“I don’t have time!”
When it comes to self care, finding time for it in our busy schedules seems next to impossible.
In my experience self care is something many women find especially hard to prioritize.
Maybe we are hardwired to look after others, I don’t know, but as women we seem to have an especially hard time putting ourselves first.
We cannot, however, produce our best work, give our best selves, serve others to the best of our ability, be there for our children, spouses and parents, if we are running on empty fumes.
We rush through things, make mistakes, become irritable, jump from one activity to the next without a moment to collect ourselves, rarely present, always ahead of ourselves on the next thing on the to-do list.
Part of my job is to teach and encourage you to STOP for a moment. To PAUSE and look after yourself in a meaningful and constructive way. To help you be present for what you’re doing while you’re doing it!
Unfortunately I cannot count the number of times people have told me they don’t have time for it.
The optimum amount of time to spend in Constructive Rest is considered to be about 20 minutes. And I highly recommend you take this time to do that when you can.
BUT it is not necessary to take 20 minutes to benefit from Constructive Rest.
And you do not have to lie down to benefit from constructive thinking.
That’s why I have come up with the concept of the power pause.
Self care does not need to take a long time.
A power pause is just a few minutes – five minutes at most.
It’s time to be with yourself – to be present.
It’s time to bring your attention to yourself in a way that promotes ease and calm.
It’s a way to de-stress and clear your mental clutter.
You can do this lying down in the traditional Constructive Rest position. That would be great!
You can also do this sitting at your desk, or even standing or walking.
It’s all helpful.
Why not have a mini Power Pause right now:
Bring your attention to your contact with the surface supporting you – the ground, your chair….
Notice where you sense tension or discomfort in your body. Acknowledge it without trying to change it.
You are free to be exactly as you are.
Now notice where you feel relatively good – less tense, more at ease. This might even register as a lack of sensation. We’re good at picking up what’s wrong, but less good at noticing what’s going well.
Do a “body-ease” scan – noticing any ease from head to toe. (This is a skill that is worth learning and practicing.)
Now, without trying to change it, bring your attention to your breath.
Pay attention to the air flowing in and out through the nose.
Notice the ongoing movement of the ribs with the breath.
On your next natural outbreath, without deliberately taking a breath in first, very softly let the air out through the lips, as if you are gently blowing out a candle.
Then simply close the lips and allow the in-breath to arrive. There is nothing you have to do to make it happen.
Go through that sequence a couple more times, letting the air out softly through the lips, then closing them and waiting for the in-breath to arrive.
I am free to breathe.
I am free to notice ease.
I am free to be me.
Before you continue reading, take time to notice how you feel right now.
That’s a taste of the type of attention and constructive thought processes you can use when you take a power pause.
Self care does not have to take a long time. A few minutes can make all the difference.
To this end I have created the Power Pause Audio. It’s a little under five minutes long, and you can use it to guide your thinking and awareness whenever you need a little constructive self care.
I recently saw this meme posted on Facebook:
“Self care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
I couldn’t agree more.
You DO have time for self care.
In fact, it is a necessity.
All you need is five minutes of your time to regroup, refresh and re-energize with a Power Pause.
Do you find it easy or hard to practice self-care? What are your favorite self-care practices? As always, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments in the space below.
***Join the BodyIntelligence Community Facebook group. It is a place to find support if you struggle with stress – stress of body or mind. I provide daily resources, tips and inspiration to help you transform stress into ease, confidence and inner calm, AND, each week I guide a short “off-the-cuff” Power Pause especially for community members.
Join now >>