One of the things I’ve struggled with for most of my life is maintaining a sustainable pace. I’m someone who tends to run non-stop until I’m overwhelmed and exhausted leaving me with barely enough energy to get out of bed.
Over the past few months, I’ve been coming to terms with how sustainable that lifestyle actually is (It’s not!) which has lead me to build intentional pauses into my life rather than being forced to take them.
By taking these pauses, I’ve learned a few things about myself:
- Things that should be relaxing aren’t anymore. For instance, playing Animal Crossing has become just another thing to check off my to-do list each day.
- Taking a break seems like I luxury I can’t afford. I often find myself making excuses for why I shouldn’t take even 60-second break because I should be doing other things. Never mind, how much time I spend on Reddit though…
- My ability to focus has become nonexistent. Whether I’m pausing for 5 minutes or 60 seconds, the struggle is real keeping my brain from jumping to the next task.
Sadly, as I’ve mentioned this way of life just isn’t sustainable. Constantly rushing from one thing to the next means I’m in a state of constant stress and anxiety, which can and has lead to real health consequences.
Knowing my strengths lie in finding solutions and staying on schedule, I’ve started scheduling 2 short meditations (5 minutes usually) every day – once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Like exercise, I now consider these non-negotiable.
Some days I use a guided meditation. My current and free app of choice is Insight Timer. Other days I use the Breathe function on my watch. Other days I just honestly use the time to do nothing.
The important part isn’t how well I do or what I do. It’s actually teaching my body a new baseline of reactivity. Honestly, it seems silly to think that I’m having to teach my body to relax, but, then again, after all that’s happened in the past 12 months or so, nothing about this world surprises me.
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