3 Levels Of Pause - Ditch Overwhelm
We often think that we need to get more done, that we need to catch up – and THEN we’ll feel less overwhelm. It might feel like if you take a break, if you pause, you’ll end up getting less done.
And that’s actually true!...
But when you do take these breaks, you might notice that half of the things you’re doing are not that important – and when you’re aware of those things, you can spend more time on the things that matter and still end up with time left over for yourself because you cut out all that clutter you couldn’t see because you were too busy.
Slowing down also allows you to see that not every moment has to be glamorous to be appreciated, that your emotional resources are limited and that using them wisely helps you get through your days in a more calm and collected way.
I recommend adding these three different types of pauses into your life, so that you can face your days with more energy and grit. This will help you unlearn the busy pattern that keeps you overwhelmed.
1. The undetectable pause
The purpose of these mini pauses is to check in with where you are, to reset your feelings, mindset, worries – basically to make sure that you go into something new with a bit of fresh oxygen in your system. It also helps you feel more collected and calm, instead of rushing from thing to thing.
These are super short, people around you might not even notice you’re taking a pause – but they will for sure see the difference in your mood and mindset.
Moments when you can sneak these in:
Stretch out your body when your alarm goes off
Taking a deep breath
Really inhaling in the smells of the steam from your tea in the morning
Feel the shower water trickle down your back
Taste the food you are eating, savor it
Smell the rain
Connect with God
These pauses are about simply being aware of what’s naturally going on with your body, and if your surroundings are making you feel something. Ideally we have multiples and multiples of these everyday.
Taking some mindful pauses in your day will help you feel more grounded when things aren’t going to plan.
2. The regular everyday pause
The purpose of these is to be able to fill your inner source – your cup – so that you have something to pour from in the next 24 hours. You might have a pause like this once a day, but ideally you would get in a couple of these.
Some everyday pauses to work into your day:
Exercise, get moving
Meditate and read scripture
Meeting up with friends
Calling up a friend for a deep conversation
Clearing your desk
I recommend you get at least an hour a day for activities that feel good to you – but even 15 minutes spent on what fills you up is more beneficial than watching a TV show for an hour all checked-out. Often after I’ve watched an episode (or four) of a show, I might feel a bit more rested than before but nothing has changed in my day, nothing has shifted and I still often feel the same internally. But after only 15-20 minutes of a more intentional pause I feel much more refreshed.
3. The long pause
The long pause might simply be time off work or taking a trip – basically any chunk of time away from your everyday routines and habits, lasting from a day, to a weekend, to weeks, to months.
The benefit of these is that you get distance to how you normally do things, and maybe get a big picture view of what’s going on in your life if you take some time to think about it. A pause from everyday routines and habits, can help you see what truly matters, and what you do simply as a default.