Last month, I somehow ended up doing what I often recommend to my clients: taking a 30-day time-out. I don’t mean totally checking out but just dialing things back a bit by 10-15 hours a week.
My time-out did not start as a deliberate decision, but rather it was something that just sort of evolved.
I began to sit in silence more often and realized that it felt really good. Instead of jamming in one more wonderful, must-listen-to, and compelling webinar, I drove in silence.
My time-out meant not writing a newsletter or posting on my blog and becoming basically quiet on Facebook. It meant not worrying about what people might think nor entertaining the fear that I’d be forgotten. It meant moving at a slower pace, listening and noticing the sounds around me-my thoughts, the breeze-and taking an extra walk or swim in the ocean.
Instead of tuning into Netflix or Amazon Video, it meant reading before bed. Since I can only last about 30 minutes while reading, it meant that I was able to bank an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep each night.
Mind you, I’ve always been a good sleeper, getting an average of 7 hours, but that extra time made a significant difference in my level of inflammation, energy, creativity, and my outlook and focus throughout the day.
I was reminded that as much as I wish I could do with less, I’m happiest and at my best with a solid 8 hours of sleep. (If you’re not getting the sleep that you need, perhaps I can help).
My pause allowed me breathing room for a subtle reordering. It allowed me to embrace rest and quiet, to allow internal as well as external shifts to surface, and time to notice these shifts.
Nothing earth-shattering happened during this last month. There was just a quiet sweetness that crept in: a softness, a gentleness, more moments of compassion and generosity for myself and others, and that was worth more than the possibility of falling behind in business performance.
Sometimes we need to be reminded about giving ourselves time and space for healing and for internal and external shifts to happen.
If you’re feeling disconnected or overwhelmed, give yourself some breathing room and watch what happens.