Yikes. Turmoil. Lots of it, and we are all carrying it around with us. Not only of course is there turmoil at a national and international level, but there’s plenty of turmoil in our personal lives. It doesn’t matter what it is related to, politics, health, finances, work stress, relationships – there’s enough to kick us into tilt mode and overwhelm us. Just like a small child, when we feel overwhelmed we no longer can think straight and we get lost in our worry, fear, anger, sadness or anxiety. We start making wrong choices. In our toddler years, those choices could be throwing wicked public tantrums, or throwing food, or crying until we vomit. I’ve been seeing remarkably similar actions in adults lately, with rioting, crying, meanness, and vomiting via social media posts.
In taking a lesson from our youth, I decided to put myself in a Time Out. I’ve done this before during times of stress and anxiety and for me it works. No, it doesn’t solve all the problems in the world, but it is a way to add some sense and peace back into our lives.
Sure, the dream Time Out would be to run away to a tropical island for six months and be served fruity drinks by handsome cabana boys. But remember, this is a blog about real women. That kind of thing only happens in our fantasies. So our Time Outs need to be a bit more realistic. And easy. And quick. So the Time Outs I’m proposing are simply focusing on the simple things in life that are seemingly unaffected by any of the chaos around us.
- Nature. Sure, we can obsess and worry about global warming, pollution and fracking, but in our time outs we need to just stop. And appreciate what we have right now. Depending on where we live, we can marvel at fall foliage, or balmy breezes and sunshine, or early winter snow falls. Go for a walk and just breathe. How about pausing to gaze at something so incredible as a Super Moon? None of us put that moon there. It happened regardless of what we are doing in our lives.
- Other creatures. Last night I was driving home and went by a field that this time of year routinely has deer grazing in it. Sure enough, a big doe had just crossed the road as I came by. I stopped (because as we know, where there’s one, there’s more), and she stopped too. She turned her head to look at me as if to say “Hi. What’sup?” Beautiful.
Got pets at home? They are always there to greet
you in their unconditional love kinda way. Even the non-furry pets. They don’t care if you’ve had a bad hair day, just had an argument, or are exhausted from caring for a sick relative. Guess what, they don’t even care who is President. All they care is that you exist.
- Off button. It’s ok to turn off the news or take a step away from social media. Really, it is ok, Matt and Savannah can survive without us. We shouldn’t bury our heads in the sand forever, but just tuning out for a bit can feel remarkably good and calming. Go ahead, give it a try. Well, after you finish reading this blog, of course.
- Release. Nothing feels as good after a long day as getting out of that bra, sliding on our favorite mom-yoga pants, old ratty Life is Good shirt, and fuzzy socks. There has to be some point in the day when we just don’t care how we look, we just need to feel good. Even better if we can then carve out a few minutes to sit with a magazine, or read a book, or watch a favorite sitcom or movie. It’s called escapism, and when we can push aside all the yuck it can feel decadent and wonderful.
- Music. Not that angst-filled angry stuff. Nope, I’m talking about turning up the tunes that make us sing and move. It’s hard to be grumpy listening to Happy, You Don’t Own Me, or Dancing Queen. So go ahead, turn it up, and sing loud in the shower, the car, while making dinner. Get yo’ groove on, baby. Be the next Beyonce.
Small children of course want to get out of Time Out as quickly as possible. For me, I like to stay in as long as possible. Sure, at some point I have to put on my big girl pants and refocus on the issues at hand. But right now, I feel no rush to do so. Let the turmoil go one without me for a bit. I’ll come out of Time Out when I feel more rested, stronger, more at peace. I’m thinking sometime along March or April….
Care to join me?