Take a breath

Blog post description.

11/10/20232 min read

woman blowing dandelion flower selective focus photography
woman blowing dandelion flower selective focus photography

Taking a breath can be the difference between calm and chaos - Alo Wright

I learned something recently, something seemingly simple. [Some things you just have to do, without knowing exactly how and without waiting for a perfect time.] In the last couple of months, I have been going crazy looking for time for self-care, to slow down, and to take a deep breath. I am a "let's completely reset," and "let's just do it all right now," or "start on Monday" type of person."

It feels good and refreshing to have a "clean slate." But, then Sunday's work or mess flows into Monday. So this Monday turns into the next and then you are three months behind on a goal or a promise or a clean, feeling completely burned out. At least that's why I'm here. I have stopped trying to get the world to stop and I have stopped myself. It sounds crazy but that is what we do. We say I will do this when "I'm less busy" or "on my day off."

In a social work class that I was taking before the pandemic, my professor introduced a mental health habit. Going home and leaving work at work regardless of what is left on your desk. As caseworkers, there is always something left to do, a child to help or a family review. Each decision is life-altering for families. However, the reality is that life will not stop. There will always be something to do, something to work on, and someone that needs your help. This is true for us all. Life likes to keep you busy. The answer to when to take a break and how is vague but simple. Whenever you need it and however you need it.

Here is a tip for taking a breath.

Choose how you want to fill each category.

• Self-care - Something you do for your physical body.

• Self-care is sometimes a bath or buying food instead of cooking.

• Breaks - Something that takes your mind off of the business of your world.

• Breaks are most likely calling friends and family or watching a movie or reading.

• Taking a breath - Something to you do to quiet or listen to your mind.

• Taking a breath could be anything that everyone knows is your time to yourself, which means they are not allowed to bother you. This could be brushing your teeth, meditation, or journaling.

• Slowing down - Completing one small task that is bringing you stress.

• Slowing down could be one load of laundry. Wash dried and put away.

Not every load, just one. Or maybe updating your Calendar.

When we metaphorically think to take a deep breath, we mostly think of a complete day of experiencing calm. While times and days like this exist they are far and few between. Filling each one of these categories is a good way to create a balance between taking care of responsibilities and overworking.

Bonus tip - If you are incorporating some of these regularly and you still feel overwhelmed and tired, it might be time to let go of some responsibilities.

If you have been looking for the perfect time to slow down or take a break it will not come. You can not decide when life calms and stirs. The good news is that you can experience calm as life stirs and you can control when you do!