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8 Tips to Hit Pause on the Rat Race

Updated: Apr 10

by Olivia Wong

It's easy to get caught up in the rat race. We go from one thing to the next, day in and day out, with little pause. Before you know it, a week has flown by. Then a month, a year, and so on. Sometimes we realize it. Sometimes we don't.

It can become tiresome if we keep running at full speed without pause. In many cases it takes a life event to shake us and make us stop. They hit us hardest when they are unexpected, whether it be the death of a loved one, a breakup, a catastrophe... They really make us look at what's around and evaluate ourselves, our relationships and life in general.

Don't wait to be shaken. We need to remind ourselves that it is okay to stop periodically. Women especially feel a need to conquer to do lists and put everyone else first. I used to prioritize work to the point that I missed out on seeing friends and family. Everything came second to work. My mind would not be at ease if I had work to do.

Part of growing older is realizing that there needs to be more of a work / life balance and making an effort towards achieving more of that. Before I felt that with so much to do I could not afford to take time off because it would set me back and add to the stress. Pushing myself so hard led to more than just gray hairs.

Taking a break or a pause could be many things. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

1. Walk for 10-15 minutes everyday. This is especially easy if you have a dog.

2. Read a magazine or book for a few minutes before bedtime.

3. Exercise for 30 minutes 2x a week. If the weather is nice, do it outside. If not, even in the tiniest of apartments set up a spot.

4. Go to church for 1 hour once a week.

5. Do something creative (draw, paint, write...) once a month.

6. Sit outside for 15 minutes once a week. Close your eyes and focus on the sunshine hitting your face, the wind brushing your skin and the sounds of the nature or cars passing by.

7. Take a half or whole day for "me time" once a week or month for pampering, relaxation and whatever makes you happy.

8. Go on a weekend getaway once a quarter or every few months. It could be spontaneous or planned.

Whatever you do on that break is up to you. The point is to be sure to stop every once in a while and disconnect from the daily rush AND electronics. It does not have to be a lot of time or taken all at once. Think of it as a cat nap for your overall well being. You will feel rejuvenated and be able to tackle that to do list with more ease, focus and peace.

Make your break a time to do something you enjoy and that takes your mind off the daily grind. It could be scheduled into your weekly calendar and become part of your routine. For instance, Saturdays from 8:00-9:00 AM are set aside for your break. That time is sacred to you.

Share with us what you do or how it has positively impacted your life.

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