Give Yourself Permission to Take a Break

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It seems that we all walk around with massive “To Do” lists and very tiny notes somewhere in the back of our mind that we should stop and smell the roses. Or whatever particular phrase catches your attention, meaning to enjoy life, to breathe in the incredible diversity of our planet and the adventures it offers.
But duty calls, and for most of us, the idea of taking time off that is not a scheduled vacation or a planned outing, is a challenge. We get antsy. It doesn’t feel right, somehow, to hang out and do nothing much. We leap up to put in a load of wash, or dash out to the grocery store and take care of other errands on that ever-present list.
What would it feel like to just take a break? Start with 10 minutes each day. Put down your electronic devices, turn off the television and radio, set aside work, newspapers, magazines and all the other “things” that we use to constantly fill our mind with messages from others.
Go within, and be still. And listen for that message from you. From your heart, from your inner self, your higher self. At first it may be difficult to hear anything because the chatter continues in your mind as you berate yourself for sitting still, think of more items to add to the list, and so on.
Be patient with yourself. When the 10 minutes is up, get up and go about your regular routine with no self-judgment or criticism that you didn’t do your “break” the right way. It may take practice to get back into the easy rhythm of appreciating your life.
But you can do it. I have every faith in you. Oh, and by the way, if you have a wide streak of perfectionism (as I used to), give yourself permission to do the rest of the day’s work at “B+” level instead of overachieving. Your body, your mental health and your stress level will thank you for these changes.
Evelyn Brooks