If you listen to my podcast you know that sloths are my spirit animal.
Seriously. I love them. They represent everything I want to be.
And so I thought I’d bring you a lighthearted little post about all the things I try to emulate about sloths.
Sloths are delightfully slow rainforest creatures. They’d rather hang out all day than do anything strenuous. They sleep most of the time, unless they’re eating, or cuddling.
And from these lovely animals I’ve learned 5 valuable lessons which I think we can all learn a little something from. Here they are below:
1.Relax and Cuddle
You don’t have to cuddle to relax but WHY WOULDN’T YOU?
So you may not have someone to cuddle with, so what? Just get yourself a full body size pillow (like this one) or a random stranger and enjoy the snuggles.
Better yet, you need a stuffed sloth to remind you to take it easy. Here’s arguably the cutest one ever.
Why is it important to relax, you ask?
Look, I get it. I spend vast amounts of my time moving at a fast pace (i.e. dancing). We live in a world where relaxation is synonymous with laziness.
We think it’s an ugly word. But the truth is, it’s not.
We’re always on the run, always in traffic, always having some snarky fake-polite conversation with an obnoxious co-worker.
Stress is oozing out of our eyeballs.
So when you want to take a saturday and just binge out on Netflix, do it.
Just give yourself a chance to unwind and relax.
Our ancestors probably spent a good deal of time relaxing and our female hormones DO NOT work well in fight or flight mode.
So follow the lead of my dear friend the sloth and CHILL.
2. Get Enough Sleep
This goes along with relaxation but your body needs a solid 8 hours at minimum to function well. If you’re stressed, it probably needs more.
I have known many women who claim they “do better” on less sleep.
No. Just no. (That’s the cortisol talking!)
Sleep is a non-negotiable and if it is at all a possibility for you to get it, get it.
Myself, along with many others suffer from insomnia and trust me, its debilitating. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
So if you CAN sleep but you’re choosing not to, talk some sense into yourself from our friend the sloth.
The sloth NEVER passes up an opportunity for some z’s.
He’ll sleep anytime, anywhere.
Naps are ALWAYS an option and relaxing and cuddling help get you in the mood.
If you have trouble sleeping, there’s a couple of supplements I recommend. You can find most of them in my sleep post (find it here). I also really like Zen from Allergy Research Group for women who have difficulty coming out of fight or flight mode.
3. Look at Things From a Different Perspective
Ever notice how sloths are always hanging upside down?
Sometimes it takes looking at things from a different perspective to see them clearly.
Seeing as we live in a stressful world full of stimulation and annoyance, it can be hard to tune out all the noise and make the right decision about our lives.
Am I following the right career path? Is my diet working for me? Am I with the right person?
All of these questions can benefit from a different perspective.
Take some time, step away, maybe take a nap or two. When you come back to the problem, it might look a lot different.
4. Take Things Slow
On the same note, we also need to slow down to see things clearly.
Sloths take everything slowly. I’ve watched them literally take minutes to move a hand from one place to another.
It’s cute, but practical too.
We don’t often give ourselves the time to figure out how we really feel about something.
Most of us are conditioned for instant gratification and impulsive action.
Try taking the night (or the year!) to think about things. Sleep on it.
We don’t have to know everything right now and we don’t always get all the answers. Life is a long haul and it’s okay to take your time. It’s okay to do things slower than your peers. It’s ALL okay.
These things help you take the proper time to think things through.
5. Eat Well
Sloths may not eat a varied diet, but they do love to eat.
And they eat well.
It’s important for us as well, physically and emotionally, to eat well.
Eat your food, as much of it as you can manage, and eat foods that are healthful and wholesome. (See my article about setting food minimums here)
My list of the best recipes from last year are a good start. Find it here.
If you need a few good paleo snacks for meal replacements and post-workout snacks, check out my list of great paleo snacks here.
And if you’re totally new to paleo or need a reminder of your true inner sexiness (along with help for how to eat) check out my book Sexy By Nature (find it on Amazon).
Take it from sloths. Life is too short to live it any way but one slow, savoring, step at a time.
Any tips from sloths I forgot?