What do you do with too many "to dos," fatigue and frustration?
Here are some signs you NEED a time out:
Does ONE or more of these scenarios sound familiar or represent your life right now?
It’s okay, you’re not alone.
Recently I have found myself moving quickly and feeling pressured to do more. More than usual, and that’s saying a lot for this recovering perfectionist with a loud inner critic. Even with much of my "to do" list is filled with things that are ultimately in alignment with my goals, values and dreams, the list has been long and is now growing longer. I have felt tired, conflicted and frustrated, making me wonder if I am going anywhere [with all of this doing] or simply moving in circles? The mere fact that I’ve been asking this question is a sure sign that a pause is needed. Slowing down and taking some “me time” goes against common beliefs that say “do more, be more, go, go, go!”
Can you relate?
Another need for pause comes forth when I recognize that when I am experiencing over-doing-over-being-go-go-go, I am out of alignment with the simplicity of the Four Agreements, offered by the Toltec teachings:
I believe that a time out is the most necessary ingredient to restore alignment when things have become overdone.
A time out might have seemed like a punishment earlier in life; similar to naps at daycare or sent to the corner. In retrospect, these are refueling sessions that allow for more productivity and restored balance. Taking a time out is the antidote to stress and the aforementioned laundry list of unpleasantness. Whether it’s five minutes, an evening or full weekend, choosing to delegate time to restorative recalibration. This often happens alone or in select company, in nature or a simple space. It can do wonders for the stressed brain and body.
If any of the signs listed above describe you, consider taking a time out. Just you. Get out a journal and write down what you feel is missing, the need to "do now" replaced with how it is to be free from the to dos. Release the emotions that are tied to the lists and pressure and musts and shoulds. Let out your emotions with a few swings to the punching bag or a power yoga session. Sit outside and soak in the fresh air. Blast that music and see what comes. It may be uncomfortable. It may feel like a waste of time. The to do list in your mind will likely tempt you out of the time out. Resist the temptation. In fact, tell a few trusted friends that you’re taking a mini break to get back to center so they can hold you accountable. People around you might not like you being unavailable. That’s okay! A grumpy, tuckered out, feeling neglected and confused YOU does no good for those around you, long term. Imagine how you’ll show up with a fresh dose of rest and attention!
Give yourself a chance to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Slow down. Take a breather. Dare to relax. Then get back to your to do’s with renewed clarity about what actually matters. Who knows, the list might shrink or motivate living differently.
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas