Compassion to self and others enriches our journey together
Brené Brown's recent announcement that she and her team are taking a sabbatical really struck a chord with me. The constant challenges of the last two years have taught me that my need to rest and recover is non-negotiable. And while a sabbatical is out of the question for me right now, I know that I need to prioritize building in time to reset and recharge—to make a habit of taking a pause.
"The power of taking pause is well researched. Not only does pausing promote relaxation, a break from noise and doing it also refreshes and reenergizes you for hours. Taking time to just be still and quiet gives your nervous system a chance to regain balance." ~Cara Bradley
Last summer, my nervous system was on overload. It felt like I was having an anxiety attack 24/7. I'd wake up in a panic. I wouldn't be able to fall asleep because my heart was racing. My thoughts were scattered and I had trouble focusing. Luckily I was able to rebalance my nervous system through meditation, mindfulness practices and, most importantly, the act of taking a pause.
In order to give myself permission to pause, I had to acknowledge what was realistic. These acknowledgments have made all the difference in honoring myself with what I need.
Yes, making peace with the unrealistic expectation that I "need" to get everything done immediately is the hardest step. It is also the most crucial.
Leaving things undone can be:
As women, we continually take on more and more and that's usually when we start to lose ourselves. I experienced it first hand in my marriage and again when Mason came to live with me – it's been almost five years and I'm just now starting to get my footing and find myself again.
Taking a pause doesn't look the same for everyone, and there's no set time frame. Try to limit the phone use during your pause.
A pause is NOT: doing laundry, shopping, vacuuming or scrolling endlessly on social media. I believe thats called "stresslaxing" and it most certainly is not relaxing. In order to make self-care a priority - you must delegate, prioritize, make peace with leaving things undone and intentionally choose moments in your life to press pause on all that's going on around you.
Now, I recognize taking a pause is crucial to maintaining my mental, emotional and physical health. Some ways that I pause are:
I'll say it again because it was hard for me: give yourself permission to leave things undone and pause. When you unpause, you will discover everything you need to do is still waiting for you.
This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988