Time Out - Parents Need A Break, Too

Time Out – Why I Put Myself In Time Out

Time Outs

We all know what a time out is. It’s focusing your nose in a corner, or sitting in a chair with a timer set equal to one minute for each year old you are. Most of the time, it’s actually a nap.

When Is A Time Out Necessary?

Honestly, we usually put our kids into time out when we are frazzled out of our minds. They’re making bad choices. They know better. You’ve told them a thousand times. What spawns these breaks from reason that our children are having? It’s usually exhaustion with a heavy side dish of FOMO (fear of missing out.)

They’re so busy using all of their energy that once they start to run on empty, they stop caring  what they’re even investing their energy into.  And so most of their attempts at world domination through whining and tiny terrorism end horribly. Most kids fight naps because they think they’re going to miss the Ringling Brothers coming to town. They feel like they can’t rest because they’re going to miss something glorious. But iff you ask a kid old enough to have learned verbal skills whether their nap helped or not, they always say it did. Duh. Sleep is magical.

What Happens When An Adult Needs A Time Out?

Adults are basically the same as children. We are the same species, after all. Kids are motivated by candy; adults prefer coffee. Kids are scared someone is going to take their toys while they sleep; adults are worried someone is going to take their Google ranking or clients while they’re asleep. Same difference.

Fear Is An A**Hole

Sometimes, we also give into a fear of missing out. Fear is the key word. We work relentlessly because we’re afraid we can’t keep up with our competition, or make enough sales, or keep our bosses happy, or pay the bills. We beat back the housework with broomsticks because we just know it will try to topple in on us while we sleep and it’ll kill us. We buy planners and habit tracking apps to try to keep life in the perfect order.

And it must be go, go, go all the time in order to keep up. But what the hell are we really working toward? Do we even remember our own names? When was the last time we sat on the couch with our partners and/or our kids and were present in something other than the rat race? When was the last time we took a second to check in with ourselves – our mental health, our bodies, our sleep patterns? When was the last time we sat on the patio and ate a giant hamburger?

Fantastical Mental Health Weekends

This is the reason that I gave myself a time out this weekend. And it was fantastical. I’m not working on the things I’m working on to run ahead. I’m working on the things I’m working on to take care of my family and my clients. And to take care of me. And I can’t do that if the fear of missing out on an opportunity (that is pretty well undefined) is what is driving me forward. The bright, the shiny, the new, the complete energetic drain that is chasing the cheese. Sometimes embracing the moment really is the best reward. If we’re constantly either running ahead or chasing our own tail, we can’t appreciate the reward that is the present.

I Refuse To Break Myself

Honestly, I had the time to do the things that were necessary for my upcoming week. But I didn’t put time constraints on it. I didn’t force it. I didn’t break myself for it. I had time to watch shows, snuggle my kid, eat meals alone with my husband, and nothing broke down or exploded. It was perfect. And it’s exactly the type of energy I needed to propel myself forward into May.

 

Extended Release Energy

So I hope you know that it’s okay to take a time out. Nothing bad is going to happen. In fact, if you take even a minute per your of your life for self-care, you may amplify the energy significantly. For instance, thirty minutes to yourself can fuel you for 30 hours of fantastic-ness. It could lift your spirits, raise your energy, make you feel less fatigued, and to feel happier and more in control. Give it a try. Put yourself in time out.

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