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Why it is okay to slow down

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

Constantly trying to keep up can be exhausting and it can make you feel like your life is about checking boxes:

Reading for that seminar: check.

Update your CV: check.

Doing those dishes: check. 

Paying that bill on time: cheque (or more like bank transfer to your housemate).

Checking that you have written a list to check: check.

Productivity as an escape

We have this notion that productivity is about compartmentalising our lives into small, colourful boxes that we are able to check off, in order to rush to an end goal and to pursue a purpose; an ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is.

Ironically, I took on this article during Fresher’s week. Partly to feel productive. Partly because I like to write. Partly to push myself to have to actually think about slowing down for myself. Seeing the title made me think about my relationship with myself and the world we live in. The concept of ‘more’ is impacting the ever-changing, turbulent, rocky time of being a 20 something year old in a capitalist, consumer-driven society.

Productivity, I therefore have found, can be used as an escape from the anxiety of the everyday. Box ticking and having a full calendar can help you separate yourself from the fear of the unknown and allow you to distract yourself with the promise of progress. It (like many other things we do) can allow us to binge-consume our own lives in a way similar to how we consume film, TV and literature. The lack of control in not being able to see ahead drives us to rush to a position where we might be able to. This constant cramming of things onto our plates can lead to emotional hiccups; the burning out after over consuming everything around us. Slowing down feels impossible, as it would mean we have the time to take in everything around us, both the good and the bad. The pressure of wanting to do more, be more and feel more can feel ever present. Nevertheless, speeding up and away is not a permanent solution.


The reality of force and pressure isn’t as scary as it seems; it can actually be positive to learn to confront it by slowing down. Allowing only good pressure into your life is practically impossible but it can be made even harder if you are going at a dizzying pace. Recognising and accepting pressure, can be part of the process of taking care of yourself. Moreover, making active choices based on forces around you is easier when you allow yourself the opportunity to be aware. It may feel impossible to slow down in a world which seems to demand you to be going as fast as you can, but taking some moments to exist for the sake of it and allow yourself kindness and space is okay. Allowing softness and slowness when you are pushed to go fast is a hard choice to make but it can help you to build a stronger relationship with yourself.


Slowing down to allow yourself space is okay. The depressing truth is that we are young people, terrified to stop in fear of failing and becoming damaged. When you fear a world you live in, of course you don’t want to stop, and look at it and recognise what it might be doing to you. In a world that will never accommodate for our personal pace, we need to make the space and time for ourselves. Slowing doesn’t mean stopping, it doesn’t mean failing. Not trying too hard sometimes is worth it. It’s in your best interest try to slow down enough, so that the forces in your life feel stable. Speeding up is sometimes needed; at times you do need to make lists and tick boxes. But it’s not necessary to do it all the time. Cooling and slowing down is okay too. Sometimes, it’s worth being ‘listless’.

Silva Shahini

Bristol '24

I am a history student at the University of Bristol; I have really enjoyed writing academic research articles for the Bristol history magazine, The Bristorian and wanted to expand further into more writing styles by taking the opportunity to write for Hercampus! I enjoy getting coffee that I didn’t make and really enjoy reading,listening to Taylor Swift and going on walks.