The world around me is piled high with snow, the renewed vigor of the start of the year has given way to ordinary clutter. It is a good time to turn inward, find renewal, and make sure we have the basics under control. Sometimes you just need a pause. In our house, that means I am trying to keep things simple as I try to help Amos sleep better. We will all be much more rested once we work through it. I decided that for the next few weeks this needs to be a priority and there are other things I can let go.
A pause is a chance to focus on the things that are essential and that really need our attention. It is also a way to slow down and take care of yourself, the things around you, and the people you care about.
When you need to pause:
Make time. Use whatever time you can find, it doesn’t have to be a whole week or a whole day. Maybe you choose an evening when everyone will be home to connect around the dinner table. You could take a walk or find some quiet during your lunch break. Or, try implementing a few minutes to pause at the beginning or the end of the day. The idea is to let go of the things that are not essential and focus on those that matter most.
Deliberately let go of distractions. Turning off or putting away your phone, computer, television and other distracting devices will give you at least a few extra minutes to focus on things that matter more. Ask yourself if something is essential, if it has to be done now, or if it will make life more wonderful. If not, let it go.
Choose what you want to focus on. Depending on how much time you have, maybe you will spend an evening focusing on an important person or relationship or spend a weekend getting the rest you need. Choose what you can outsource or do ahead of time so you can really benefit from taking this time to catch up with yourself.
Prioritize taking care of yourself. It can be tempting to just veg out when you are tired and need a break and sometimes this is okay. Instead of making it a habit, though, find healthy ways to nurture yourself. Finding small moments to pause to eat a healthy meal, drink water, write in your journal, stretch or meditate or do anything that makes you feel nurtured and cared for can make a big difference.
Figuring out how to take care of yourself in the midst of busy-ness of life is a challenge. Remembering that you can pause anytime anywhere (close your eyes right now and take a deep breath) is a start and it is something you can return to again and again.