You’ve spent the past three months either staying close to home, sheltering in place, or some variation of that. You’ve given yourself to others during this time. Perhaps you were unexpectedly homeschooling. Or caregiving in your home for someone who was sick. Or sharing your workspace with your spouse. Or just worrying about keeping your life and business going.
Add to that the racial and political turbulence that came to a head in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps you were one of the many who participated in peaceful protests over the weekend. Or maybe you simply paused social media on #blackouttuesday.
If you kept up with any of what has been going on in our world, you can see that it’s noisy. Emails, blog posts, podcasts, traditional news outlets.
I recently read that the “typical” person receives 120 emails a day. That same person spends 11 hours a day connecting online with media. On a daily basis, you can read 1,331 newspapers, listen to more than 550,000 podcasts, and read more than 2,000,000 blog posts.
It’s enough to give you a headache or more if you try to keep up.
While you may think you’ve paused during the pandemic timeframe, in all likelihood, you did not. Not if you kept up with the noise. You experienced many stresses “behind the scenes.”
For my part, I actually felt like I was waiting for the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back early this week. In addition to the two aforementioned contributors, my house was in disarray from painting and trying to downsize. I had a couple other house issues that contributed to my stress. I had some business deadlines. And, I felt so cut off from human contact and conversation, other than my husband and a couple of morning walking friends. I felt an entire smorgasbord of emotions running through my body.
For me, the way out was to acknowledge the stress and look for something to help alleviate it. I ended up meeting a friend for lunch — albeit a socially distanced lunch. This was the first time I’d really allowed myself to pause and take a break from what I consider my “now-regular world.”
That short pause was needed. That short pause was not enough.
It was a good reminder of the power of pausing in my life.
I need to do a better job of protecting my energy, and maybe you do, too.
Monday after my lunch, I took an evening walk with my husband and Button, our dog. I asked my husband what his blessings were for that day. When he finished, I started to recount mine. I had so many blessings that I realized that the camel waiting for the straw would wait a bit longer. That pause made the difference for me.
What can you expect from your pause?
As I said, I found my lunch pause powerful. I also said it wasn’t enough.
As I continue to add in more pause time, it will force me to slow down and create space. The benefit of space is that you start to see things from a different perspective. You can see where you are, what you want to do, where to make adjustments. It’s a reset and a restart.
You will not see these if you don’t honor the time for yourself.
As we move into creating what we might call our “new normal,” remember to add some “pause time” into your schedule. You may use that for getting away from the vast amount of media. Make time for your own art. Dance. Play music. Add a meditation practice. Add time for stillness and reflection. Spend time in the quiet space just being. It’s time for self-care.
As for me, this week, thanks to the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I’m participating in a 21-Day Reset starting with a 5-day Fruits and Greens Smoothie Menu. I am keeping my focus on whole food nutrition. I’m making sure I get enough sleep. I’m getting the right amount of exercise. I’m spending time outside enjoying nature. I’m making art. And, I’m being grateful.
It’s your turn!
Do you need to add pause time into your life? How will you do that?
Love and light,