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The Power of Pressing Pause

3 min read

In today’s fast-paced and constantly connected world, it seems like pressing pause is a luxury we can’t afford. We’re bombarded with notifications, deadlines, and endless to-do lists, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of constant busyness. 

But research shows that intentionally slowing down and practising mindfulness can do wonders for our mental and physical health and overall performance. And what better time than Summer?

By allowing ourselves the space to pause, we give our brains a chance to recharge, creativity to flourish, and stress levels to decrease. Taking a walk in natureknitting, colouring, collecting shells on the beach, and engaging in artistic hobbies, for example, can help to give our brains the freedom to explore new ideas, perspectives, and possibilities. 

However, “slowing down is much tougher than we think“, explains executive coach Danielle Marchant, author of Pause: How to Press Pause Before Life Does It for You. “And it’s crucial to make it intentional if we want to live a fulfilling and happy life, and understand more about ourselves and our place in the world“.

Strategies for incorporating a pause into your daily routine

So, what can we do to prioritize our well-being and make the most of Summer?

The key is to make those little pauses part of our well-being and productivity routine. But, such times are often uncomfortable, because we want to do something, anything, often forgetting that the longer we rest, the closer we get to ourselves. 

To break free from this way of thinking, Danielle Marchant advises taking a snapshot of what is happening now. And that includes the good stuff that we have going on, as well as the parts we’d like to transform.

Amongst micro pause exercises that she includes in the book, designed to take less than two minutes and prevent overwhelm, there is the well-recommended white space technique.

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She explains: “Block out white space–time in your diary with nothing scheduled. This could be at weekends when you don’t make any social commitments, or at work where you leave yourself ‘white space’ at the beginning of your day, between meetings, at lunchtime or on Friday afternoons. When you have white space scheduled it’s entirely up to you how you use it – for creative thinking, planning your next week or prepping for an important meeting. The idea is that it is your time.”

Ideally, you should be able to have some microbreaks every 60-90 minutes, throughout the day, disconnecting from technology regularly and incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine

Setting aside a few minutes each day to practice focused breathing or meditation may help to calm your mind, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.

The idea here is to designate specific times or days when you turn off your devices and focus on activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This break from constant connectivity allows your mind to reset and recharge.

Above all, remember to cultivate gratitude during your pauses. Take a moment to reflect on the things you’re grateful for in your life. This practice can shift your focus from the demands of work to the blessings in your life, promoting a positive mindset and greater overall happiness.

Summer is the best season to embrace the power of pressing pause, rest, reflecting, and rejuvenating. It teaches us to be fully awake, engaged and open to everything around us. 

Let the heat encourage you to relax so you have time to savour these pleasures of life and waste time without guilt. “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability,” the philosopher Sam Keen wrote.

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