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Do you feel like you’re rushing through life? Do you feel overworked, and at times, overwhelmed?

With many of us leading such busy lives – juggling work, study, sport, fitness and leisure; trying to fit in relationships and time for ourselves – it is often difficult to schedule in down-time and unwind.

Not finding the time to do this can go hand-in-hand with higher levels of stress and anxiety. However, it’s not all gloom. A few small habit changes can make a substantial difference. Read on for a few suggestions on how to slow your life down and be more present.

Unplug

So many of us are attached to our smartphones or computers. It has become the norm to constantly check for texts, emails, tweets and Facebook updates or to mindlessly scroll through Instagram. Set time to disconnect from technology – even for just an hour a day, or alternatively, you can set a notification across your social media accounts to remind yourself when you have used the app for a specific period of time that day.

Have a phone-free policy at dinnertime so you can take the time to chat to family or friends about your day, laugh about memories or make plans for a fun trip away. Get involved in other little projects, such as sewing, cooking or gardening.

Unplugging will allow you to increase your awareness of your surroundings.

Enjoy nature

Sydney has no shortage of beautiful parks and beaches. With picturesque coastal walks and vast bushland, there are many different places waiting to be explored.

Get outside, go for a walk and bask in the sunshine. Sit under a tree, read a book and listen to the sounds of nature – by yourself or with a friend. You’ll be sure to feel better for it.

Wellness through activity

Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness has a fantastic range of wellness classes to suit all experience levels. These classes can enable you to build flexibility and strength, and also leave you feeling centred and calm.

Les Mills Body Balance

Controlled breathing, concentration and a structured series of moves, poses and stretches to music create a holistic workout that brings the body into a state of harmony and balance. It’s your personal time out from the stress and strains of daily life.

Yoga

Yoga brings the body and mind together and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing and meditation. It is great for relaxation, creating a deeper awareness of your body and increasing flexibility and balance.

Pilates

Experience positive body awareness. Teaching balance and control of the body, Pilates yields numerous benefits such as flexibility and strength, particularly of the core. While we are all familiar with the fact that exercising regularly can have benefits such as maintaining a healthy weight and improving overall physical health, it can also go a long way to improve our general mood, quality of sleep and also support the immune system. It can also enable us to attack the day with a clearer awareness following a morning exercise class!

Practise mindfulness

Sit still for a few minutes, focus on your breathing, and be aware of the sounds and feelings around you. Mindfulness simply means paying attention to the present moment while consciously accepting your thoughts without judgement.

You can develop mindfulness in day to day activities, from in the morning when you wake up, to sitting at your desk at work or brushing your teeth before bed.

Worrying about ourselves and others is often a default setting for our brains. If we can break the cycle, happiness and success in our daily lives can follow.

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