time, okay… I do talk to myself ).  Isn’t it amazing how God knows where in the world this craziness is taking us and that we’re never alone during the craziness?

Get Enough Sleep – Sometimes when things are off kilter, I tend to try to stay up so I can get things done OR I find things I need to do on my way to bed. You’ve been there, right?

It’s time for bed (actually bedtime should’ve been an hour ago) and as you walk through the house to turn off lights (why is every light in the house on?),  you shove some shoes back out of the middle of the floor with your foot, grab a handful of junk mail to throw away, trash it, see the counters didn’t get wiped down so you give it a swipe with your hand, which reminds you the floor needs to be swept. You head to the mudroom to grab the broom only to see a laundry basket full of clean clothes among the teetering pyramid of dirty clothes; so you grab the basket and head for the stairs. You pray your legs will cooperate as you take each step by painful step up the stairs wondering how in the world so many things ended up making their home on the stairway and begin tossing them into the basket that already feels like it weighs a freaking ton. You carefully maneuver through the hall so as to miss the squeaky floorboard (please don’t let the littles hear me) to your bedroom where the hubby is already snoring loud enough to wake the dead (how does he fall asleep so FAST?). You drop the basket on the bedroom floor (crap, that didn’t wake him up), drag yourself to the bathroom to brush your teeth while with the other hand wipes the bathroom sink down; you pause the brushing to change the empty toilet paper roll (who used the last of that and didn’t put a new roll on?). As you resume brushing, and think to yourself  “I really should take my makeup off” as you pick up yet another wet towel off the floor (how difficult is it to get it on the damn hook?), you decide one night sleeping in your makeup won’t hurt and then realize this is like the 50th night (ok, that’s an exaggerated number) in a row you’ve gone to bed wearing your make-up, awe screw it and you take yourself to bed. You literally fall into bed, exhausted beyond belief, only to spend the next hour (or two, or three) worrying or planning or trying to figure out tomorrow or the next day, or the next week, or the next meal, or the next…..the next….the next until your eyes drift closed and you sleep.

Sound about right? Yeah, that’s my reality too.

I’ve discovered when I’m tired and haven’t had enough sleep (do we ever get enough?),  I  get a lot less accomplished because I’m so flippin’ tired. SO, I set my sights on getting to bed at nearly the same time every night (I’m a 9:30-10-ish kinda girl).  I work really hard to get as many of the little things that drive me nuts (shoes in the middle of the floor, counters not wiped, clean laundry in a basket) finished before the “I’m gonna turn into a pumpkin hour” comes along. The more often I get to bed near the same time every night, the better I’m getting at being ready to go to bed and actually fall asleep. Weird, I know.

Then, of course, there’s this – when I am ready to get to bed, I’m tired and ready to sleep when, BOOM! My brain decides, nope…let’s think about……this, and this, oh and that, how bout that? Did you get that done? No, well maybe it’s because…..

Now how am I supposed to sleep if my brain has decided to be a chatter box reminding me of all the things I’m not getting done?

Write It Down – Keep a notepad and pen next to the bed for just such a night. When your brain decides you’re not sleeping, simply write down all of those things your brain is going on and on about (it really can carry on for hours about absolutely nothing). Sometimes, after you write something down, your brain quiets and then thinks of something else, so write that too. You may need to set a time limit for this activity because if your brain is anything like mine, it can keep going and going. I allow myself to write down my brain’s thoughts for 15 minutes, which gives me plenty of “to do’s” for the next day. After that time, it is night-night. No excuses, no stresses, no worries. Tomorrow is a new day.

The longer I do these things, the more effective I’m finding them to be. Remember a new habit usually takes 21 or more days to become established. These things may seem alien for awhile, but DON’T GIVE UP! You can do it and slow down the crazy runaway train that you call living! I’m right there with ya.

What are some coping methods you use when life is a runaway train?

9 thoughts on “3 Effective Ways to Slow Down When Life is Speeding Up

  1. I”m a firm believer in lists Robyn. Especially since we have thoughts and can so easily forget them, even if it’s something we really need to do!

    Sleep? Vital!!

    Glad you’re back in control of that train. 😉


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