Celebrate Pause Appreciation Day

Take deep breath in...c'mon, a little more, and breathe out...ahhh

Take deep breath in…c’mon, a little more, and breathe out…ahhh

I’ve noticed an increased fatigue feeling in some of my friends the past few weeks, and most would blame allergies, the weather changes, and other uncontrollable elements. Despite the aggressive schedules and numerous projects most have on their plates, no one admits the fast-paced lifestyle is the culprit. Lately, I’ve wondered how many people fuel their days from a natural zest for life and energy, excitement for what their daily work happens to be, and how many people are fueled by synthetic energy sources (read: caffeine!)

The harried cat is just hilarious! Don't we all feel like this some days? (I do. ha ha...)


The harried cat is just hilarious! Don’t we all feel like this some days? (I do. ha ha…)

I recall a day, two years ago, that I received a huge lesson in life. Despite my focus on getting adequate nutrition, activity, and leading a decently healthy lifestyle, I was exhausted—physically, mentally, emotionally. Each moment, I was on the fine line of losing it, lashing out, or giving up at any minute. Everything was a chore. Exhaustion was the new normal. Considering I took pretty good care of myself, I was confused by the overwhelming tiredness. I compared my obligations to some folks around me, and noticed that busy-ness was all around me. However, nobody else was walking through their days at a zombie-like pace, desperate for a nap.

Do you feel like a zombie going from day to day?

Do you feel like a zombie going from day to day?

The day I found myself getting droopy-eyed in an important meeting with some top leaders, and one of my colleagues nudged me to wake up, I called for an appointment with my primary care physician. A little embarrassed, I excused myself from the meeting and went home–to nap. At the doctor’s appointment, vitals were checked, blood was drawn, and a urine sample was provided. As I waited to be seen by the doctor, I perused a magazine article titled: Is Your Body Clock Pointing South? It was a story about how mothers were torn between having another child and pursing balance, yet they feared running out of time to have more children. As I read through the different women’s stories, I became increasingly irritated that I was sitting at my doctor’s office because I was tired. With no children of my own, I thought surely I should have a better balance than these moms do. As I read through their stories, I empathized with confessions of wanting to hide in the car or a closet for five minutes of solitude. I understood the frustration of not having morning coffee without someone interrupting with something they need. I shared their annoyance of social media because now there are more ways for people to interrupt the precious silence of our days–dinner times, family times, commutes.

Obligations are non-stop. Don't forget to look up and look out often!

Obligations are non-stop. Don’t forget to look up and look out often!

The doctor came in and asked me what was wrong. Hmm, how to answer… “can you be more specific?” I finally confessed that I couldn’t seem to shake a feeling of lethargy lately and that there was no real reason for it. We went through my daily obligations, all which seemed normal for a 32-year old working wife and step-mom. “Is it possible you have too much on your plate?” I thought to myself, no, but didn’t audibly answer right away. Rather, I asked, “how much is too much? She said it’s different for everyone, and that once a person starts to constantly feel physical remnants of their day in the forms of tension, headaches, sleepiness, or irritability, a person may be tapping their stress threshold.

I appreciate my doctor for not going down the road of, “let’s find a way to de-stress more often.” Rather, she looked at me and asked, do you ever take pauses? The confused look on my face gave her permission to explain further that everyone should be taking one-minute pauses throughout their day. These should be taken often and come in many forms. Closing your eyes and picturing a small island is a great pause. Try some of these other pauses throughout your day.

I LOVE this runner's prayer (and photo.) I use it before distance races.


I LOVE this runner’s prayer (and photo.) I use it before distance races.

After a week of implementing minute pauses throughout my day, I had new pep in my step and zest in my day. What a comfort to know we don’t have to change anything drastically or quit something we love. The answer isn’t STOP. We simply need to push the pause button more often.

At the lake with my friends enjoying nature and their company!

At the lake with my friends enjoying nature and their company!

Here are my suggestions for adding pauses to your hurried days. I hope you’ll consider prioritizing a healthy pause in your day from time-to-time. After all, who wants to sit in the doctor’s office anyway? And, by the way… you don’t have time for that!

Getting away is wonderful, but even if you can't, create a stay-cation right where you are. Staring at waves clears the mind of all clutter!

Getting away is wonderful, but even if you can’t, create a stay-cation right where you are. Staring at waves clears the mind of all clutter!

1. Drink morning coffee out of a real ceramic coffee mug and pretend you’re in Paris. Have a baguette!

2. Close your eyes and imagine yourself getting cheers and high fives. Yeah!

3. Rub your temples with Aromatherapy oils. Peppermint and Lavender are favorites of mine. You’re at the spa now… put some lemon or cucumber in that glass of water on your desk.

4. Park far away from a destination and casually walk for a minute, alone, with your thoughts. What the heck… break out in a full-on hum.

5. Stretch–anywhere appropriate–for a minute. Hide in an empty conference room if you have to.

6. Sing a song out loud in your car; sing along to the radio and pretend you’re on stage in front of thousands of fans.

7. Pray or recite blessings

8. Write a thank you note to someone and deliver it or send it in the mail.

9. Draw or color—design a dress or an outfit you dream up.

10. Work on your breathing; deep, slow breaths. Imagine you’re pushing out negative with each breath, and inhaling only positive, affirming courage.

My favorite place to take a pause is with my husband, family, and/or friends on one of our boats--one at the hometown lake and the other in Port Aransas, Texas.

My favorite place to take a pause is with my husband, family, and/or friends on one of our boats–one at the hometown lake and the other in Port Aransas, Texas.

Big Hugs,

Lacey Pruett

www.fitandfunlifestyle.com

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12 Responses to “Celebrate Pause Appreciation Day”

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