Recently I wrote about the signals our bodies give us when we are falling out of alignment and veering off balance in our lives. For each of us, those signs might look slightly different. However, one thing I have noticed with the many women I work with is that there are a few common tell-tale signs that signal to us it is time to slow down and pay attention. The same way we might give a child a time-out, we can think of giving ourselves a much-needed, loving break.
Knowing these top 5 signals for a grown-up gal time-out are crucial to avoiding burn out.
1. You are cranky as ever. That’s right. In the words of Beyonce, Ring the Alarm babe because you are Cranky with a capital C. When you find yourself snapping back for no particular reason, or offering up a short and sassy response, give yourself full on permission to excuse yourself for a little break.
2. You are tired. When you are struggling to get anything done, or even get out of bed, the time-out needed here is really in form of rest. How can you embed some more sleep, a nap, or even just some intermittent 1-3 minute breaks throughout the day to chill out and quiet your mind? Can you get outside and get some fresh air daily? What about your diet? Are you fueling your body properly to feel energized and refreshed? Considering these questions will help combat exhaustion when you see and feel it.
3. You are on auto-pilot. When you find yourself going through the motions, first I want to celebrate the fact that you are noticing yourself going through the motions. That, my friend is a sign of presence, of you being aware of the moment, which is exactly what you are NOT accustomed to doing when you are on auto-pilot. Your grown-up gal time-out can be in the form of mindfulness. Challenge yourself to pay attention and notice what you do as you do it moving forward, even as you do it like clock-work.
4. You are prioritizing work. When work is number one, when it comes before anything else, before your friends and family, even before you, consider this a red flag that it is time for some major realignment, and I’m not talking about visiting the chiropractor. Nothing comes before taking care of you. Period. When you notice that you are spending all of your time on work, and that it feels absolutely unimaginable, frightening even, to consider taking time away, it is abundantly clear that you are in need of a major time-out girl. Do it. I promise it is not as scary as you think.
5. You are skipping out on your self-care. This one takes me back to the basics of my intention for writing this note to you in the first place. We are talking about the signals and cues you might notice for when you are in need of a time-out—when you fall off balance, when you feel out of alignment, and when you are veering from your feel-good things. You might skip a workout one day, that turns into two days, then three. You might have constant headaches because you can’t remember the last time you took a sip of water. You might say you feel “overwhelmed” because you truthfully haven’t given yourself the gift of time in ages to actually reflect on where you are at and how you are feeling. These are your cues my friend that it is time for a break.
Now my challenge to you, is the next time you notice these signals, how will you respond? Will you keep pushing through and aiming for productivity? Or will you listen and respond to what you are needing and give yourself a time-out?
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