Pushing pause on our lives may not be easy, but it is necessary. Here's how to do it.
This past week I had the opportunity to get away for five days at the beach.
I love the beach. It is my happy place; the place I envision in my mind when I am struggling with overwhelm and need to take a few minutes to calm down.
So, when we got the chance I was thrilled... until I looked at my calendar. How could I take a break from my life when there were so many things I needed to do?
We could spend most of the weekend relaxing, but Sunday was the Super Bowl and we were co-hosting an event with some friends. Then, on Monday, I was supposed to coordinate an event for my son's soccer team. Neither of these events could be rescheduled.
As a result, I was home Sunday afternoon but I kept wishing that I could be back at the beach. There was nothing, really, stopping me. All my clients are remote so I could still meet with them. My son didn't need me to be home as my husband wasn't traveling this week. I had no in-town meetings.
Yet, I still resisted, fought even, the idea of heading back out to a place I love. In sharing my frustration with my husband I finally understood:
I was fighting pushing pause on my regular life because I was afraid of missing out...
What IF my son did need me?
What IF a meeting popped up?
What IF someone else needed me?
Y'all, this is NO way to live. It was clear I needed to push pause on my life and stop this tendency to live in fear of missing out, messing up, or somehow not being enough.
So, I went back out to the beach and stayed there until the very last minute. I came back Wednesday afternoon happier. It wasn't that I was miserable before I left, quite the opposite, but when I returned I felt...free.
Running from one event to the next, working to please one person and then another, completing one project at work and then moving on to the next all without stopping drains us, just like leaving all the APPs on our phones drains the battery life.
Maybe you are like me today. Your life is moving along well. You have a good routine and are enjoying what you do and who you interact with each day. Why is it important for you to push pause?
Pushing Pause will allow you to display gratitude for all that is going well in your life.
Pushing Pause will give you the opportunity to check the direction your life is taking and assess whether or not that's where you want it to go.
Pushing Pause will develop the space to dream about what you want out of life.
Maybe, though, you are struggling in the season you are in right now. Maybe life is not as you expected or hoped for and you are doing all you can to stay afloat. Why is it important for you to push pause?
Pushing Pause will give you space to process what's going on in your life in order to determine steps forward that will get you out of the overwhelm.
Pushing Pause will allow you to see what you can be grateful and thankful for amid the difficulties.
Pushing Pause will develop the space to exhale and breathe in in order to receive the strength you need to keep going.
So, how do you actually push pause on your life? Here are somethings to consider:
1. Acknowledge the benefits of pushing pause on your life. What could happen FOR you if you paused for a little bit? Determining the why behind pushing pause will make it easier to chose to do so.
2. Determine a time limit. How long do you want to push pause for? This may be influenced by how busy you are, and that's Ok. Even a 30 miun mini-pause, done regularly, is better than not at all.
3. Create a pause place. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? These are questions to consider in creating a place to pause. Consider a quiet closet (especially with young kids) during nap time, or a walk through a park, or even a hotel room for a night.
4. Silence the inner critic. Ignore the fear that you might miss out and acknowledge that there will always be more to do. We are foolish if we think we are so important we can't leave our own lives for just a bit, or that we can get everything done or get all caught up. We aren't that important and, realistically, we will never have nothing to do. Instead, tell that inner voice you will be better at handling whatever else needs to be done AFTER you hit pause for a bit. It's the truth!
Pushing pause on our lives is valuable. It helps us develop the strength, perseverance and grit to face whatever comes our way each day.
So, as I finish this blog post, I am going to push pause and take a walk outside. 30 minutes or so from now I will have a grateful heart, a clear head, and a direction for what do next.
How can you push pause on your life this week?