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Stop. Just Stop.


You have to organize your paperwork. You have to scrub the tub. You have to wash the dishes. You have to fold the laundry and start a new load. You have to make dinner and pack lunches. You have to hang up that picture. It’s been leaning against the wall  for months. You have to check your bank account. You have to buy that thing.

Stop. Just stop.

You have to run a bunch of errands, all over town. And you have to make everything look and smell pretty. Then it’ll be OK. It’ll all be OK.

Stop. Please stop.

Stop to listen to your heart. To feel a bit of that pain. There’s nothing wrong with performing all those tasks. Getting them done is fine and good. Being organized makes our lives easier. A pretty home helps us to feel peaceful. It helps us to create a sanctuary, which is one great way to care for ourselves.

But sometimes, we use all the doing and going and running around to heal a hole that can’t be healed by a tidy home or a clean sink or a new filing system. We don’t even realize it. But the truth is that all the doing and going and running around is about ignoring the ache. Pretending it’s not present. Pretending it’s not throbbing.

And yet what we need to do is to take a break, to listen, to feel the vibration, to feel the beating of our bodies. We need to acknowledge the existence of our cut. Maybe we cry. Maybe we journal. Maybe we listen to a song that helps to extract the emotion.

I know this hurts. Physically. It hurts like there’s a bruise right on your heart. An actual mark. An actual wound. A literal hole. Like you fell and injured every internal organ. Like there are big welts that might need weeks, months to heal. Like your bones are shattered.

But by attending to the feeling, by caring for it, gently, compassionately, it gets better. The welt goes down. The cut closes up. The hole shrinks in size. It heals. Slowly. Maybe very slowly. Yet surely.

This is how we honor ourselves. This is how we move on.

Image credit: Exsodus/
Stop. Just Stop.

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2016). Stop. Just Stop.. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Aug 2016
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