I’ve been thinking about this phrase lately,
“To Pause or Not to Pause”. If you’re anything like most mums, you may well be feeling like life is outta control. Way too much to do. Way too little time. And an oversupply of people calling on mum to fix things, drive somewhere, make something, be someone….and so on. But how do we give ourselves guilt-free time to Pause and Replenish?
As a mother of two teens, family taxi driver, cleaner, cook, lover of one husband, walker of one puppy, kinesiologist to my clients, receptionist at a women’s physio clinic and a business owner; I find my energy, mental capacity and sanity are stretched at times.
I firmly believe I’m not alone. Maybe you feel like this? I’d love to hear how your “DOING” in life is affecting your “BEING” in life.
But why do we choose to be busy and fill our lives with activities or helping everyone else before we help ourselves? Do we value doing more because it gives our life purpose? We become important, dependable, knowledgeable, people can’t live without us; let’s say needed or maybe even loved more. Some may even feel “if I’m not busy I feel like I’m being lazy” or “if I say no to people, they won’t like me, and I’ll feel useless/judged/worthless…”.
Pausing in life is so important. It may be as simple as a few deep belly breaths, sitting with your eyes closed and sensing what’s going on in your body, staring at nature or even a green piece of paper. It might be getting outside and walking bare foot on the earth or having a cuppa with all visual and sound distractions turned off and really savouring every sip. And it means no phone!
Whatever it is or however you do it, the fact of the matter is we don’t do it enough or at all because we as humans in the 21st century have placed way too much importance on “doing” above “being”. As a result the power of the pause has been lost in the circus of juggling balls.
By creating time to pause in your day you can reset your body and mind. This often-short pause has a multitude of benefits to your energy levels, blood flow, hormone balance, productivity and mental fatigue. It can literally be 1-3minutes of stopping. It is about really checking out.
STOP is a great acronym to guide you through this so you can start to embed it into your daily routine.
S is for STILLNESS
- Consciously take the time to literally stop everything you are doing. When you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed with your “doing”, its time to connect to your “being”. Honour that. Find Stillness. It will only take a moment. A few deep breaths through your nose, into your extended belly and out your mouth will help you. Feel like the breath is coming from your toes and remember always make the out breath longer as this will flip you into the parasympathetic nervous system and out of “fight/flight”.
T is for TAP INTO
- Now that you have found stillness. Start to tap into your body. Are there any emotions, feelings or sensations? Don’t try to understand why. Just feel what’s going on inside your body. You may even place your open palm on areas you notice stuff happening and allow this to warm up and energise.
O is for OBSERVE
- This is where you can start to observe what your feeling. Are you hot or cold? Where in your body do you feel sore, tight, aching, tired? Are there any emotions coming up that you can name? Do you sense any colours, movement, sounds within your body as you sit in stillness? Remember this can effectively be done in 2-3 minutes out of your busy 24hours. You don’t need to understand it. Just observe it. Name it and move on to the next area of your body or sensation.
P is for PROCEED
- Now take a few more deep breaths. Know that the short time you spent checking into yourself you have been able to connect deeply, restore balance, reduce stress and overwhelm, identify any aches and pains that you may never knew you had and rest your body and mind to proceed. So, with your breathing back to normal now you can go about your day more centred, balanced and aware.
This pause in your life will over time show benefits. You will be better able to manage the demands, juggling balls in the air, sleep better, feel better and have more energy to help others.
I do this at times and when I do, I am happier, more productive and better equipped to handle what’s thrown at me.
To Pause or Not to Pause…you’ve got nothing to lose except a couple of minutes a day. So, jump on board and give a go and feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.
From my heart to yours