Kim Peterson, CEO CommonSenseHealth.org
For those of us who have had children, you have likely had the experience of your child or young adult going into complete overwhelm.
When a toddler is DONE, can’t take it anymore and decides to have a meltdown, it’s time to wrap things up...go home and take a nap.
Or when a teenager bursts into tears because everything is too overwhelming...tests, sports, friends, fights with friends, love interests, planning for their future. FORGET IT! They are DONE and need to take a deep breathe and calm down BEFORE taking another step forward.
And so it goes with all of us, but for some reason, when we reach adulthood a “time out” is not looked upon as time well spent.
When in fact, we too need time to catch our breath, unplug and allow the brilliant - next steps - to take form someplace other than in front of a screen of some sort.
Often times, taking a step back affords us the ideas and reflection we need to move forward with much more grace, intelligence and speed than if we had just kept plugging through.
So the next time you find yourself hitting a wall...repeatedly...try
getting up and letting go rather than pushing through.
Even if for 5 minutes, but preferably for 20-40 if possible. Just let the frustrations and unanswered questions spinning around in your head go…
If you can take a walk around the block or at a nearby park, great! If you need to go to a dark and quiet room, that’s great too, just break your pattern and stop pushing so hard.
Allow the answers to flow rather than demanding their presence.
Sometimes a different perspective is what you need to choose a more productive direction. By reaching out to a peer, friend or respected family member, you may glean some insights that help you move forward, rather than spinning your wheels.
As Dov Seidman - Contributor at Forbes so eloquently stated …
“Pausing creates a space where one can see clearly, differentiate amongst the competing stimuli of daily life and make determinations about how to best move forward. There is a great power in taking a step back. In a very real sense, it is not only the first step toward free will, it’s also the first step in morality. It provides the space to ask oneself, “How can I be better?” and lets one see beyond getting the next thing right to doing the next right thing.”
Whatever form your time out needs to take is up to you. The important thing is that you give yourself the gift of a taking that time.
Just as a flight attendant instructs us to put on our mask first in the event that the cabin loses pressure, we must also remember to “fasten our masks” in the form of stepping back, in order to better meet our obligations moving forward.
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