Welcome to part 5, the final part, of our Practically Perfect series. In case you missed part 4, you can check it out here. In today’s post, we’re looking at the importance of time out. How about we take a look?
Whenever I babysit my goddaughter, one of the things that we put into place for discipline is time out. If she is naughty, she goes and sits on a chair for a little bit so that she is away from her toys or TV or whatever she happens to be doing at the time. It’s an enforced period of quiet so that she has time to reflect on the fact that she’s crossed the line.
Now, I’m clearly not referring to that sort of time out in this post but the concepts are quite similar. In my opinion, while everything I’ve mentioned in both this series, About of Self-Harm and Talking Things Through are important, it is equally important for you to take some time out.
Why take some time out? What purpose does it serve? Well, naturally it isn’t so you can think about what you’ve done wrong – although a little time out every now and again when things do go wrong isn’t necessarily a bad thing!! No, its purpose is a bit different. Let me tell you about that.
Time to Recharge
The other week I was interacting on our Twitter account, joining a few conversations and chatting to a few people, and I came across the following:
Its very important. After all, you can’t help anyone else if you’ve broken yourself, no matter how admirable putting yourself last can be.
— Alex Davies (@alexdaviespbts) July 28, 2017
Would you agree? Is it possible to help others if you’ve broken yourself due to neglecting yourself? Surely at some point you have to take some time out for yourself so you can get some help, wouldn’t you agree?
When supporting someone through mental health struggles, it can be so easy to forget yourself. I speak as a first-hand offender on this count! You get so caught up in trying to help them that you forget that you need a break. As Aidan said: “Peace of mind is everything.” We need to have those moments of peace in our lives, otherwise we will burn ourselves out.
Practise the Pause
In Episode 5 of the PBTS Podcast, I talked about practising the pause. Taking a few moments out of your busy days to do something that you enjoy. For me, that could be computer gaming or watching a good film. For some it could be a relaxing bath or a good book. Whatever it is you enjoy, take some time out to do that.
Effectively, put yourself on time out.
Turn off your phone, turn off your Facebook or Twitter and simply be. You don’t have to respond to those messages instantaneously or be constantly online. The world can do without you for a few moments so you can simply rest. Recharge. Take a break.
It’s important for your own well-being.
Take a moment. Stop. Practise the pause. Looking after yourself is one of the most important things you can do.
After all: how can you look after someone else when you’re on the verge of collapse?
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