A Guide to Pressing Pause for Your Mental Health

We live in a hectic world. Everything feels non-stop. All the time. If you’re not smashing a ceiling or achieving the next big thing. Then what are you doing? But what does this mean for our mental health? Does society make us feel that if we’re not progressing than we’re failing? When do we get a break? When do we get to press pause?

Go, Go, Go

I’ve come to the conclusion that if I wait for someone to give me permission to take a break. Well, we know what they say about waiting for eventually. It’s never the right time. My to-do list will never be finished. And no-one is going to cut me some slack; unless I start the process myself. 
A key part of the journey to pressing pause has been recognition of how much I need it. Giving myself the permission to take that all important pause. And then communicating that need to others. It’s very easy for people to assume that we will make time or have time. When we always seem to. We can be victims of our own competence or helpfulness. And, whilst it’s true, that we may be able to make space for that favour someone has asked. But sometimes that isn’t what is best for us. Likewise, you may be able to take the next step. Reach for the next goal. But is that what’s right for you? 

For Why Self-Care is More than Just a Bubble Bath read here.

For Can I Be My Own Priority read here.

The Pressing Pause Journey

I’ve really struggled to press pause. Always feeling like I have to be doing something. And if I’m not, I’m failing somehow. How could I take a break when there is so much to do? These thoughts are very close to the reason why people relate self-care and selfishness. As if looking after ourselves is the thing that comes last. Rather than first. This thinking completely fails to recognise that when we look after ourselves; we’re in the best position to look after others. Self-care is inherently selfless; rather than selfish.

For How to Balance What I Want & What’s Good For Me read here.

With this in mind I’m committed to being able to press pause from time to time. Some pauses will be longer than others. But I’m working towards a place where doing nothing is a comfort zone. With the recognition that not doing anything has it’s place and value. It’s what allows me to do something later to the best of my ability. So, I’m trying to press pause once in a while. Whether it’s on how much exercise I do, my side business, not always being able to help out, letting a chore lapse one in a while. Or even with this blog. I’ve had to acknowledge that I can’t do everything at all times. We can’t be everything to all people either. As with everything else, I’m working towards a balance which is workable for me too. And building in breaks when I need.

For The 9 Tips You Need to Hold Boundaries read here.

However, I know that even when I’m on pause, if someone comes calling it’s likely to go straight out the window. So, communicating my needs and when I need a break has been vital. As has been saying that all important word ‘no’. I’ve been working on setting my boundaries better with others. And communicating when you’re on a break or taking a step back is part of this. People must respect our boundaries, and we’re entitled to enforce them when they don’t. But for the most part, when I let people know that I’m unavailable or on pause. They respect this. And are less likely to ask for a favour. This doesn’t mean that I can’t offer to do one if it feels right or manageable to me. It just lessens the need or guilt in saying no.

What are your experiences on pressing pause? Do you feel like you need to always be achieving or doing? How easy is it to take a step back? As always, let me know below.

Liked this article? Share it now!

3 thoughts on “A Guide to Pressing Pause for Your Mental Health

  1. I’m learning that rest is valuable, needed and allowed. I don’t have to be productive or doing x, y, z if I need to take time to protect my energy, etc. I really enjoyed reading this as it was a lovely exploration of letting ourselves pause for a while. Thanks!

  2. This is a valuable read. I used to be this person available to do every job I was asked to, be there for everyone ehen they needed me, and making everyone else my priority. This meant that I would put myself last and forget all about my needs and wants. It isn’t hard to understand that at some point I just couldn’t do it anymore. We need to take care of ourselves first and taking breaks and making pauses are important. Thank you!

  3. Such a thoughtful and tastefully presented piece! It’s really important to take stock of where you are and, to avoid burnout, take a pause.
    It’s certainly not worth it to run yourself dry. Thanks for this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.