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Its easy, particularly at this time of year in the run-up to Christmas, to be unwittingly affected by the activity around you. The pace quickens, and your pulse with it, you’re drawn along as the world speeds up.

There’s no harm in it, as long as you can keep at least one foot firmly on the ground, otherwise the stealthy advance of commerce (or whatever drives it), will get you. That’s when stress sets in.

As an antidote, and to preserve your sanity, consider taking a slow break at least once a day. It’s simple to do, requires no special equipment, and can easily be included in whatever you are doing. It might help to decree a special time-slot of 15 minutes at a specific point in the day.

Here’s how: When the appointed time arrives, whatever you are doing, make a point of slowing down (use common sense if you are driving, or doing something where such an exercise could put you or others at risk). This might mean focusing more closely on the task in hand: mindfully drinking your coffee; really tasting your food; taking a stroll in the park; doing the housework, or whatever. The key is to do in single-mindedly, without distractions, and as languidly as possible.

Make a point of focusing on what you are doing,  and noting your observations. Engage in the experience with a sense of ease and curiosity, with the aim of remembering the moment later in the day.

That’s all you have to do, slowly.

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