Do words like stressed, overwhelmed and pressured describe how you are feeling now? Or perhaps you’re feeling lost and not sure what’s your next step in life. If so, it may be time you press that pause button on your life and take a meaningful break.  

Why do you need a pause?

There are many reasons why taking regular pauses in our life is helpful, if not necessary, for our wellbeing and success.

1. To take stock of your life

When we are caught up in the humdrum of daily living, most of us don’t stop to reflect on the meaning of what we are doing, where we are headed, or what are the issues hindering our progress.

A pause gives you the time and space to do all that. It helps you examine your priorities and see if the goals you are working on still align with your vision. It restores perspective and gives you a renewed sense of empowerment that comes from gaining greater clarity and focus in life.

2. To refresh and replenish your mind, body, and soul

We are human; we can’t go on and on without a good rest. We need rest to prevent us from burning out or from developing health problems that arise from a stressful life.

However, you need a pause to not only rejuvenate your body but also clear out your mind, replenish your soul, and restore yourself with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation. That happens when you have time to sit down and examine issues that are important to your life, discover and eliminate the time stealers, ask real questions about your purpose and passion and what you are doing to achieve them.

It’s also a time to nourish your body, mind and soul – by eating healthy, attending to your needs, giving yourself more love, and filling your mind with positive thoughts and flushing out the negative.

3. To achieve more in life

When you are clear about your goals and are in the right physical and mental state, you will naturally be empowered to achieve more in life. It’s like being in a game of shooting. You can’t shoot without knowing what your target is. But once you know what to aim for, even if you don’t shoot as well initially, you can hone your skills and achieve the perfect score eventually.

How to get the most out of a pause?

So now that you’ve decided to schedule a pause in your life, how then, can you get the most out of it?

1. Plan how long you want your pause to be

Do you want half a day, a day or maybe a weekend or longer? After you have decided on the time frame, think about what you want to achieve – do you want to reflect on certain issues, work on career goals, have a good rest, or spend quality time with someone? Knowing exactly what you want to achieve during the break helps you to be focused and not end up squandering your time away.

2. Know why you are taking a pause

Have a clear idea why you are taking a break. Maybe you need to gain clarity on your next career move, maybe you want to focus on rejuvenating yourself, or maybe you want to take time off to plan the next six months of your life. Having a goal in mind helps you to stay focused and not get distracted or risk wasting the time.

3. Disconnect from the external and plug into yourself

Disconnect from the Internet, your smartphone and shut out the white noise. It’s a time to tune in to yourself.

I believe many of us don’t listen to our inner selves as we go about our busy lives, or it gets drowned out by all the noises around us. However, when you think about it, much of our unhappiness arises from being disconnected with who we are and what we truly want. So let’s tune in and listen to what’s within.

4. Create a proper space for reflection

Find a place that offers quietness and peace to facilitate the process of thinking and reflecting.

It can be a space somewhere in your home, or it could be at the garden or park, or even in a quiet café. You may like to also make this your regular reflection spot so that each time you go there, you get into the mood for quiet reflection quickly.

5. Eliminate the clutter

If you are feeling overwhelmed, lack focus or simply not sure what to do with your life, chances are there’s clutter somewhere in the house. Often, the clutter can also be in the form of mental cobwebs. So make it a part of your pause ritual to get down to some decluttering and you’ll be amazed at the results.

The goal of the decluttering is to remove things and retain only that which is essential to you, nurtures you and supports you in your goals. This process not only helps you get clear on what’s important to you, it will allow you to make space for the new to enter your life – it could be a new job, a new project or a new relationship.

I experience that all the time when I do a major decluttering – new projects appear out of the blue, cheques for payments that have been delayed for a while comes in, surprise gifts from people.

Are you ready for a pause now? You will soon discover the beauty and magic a pause brings to your life!


This article was first published on The Alchemist’s Blog.