Time Outs Have Rules, Too

One of the best ways to relieve stress is to give yourself a time out. As a parent, I have often taken a few deep breaths before talking to my child about a situation that has emotions high. When my kids were little I would help them to calm down and ‘think’ about an issue by having them sit in a time out. That small amount of time gave them a chance to avoid more aggravation by taking time just to be alone. Time outs are valuable for adults too.

5 reasons why adults should have timeouts:

  1. Stress. Being an adult is tough work. While we might want to do one thing, we realize we have obligations and other people who are relying on us. Daily pressures add up to a mountain of stress.
  2. Sleep. If only we could take our own advice and get to bed when we need it, it seems like there is always one more thing we have to do. Then on top of that, we don’t sleep like soundly like we once did.
  3. Work. This might be the cause of our stress but often it just adds to the stress we place on ourselves.
  4. Nutrition. I don’t know about you but there is always room for improvement when it comes to my eating. I get a bit anxious when I think about the possibilities I could have if only I could eat better.
  5. Physical training. While this is fantastically wonderful for you, training is self imposed stressed on our bodies. With proper sleep, great nutrition and plenty of water that stress is negated by all the goodness of training. But see above if you have any doubt there might be an issue.

Ahhh a time out, a place to gather focus. A time to energize and feel like a human again. A time out is a place to get better. As a child we had time outs in order to calm us, help us to regain focus, energize ourselves so we could rejoin the group. As grown ups we can gain all those benefits again.

Here is what you do for an adult time out:

  1. Lie flat on your back with a small pillow under your head to keep your spine in total alignment. Breath. Deep inhales with your exhale becoming like a relaxing sigh. Putting your thoughts into alignment with your breathing. Think about your breathing. Listen to the sound of the air traveling in and out. Notice what happens to your shoulders and your toes. This is not an opportunity to work out your next list of things to do or think about the meat you forgot to take out of the freezer.
  2. If taking time to lie down in the middle of your office floor is not a good idea to keep normal in other people’s mind, the next best place to do a 5 minute time out, at your desk with your head back on the head rest and eyes closed. Set a timer so you don't fall asleep. Again focus on your breathing. Notice and feel what how your body is responding. While in your time out, consider it your time.

Time outs are an effective way to manage your stress but also become a better version of you.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

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