I finally decided that it was time for me to stop and hit the reset button. Since the world went all crazy in March I feel like I have been going one hundred miles an hour. I’ve been trying to manage working full time in the hospital, teaching yoga and creating content while also providing education, entertainment, and appropriate social opportunities for my daughter. Trying to give my husband the break he needs while also setting and maintaining boundaries within my extended family. I’ve been worrying about what school will look like in the fall, sometimes ruminating on how I’m going to manage it all and I’ve fallen behind on taking care of myself.
I was asked to present a continuing education course for Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches a few weeks ago, the topic was Resilience for Reducing Burnout in Healthcare Providers. It was an incredible opportunity and I spent hours researching and writing my presentation so that it most accurately reflected the struggles we are all facing while offering some of the most effective and efficient tools for building resilience. Presenting live was a huge rush and as I passionately and convincingly spoke about the Pillars of Resilience I had an “aha” moment.
It was time to take my own advice. It was one of those out of body experience moments, the kind that us coaches talk about with clients all the time.
What would this situation look like if we were able to step back just a little bit?
What would be different if we were able to be the fly on the wall so to speak? To be the objective observer of our own situation rather than grossly intertwined with the emotions of the experience?
For a moment I was that observer of myself and I heard myself loud and clear. Speaking to and convincing others how important it was to take a break, to go on vacation, to unplug and reset. It was at that moment that I gave myself permission to do the same.
Permission to Stop
It may sound strange that I needed permission to stop, but I really don’t think it’s all that uncommon. In fact if I were to guess, I’d guess that there are a lot of you that can relate. We go and we go and we give and we give without pausing to connect to what we need. Whether it’s skipping lunch that one day, skipping your workout for a week or putting your own life on pause for years while you raise your family of five. It’s these small choices that we make each day to put others’ needs ahead of our own that often lead us further away from what it is that we desire. Those things that we not only need for survival, but that will allow us to thrive.
Many of us have been working tirelessly on the front lines of healthcare while simultaneously trying to keep it all together behind the scenes at home. If you’ve known for sometime that you need a break, but have just not pulled the trigger, here’s your sign. Here’s your permission to press pause and do what you need for you. Or perhaps you had no idea you were feeling overwhelmed and these words have been your wake up call.
Either way, welcome. Permission to stop and hit the reset button has been granted.
It can be a bit scary at first, I totally get that! Being busy keeps me going. Stopping to reconnect feels weird and a bit foreign. What am I supposed to do with myself, just sit here? How does this pressing pause thing even work?
Hands up if you are wondering the same!
As a highly motivated, rather rigid (work in progress), Type A personality this is the tricky part. Learning how to take that space has been a journey for me with lots of twists and turns. After lots of trial and error, here are my top three tips to get you started on the right path!
1. Put yourself in a setting that’s conducive to pressing pause
For me that meant no work, closing my laptop and getting out of my house. The laundry, the dishes, the cleaning was going to have to wait. That meant being in nature because that’s where my soul feels the most free. Being outside and experiencing nature is where I feel most connected to myself and to what I want for my life.
Perhaps it’s similar for you, or perhaps not. Maybe you need to take a hot bath, go to a Yoga class, spend a long weekend at your family cottage, or finally take that week off that you’ve been delaying all summer. It’s different for everyone.
Take a moment and transport yourself back to a time when you felt the most clear, the most settled or felt truly at ease. What did it look like? And what would need to happen in order for you to revisit that moment?
2. Surround yourself with people that support your decision to reset
Perhaps this means dedicated time for family or good friends. Maybe a new friendship has begun over the past few months and you’re feeling called to lean in and find support there. Or maybe, this means quality alone time with me, myself, and I.
We all know the people or the relationships that add to our stress. It’s easy to get sucked into these situations even if they aren’t the healthiest for us. I get it. But during this time of reset it’s imperative that you set that boundary. Pull back and take the space that you need to think clearly about the next move.
3. Consider these questions
These next couple of questions are going to feel like big ones so make sure you set aside some dedicated time to mull them over. Grab a journal, set a timer and write your heart out. When you’re ready, take a deep breath and let’s dive in.
- What really matters to you in your life?
- What brings you a sense of joy and happiness?
- What is one small step you could take in order to move closer towards the above?
Maybe your responses are abundantly clear or perhaps you have no freakin clue! Good news is, there are no right answers. The power is in the consideration. In taking the time to really think them through and dedicating time to bring your awareness here. There are a number of iterations of the quote “where your attention goes is where you energy flows”. The idea is that in bringing your intention to these areas you are allowing them to blossom and grow.
For me, this was an eye opening exercise even though I had actually done it a number of times before. The road map shifts often and it is so beneficial to really check in and make sure you are on the right track every now and then. I had gotten bogged down in the day to day and had lost sight of the above. Stopping to hit the reset button allowed me to become more clear about where I was headed. It allowed me to begin planning (self proclaimed Type A Planner here) what I needed to do in order to start moving in that direction.
That didn’t necessarily mean immediate action. The first thing I realized was that before I could take any action I needed to take a break. I was worn out and the idea of moving forward felt impossible. I discovered that I actually needed to step back for a few weeks before I could do any moving forward. And that’s ok.
Now I’m in the information gathering stage. Preparing to make an educated decision about what my next step is going to be. I feel more clear headed and my motivation and creativity have returned.
Stopping to take a break may feel counterintuitive when you have so much to do, but I assure you that hitting the reset button is one of the best ways to reboot forward progress.
I would love to hear if this resonated with you! Are you ready to stop and hit the reset button?