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Pauses DON’T HELP stress and burnout

“I will start to live healthy again when I get through this busy period at work.”

“I will include more self-care when the kids get a little older.” 

“I will practice mindfulness in the New Year.” 

“I will get fit when I am back from my holiday.”

Dependencies are not great

And it’s dependencies like this that kept me stuck and in a downward spiral for so long.

How many people really come back from a vacation and make a big change or even better start a New Year’s resolution before January? 

Probably very few; none that I know.

We give ourselves a PAUSE PERIOD. 

If it’s Friday, we wait until the weekend is over and start fresh on Monday.

In my case, when life got fuller and more chaotic, I gave myself permission to pause. 

First it was “After the first baby is born” and then “after the second”, then it was “after we are settled in from this move” then came “when work slows down.”

I paused to wait for the timing to be better. 

And we all do this.

What is happening is an internal permission to pause until all things are in perfect order.

So what is so wrong with pausing? 

Surely nothing?

Hype culture touts the pause as a solution to all things.

“Take a day off.”

Well, I bear the unpleasant news that pausing only really builds a skill in pausing and nothing more.

Life is constantly changing with evolving roadblocks that we have to work around. It can get really messy at times, and can be downright hard. If we wait for the perfect time to make a change, we may wait forever. 

What instead of ad-hoc, exhausted pauses?

I like to advocate a healthy habit of taking truly mindful and restorative breaks. 

We tend to put off building healthy habits in the quest for a magic solution while we are in the trenches. This creates avoidance and increases our tiredness, bad stress, and, possibly, burnout.

Unfortunately, that makes no sense. 

When life is tough, and everything in your body is telling you need a healthy break, you MUST give yourself one.

But don’t wait.

Don’t wait till your bad stress and anxiety are soaring, 

Till your focus and thoughts are flying all over the place.

You have to do everything in your power to keep it together!

Proactive is ALWAYS better than REACTIVE.

This may feel like just another to do. 

It may seem counterintuitive to be adding something else to be proactive about to your plate when you are already flat out exhausted. 

That’s when you MOST need healthy habits. 

Systematized breaks. 

Taking that much needed breath is what helps us through the difficult times.

A couple of resources for you…

Are you looking to implement a simple habit into your team dynamic at work? Discover Mindful Doodling

Are you an individual looking to relieve your own built up stress? Start here

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Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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