Have you ever experienced a day when it started out great, yet somehow it tumbled out of control emotionally? Well, that was my day. It seemed like I was on the path to having “The best day ever!” in my Spongebob voice. I had a clear set of goals and the energy to get it all accomplished.
However, it slipped away from me.
Allow me to explain what happened. As I began working on my daily to-do list, I’d forgotten that one item required more emotional energy than the others. While completing the task, I experienced a slight tug on my heart laced with droplets of pain.
I felt my emotional level shift.
It continued and I knew an emotional storm was beginning to churn within. Once finished, I sat in the midst of a miniature turmoil. Emotionally baffled, I jumped up, left my home immediately, and gave myself a scenery change.
I needed a break.
I spent over an hour outdoors attempting to troubleshoot myself. I began to employ every self-care technique I could think of to balance myself. Nothing worked. Feeling defeated, I returned home, opened my door, then it hit me.
I indeed needed a break, but I had taken it at the wrong time.
I was attempting to deal with things at the “crisis” stage verses before it. It’s too easy for us to develop plans for when things happen. It’s great that we do. Having a to-do list to use when things take a downward turn truly helps.
However, it’s vital that we look at how things can be done before you experience emotional or physical shifts. For example, it would have been beneficial for me to break my task up over a few hours or days. This would have certainly brought a greater sense of ease to the situation.
This sort of thing happens to the best of us. There are ways we can better prepare ourselves to help prevent overwhelming moments. Here are a few.
- If you have a list, look at it closely. Ask “Do I have to finish everything today?”. A list aids in getting things done true enough. However, having a list does not equal do this now. If today does not feel like your strongest day, move a few tasks to a time when you may have more energy.
- Put it down. Sometimes moving things around is not good enough. There are some tasks that can zap you completely. When this begins to happen; stop, put it down, and return to it at another time. If it’s time sensitive, take 10 to 15 minutes to breathe or take a walk.
- Just say no. This one is simple. Don’t take on more than you can handle. This would assist in needed “crisis” created breaks. Also, ask a friend or support person for assistance if needed.
- Give yourself a break, literally. Look at that list again. Insert a break between tasks. If a task is lengthy, taking a break midway. For tasks requiring extra amounts of emotional energy, have a relaxation break afterward.
This by no means serves as an exhaustive list of things to ensure that you have needed breaks in life. However, it can serve as a good starting point. You can always tailor everything to your life.
In reality, I should have taken breaks during my tasks. I could have better access my emotional needs prior to starting the day. However, it’s okay to miss things here and there.
It’s natural to want to keep going when you are in the mist of something. It’s also awesome that we have the ideas and drive to get things done.
However, we cannot place things over ourselves.
While we schedule the time to take care of stuff, let’s begin to take time to give ourselves time. Remember, it’s okay to take a moment for yourself. Care about yourself today and take a break.