As bodyworkers we routinely create purposeful pauses for our clients that encourage them to feel more comfortable, spacious, and at ease in their mind, heart, and body. But how often do you create similar mind, body, and heart re-sets for your self? Much like the tool belt of techniques we rely on in our sessions, we employ a similar tool belt of self care approaches. Not one self care tool is appropriate in every situation, and this is why we advocate growing a cornucopia of varied approaches and perhaps the purposeful pause is one you can add to your repertoire.
New York Times-bestselling author, Daniel H. Pink enumerates the benefits of the perfectly timed purposeful pause in his book, When. Science reveals that when we interrupt our midday routine with a purposeful pause, we up-regulate and recalibrate our circadian rhythms, optimize our sleep cycles, increase our vigor, and reduce stress and emotional exhaustion.
Reset with a 10-minute Purposeful Pause
Try one or more of the below to generate a multitude of mind-refreshing, body-softening and heart-clearing benefits.
- Set your timer for 10 minutes and get curious as you explore your unique flavor of a Purposeful Pause. This might look like lying down in a comfy restorative yoga pose, or sitting in a mediative position with a guided youtube visualization, or maybe you allow your eyes, ears, and nose to attune to a space in nature that tickles your senses, encourages you to daydream and unplugs you from technology, work, and doing.
- If you love coffee like Heath loves coffee, you might like to modify your purposeful pause with the art of the Nappacino. Science demonstrates that caffeine takes approximately 10-20 minutes to enter the bloodstream, so to optimize your reactivation, have a cup of joe just prior to taking your pause. By the way, studies also assert that the physiologically optimal amount of nap time is at least 10 minutes, but no longer than 20. In fact, you’ll probably be more groggy if you nap longer than 20 minutes.
Sometimes our mind wanders or we fall asleep during the purposeful pause, and instead of getting mad at ourselves, we allow for whatever wants to happen to happen. We call this our Pausing Allowance, where we reimagine the inevitable distractions or napping that may happen during the pause to become investments in our self care bank account. You can’t pause wrong…Give yourself permission to take a purposeful pause any way you want with the intention to refill your coffers and continually reinvest in your well being. Your purposeful pause might range from solitary moments to family time, from a few mindful seconds to hours of leisure. Explore being quiet and still, or make space for when it feels nourishing to sweat, expand, and play. We rely on a myriad of structured and unstructured approaches that allow us to re-set when we find ourselves in foreign lands, in the face of uncertainty, and when we are exactly where we want to be. We don’t have to limit our self care to when we already feel bad, but we can savor, digest and amplify all those feel good moments in the pause too. Over time, practicing a myriad of purposeful pausing possibilities encourages an organic evolution and resilient self care lifestyle.