Every day take some time to take care of you. Pencil it in to your calendar if you have to. It can come right in between putting the kids on the bus and showering for work. It can fit in during lunch with a promise that this time you will take a real lunch, away from your desk and maybe even outside of the building you work in. It can even happen after work, before your night life starts with dinner and homework. Whenever it is, just make sure it happens.
Life seems to move faster and faster and we get busier all the time. Twenty years ago you would not see a person walking down the street with a cell phone and now it is nothing to see people walking down the street holding two! Have you ever taken a break from phones, TV’s, noise?
It’s really nice.
As long as we keep the constant electronic chatter going around us all the time, and that includes written words on social media, as well as music and video games, we will not be at peace. We need time to think. We are wired that way. We are not built to just keep having our brains stuffed with constant information and entertainment. At some point you have to process some of what is coming in to your head. Not only to make sense of it all, but we will find we have some trash to take out too! And, we really need to model this for the young ones. You know, the ones who are being born now with a smart phone built in to the palm of their hand.
Here are some things I do when I break:
- I set a timer on my phone to remind me to break just like I would for any other appointment.
- I take that break no matter what. Whatever was there for me 20 minutes ago will still be there. If it isn’t, it had all the value of an ice cube.
- Before the break starts I set another timer (with a more gentle tone) for however long I want the break to be: 15 minutes, 20, 30, whatever. This allows me to rest and prevents me from having the urge to continually look at my phone to see if my break is up.
- I drink water, eat almonds, or an apple and I almost always try to sit in the sun.
- Sometimes I listen to my breathing. Sometimes I visualize a trip I want to take.
- And my personal favorite, I do nothing.
When I take a break to do nothing I let my mind wander. I try to notice things around me I have never noticed before. I allow myself to think about anything at all, except for problems, because I think about problems all day long. I do not need to do that on my break. When a problem pops into my mind as it almost certainly does, I visualize one word to sum up the problem. I write that word on a cloud in my mind. Then I blow the cloud away from me and I go back to thinking about, well, nothing.
It is a little slice of heaven on Earth. When you return you will feel calmer and more centered. Something that seemed like it was on fire before your break is nowhere near the fire you thought it was. And most of all, you will be proud that today, you did something for you. Take time now while it is on your mind and pencil yourself in to your own life.