Today I went on a walk with my family in the forest near our home here in Provence, except there was one huge difference.

We walk often (well, as often as you can with a 2-year old and a 5-year old who are basically too big for the once-perfectly-practical double stroller). It’s one of my favorite ways to have a “Self-Care Share” date with my babies and husband.

But today, I made a choice to upgrade my self-care in a surprising way: I took it easy.

A walk in the forest in Provence might sound easy already, I know. But I’m not just walking — I’m rushing the kids out the door, pushing 80 pounds of stroller a mile uphill, wearing a sports bra, breaking out into quick sprints along the way, feeling sore after we get home.

The rush and runner’s high can feel amazing. But unchecked, it also leads to imbalance.

So, this morning, I decided to slow down.

  • I took my time getting out of the house.
  • I didn’t jog on the walk. I just, well, walked.
  • I even drank a coffee. (If you’re American, this is normal. If you’re in France, it’s not. In fact, cupholders basically don’t exist.)

Small changes like this are deceptively simple, but they can make a massive difference — because they wake you up.

Our walk is always pretty, for instance. But this time, it felt even more gorgeous. It was a perfect, sunny, brisk morning. Few people, no cars. The small village streets lined with trees, the old stones of each house steady and stable as we walked by. I heard my children’s laughter, and their little footsteps.
Instead of pushing myself, I moved more mindfully, easily, purposefully. Slowing down helped me see and feel these moments of this life.

Why are we so scared to slow down? Why do we resist not rushing?

Only you know your answer — because it’s unique.

But one thing I do know: if you rush through your life, you’re missing some of the magic. And slowing down helps you see it.

It’s one reason that self-care rituals feel so good. They give us that essential slowness that helps us balance and breathe and just be ourselves. (They also help us speed up when we need to, but that’s another post.)

Today, notice where you can ease up and slow down. Notice when, where, how and why you resist it. And use those moments to help you replenish your energy.

Because if you’re a mama, in any given moment, you’re gonna’ need it… and it will be right there for you!