By Judy McSween
“I think that I need some time away from everything—a few days by the beach, a few days in the country, somewhere where I don’t know anyone, somewhere where my meals are prepared, somewhere I can go and just do nothing.”
Does any or all the above sound familiar? If so, think back to when these thoughts and words emerged? For some of us, it probably coincided with the end of a particularly stressful period such as meeting tight deadlines, post final exams, after a loss. Perhaps it was during a period when you had a major decision to make.
There is something within us that innately guides us to recognising that recovery from periods of stress, and our best decision making is best facilitated by periods of silence, stillness and alone time.
Yet, how often do we create the space for intentional silence, stillness and alone time? We tend to enter this simple practice after the proverbial horse has bolted, when our blood pressure reading is high, we are having problems sleeping, we are unable to focus clearly, or the doctor’s visit says that there is nothing wrong with us physically.
What if instead of waiting on these symptoms to surface, we began an intentional, daily, self-care regime? Instead of waiting until we have reached saturation point to plan our time away from everything, spend 20 minutes each day in a simple practice of silence and stillness. As you sit in the silence, you can choose to focus on the rhythm of your breath as you inhale and exhale, or why not bring your Christian faith to the practice, by reciting silently Ma-ra-na-tha (Come Lord), as you inhale and exhale. Try it for a week and drop us a line to let us know what impact, if any, it is having on you.
Till we meet again, it’s Time Out Specialist, Judy Joseph Mc Sween, encouraging you to take time out for your personal self care.