Whether your life is moving along a steady pace, or you are struggling to find peace in the midst of a major life event, taking a time-out is essential to your emotional wellness. We all need to make time to separate ourselves from the activity around us sometimes. We all need to think and feel without filters.
Often, however, time-out’s are misunderstood and misjudged. Today, we’d like to give you a little insight into what we believe a time-out ISN’T and what we believe it IS. We welcome you to share this insight with someone you really care about – especially during a time when there is so much happening in the world.
WHAT IT ISN’T
A time-out is not a cop-out.
The word “cop-out” is defined as meaning “to avoid a commitment or responsibility.” Taking a time-out is not a decision to cop-out on something or someone. It is a decision to take a break so that you can take care of yourself.
A time-out isn’t forever.
A healthy time-out is one that includes boundaries. Time-outs can be for just a few minutes, a few hours or a few days. Time-outs are a chance to break from the normal activity in your life so that you can think, laugh, cry, shout, feel, explore… whatever it is you most need for that insulated period of time.
A time-out isn’t punishment.
Sometimes when we take a break from our families, jobs or friends, our time away is viewed as a form of punishment towards those who love us. The more we can help our loved ones understand our needs and the importance of not perceiving self-care as a negative, the more enriching a healthy time-out can be.
WHAT IT IS
A time-out is an opportunity to release our feelings.
Feelings, particularly when they are minimized or unexpressed, can be overwhelming – even threatening to our overall health. Giving yourself the opportunity to feel, really feel and express your feelings (positive, negative and everything in-between) is nurturing and cleansing. Caged feelings can never yield the wisdom they hold when they are forever locked inside.
A time-out is an opportunity to choose.
The best decisions are rarely those made in the clatter of daily life. Taking a break to clear our minds, naturally opens up our heads (and hearts) giving us a chance to choose rather than react.
A time-out is self-caring.
As selfish as it can feel to walk away from others or a situation during a difficult time, time-outs are not selfish – they are self-caring. No one is able to be everything to everyone, all of the time… even those with tremendous heart and stamina.
Know your own bandwidth. Respect your own boundaries. Trust your intuition. Choose to give yourself a time to simply be. Each of these acts are a part of self-care and taking a time-out can be the first step to a healthier, happier you.