Written by Adonica Nichols, LPN
Taking a Break 

Taking a Break 

It’s so important to take a pause once in a while. Have you ever been so busy with tasks and work that you let life just pass you by? You may not even realize how busy you are with everyday things until someone says something to you like, “When was the last time you…..?”  As humans, we can get so overwhelmed by our routines and consumed with having to get things done, that we forget to take a pause and really enjoy what is going on around us. Feeling like we never have time to take a moment for ourselves can lead to anxiety and stress, which can be the root cause of many other illnesses. Here are some things you can do when feeling like you can’t find a pause:

Re-evaluate the situation: Is it really a chore that needs to be done at this very moment? Can it be pushed off for even just a few minutes so you can take in your surroundings, do some breathing exercises, meditate, or even just give someone an extra couple minutes of your attention? When you’re weeding your garden, can you stop to actually admire what you’re cultivating? When you’re cleaning your house, is it okay to take a few minutes break here and there to give your family some attention? How about when you’re in meeting after meeting at work, can you take a 10-minute walk to clear your head before your next meeting to starts? If you can relax, refresh, and reset, just a few times during the day, you may find you’re even more productive the rest of your day. 

Prioritize: Make sure you’re including self-care in your daily routine. Whether you have a full-time job, are a mother, a father, a single person with no kids, or any other iteration of a human being in this world today, we all have stress and we all need to learn to practice self-care. If your schedule is so busy during the day that you cannot find time for yourself to practice self-care, schedule it in as if it were a doctor’s appointment. Block off time that is just for you to enjoy. It can be as simple as sitting quietly in a park or taking a yoga class. Whatever will help you turn your busy brain off for a bit and just enjoy your surroundings. Wake up a few minutes early and practice affirming that you will take a few moments today just for yourself. Keep track of your pauses in a journal that you can look back and see if you took some time that day. 

Realize it’s okay to say no: In a world when everything is on-demand and expectations are high, you have to understand that it is okay and often imperative to say “No,” or “Not right now,” or “I’ll get to it when I can.” Many of us like to people-please, which sometimes makes us feel good, even when we feel it’s an impossible task. This can also cause anxiety and stress if you cannot get something done in a timely manner that you normally would. It is okay to say “I will do my best, but I may not be able to make that happen right this minute.” Putting off a task for about 30 minutes or so while you take a brain break does not mean you are a procrastinator or a bad employee. When you hit a roadblock,  that’s the time to sit back, take a minute, and reset your brain so you can then move forward clearly. 

We often talk about practicing gratitude as a form of self-care. One of the ways to practice gratitude is to be grateful for the beautiful things this world has to offer. You can stop for a moment when walking into work or getting the kids on the bus and see what is going on around you. Whether it be people, places, or things, there is always at least one thing to be grateful for around you. Remember to be grateful for the time we are given in this world, and that if you are constantly busy and overwhelmed, you can always take a pause to appreciate the positive moments and practice self-care.

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