Episode 061 - Should you press pause?
Welcome to episode 061 of the podcast! It’s great to see you.
At the time of recording it’s early April, and April is Stress Awareness month, so on today’s episode I’m talking about should you press pause?
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Transcript of episode
Hello! I’m your host, Lorraine Stone, at the time of recording it’s early April, and April is Stress Awareness month, so on today’s episode I’m talking about should we press pause?
There are times when we wish we could stop the world and get off for a moment. I shared in the last episode about how I had a radiator leak the first day I was alone the week after surgery, well, I don’t know if I tempted fate, but a few days ago I had another, this time the dining room radiator! And honestly, recovery, going back to the day-job, trying to manage a flare in my illness, my much slower brain, and working out what to do about where James and I are going to live (because he’s suddenly decided that now is the time to think about it….) is a bit much!
Sadly, we can’t stop the world and get off, but we can take steps every day to take a moment or five for ourselves. My lemon verbena hand cream is being used a lot more at the moment. Listen to episode 59 for how your power scent can be your confidence secret weapon, and I have a quiz on my website that will help you find your own. I’ll add links to the show notes.
So, why should we press pause?
Because the persistent multi-tasking, pulled in many directions, is Just. Too. Much. Taking the time to just stop (and hide if you want to) means:
1. Notice the little things around you.
If, like me, you’re all about the magic of mindful moments, gratitude, and manifestation, then this is perfect. Taking the time to notice the simple things in life can bring so much joy. For me, it’s how my coffee tastes and smells, smiling at memories in a photograph, feeling the sun on my face, even if through the window on a chilly day, watching the birds flit around my garden chirping away to each other. Watching Dots snore. I love that one even when she wakes me with it at 3am because it’s so cute.
Everywhere you will find things to pause for, be thankful for, and give our happiness and confidence a boost. Especially with things we’ve accomplished. Nothing better than saying “I did that”.
2. Notice the little things in your head.
These are actually not that little in reality, even though we have somehow convinced ourselves that they are. Have you noticed that you don’t often finish the thoughts in your head, or very quickly forget them? When we’re trying to do all the things, and we’re all guilty of it, our brains are working so fast that we no longer give anything proper attention. And it can exhaust us. When you pause, it’s easier to notice that your thoughts are out of control and you have chance to get it back.
Our self-talk becomes more critical. We say things about ourselves that we wouldn’t say to others. I’m much more likely to call myself stupid or clumsy when I’m trying to do all the things. I’m also much more likely to be clumsy when I’m doing all the things because I’m tired, and can’t concentrate fully. It’s like we drop out of the real world and the stories we tell ourselves run riot. We don’t need to be worrying about the past, we can’t undo it, or future tripping over something we can’t really predict as there’s sooo much to happen between now and then, when we should be more concerned with how we are right now, in the present.
James and I have a holiday booked for later this year, and because I was doing all the things I started to worry about not being well enough to travel, or if I can get there, not enjoy it when I’m there. What I should actually be thinking about is what I can be doing now to make sure that I’m taking care of myself now, so that I’ll have more chance of being ok for the holiday.
By catching the stories you’re telling yourself, you can question and challenge them to see how valid and timely they really are.
3. Notice the little things in your body.
When we pause, we have chance to notice what is happening with us physically. I’ve long since accepted since I got sick that I’ll find bruises on myself that I have no idea how they got there because I’m often banging into things. But, because we often live so much in our heads, and in our emotional feels, that we lack awareness of how our body feels. Do it now. What feels tense? What aches a little? Are you sitting lop-sided and you feel a little sore in your hip. When did you last move around, or if you’re currently bed or sofa bound, when did you last shift into another position, although this prompts me to ask when you last went to the loo, and therefore are you drinking enough?
Have a nice big stretch! What does your body need? Reconnect to it. It’s been known for me to be in the middle of making something, like a new dress, and I am so focussed and have lost track of time that I haven’t had anything to eat or drink for several hours. I finally realise I’ve lost all connection with my body when I either spin slightly or my tum lets out a very loud growl. Oftentimes, if I’m feeling a bit anxious, I probably haven’t eaten for far too long. There are times when it’s hard to eat. When we’re sick we often lose our appetites, or the will to want to prepare any food. But if we don’t eat, we just get more unwell.
Ultimately, taking a pause allows us to be more intentional.
With our actions. With our focus. With what we think and say to others, and to ourselves. Asking yourself what you need right now is super-important to give you opportunity to look after yourself.
Remember, this doesn’t need to take ages, you only need a few moments to pause and check in to notice the little things around you, in your head, and in your body. Practice this a couple of times a day, build it up, and it becomes a lot easier. If you need to put reminders in your phone, do so! As I phase back into the day job I have reminders in my diary to eat and drink regularly, and to move away from the desk for a bit.
I’d love to know what there is your life that you appreciate and brings you joy, or if you’d like some more information on my SHIFT programme, or support with working through what’s getting in the way of you reclaiming your life from chronic illness, you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find me on Instagram, at lifeinalign, just DM me, and I’ll get back to you. I’ve put a link to my email and my Instagram in the shownotes.
And don’t forget the quiz for you to find your power scent, your confidence secret weapon. If you go anywhere on my website, you should see a pop-up that will take you to the right page.
Thanks for listening, and remember – you are worth it, and you get to choose.
Have a lovely day.