We all need some quiet time away from the noise, screens, busyness and endless distractions to help digest our day and settle any restless, tangled or scattered energies we may have attracted. Enter the wonderful world of therapeutic pauses.
Therapeutic pauses are not mindless acts of randomness. They are caring, nurturing and deliberate little snippets of time you add into your day because you matter ….. you matter a lot.
Therapeutic pauses are “yin” moments thoughtfully woven into your busy “yang” day. Wonderful tiny pockets of self care reminding us (myself included) that we ”do” have a body and it ”does” have needs. Lots and lots of needs.
Your mind and distractions are not running the show – you are – and you’ll know when its time to give your body (and mind) a therapeutic pause. Hit that pause button now!
So without further ado here’s a little list I’ve put together of therapeutic pauses that are hopefully do-able no matter what your day looks like. Some involve a little more time but often that’s exactly what you need.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think.
Awesome Therapeutic Pauses:
1. Stop. Stop completely:
No talking, no listening, no reading, no watching and no over thinking. Thirty seconds of stopping completely will do the trick.
Simply stop, shut the door and close your eyes. Your body will do the rest.
2. Walk to the florist:
Take a therapeutic pause by walking down to your local florist shop. Immerse your senses in the colours, smell and sheer beauty.
Better still buy yourself a bunch of flowers and enjoy a therapeutic pause every time you look at them. Bliss.
3. Touch therapy:
Touch is incredibly therapeutic. It’s soothing to your nervous system, relaxing to the mind and triggers lots of good feelings. Who needs pills!
Grab your favourite lotion or oil (warmed oil is even better as its deeply relaxing) and gently massage each individual finger, all its joints, finger tips, thumbs, palm of your hands, wrists and back of the hands. Embrace your sense of touch. Breath into your hands. Do not rush. Feel your hands. Notice your hands. Listen to your hands. There are channels of energy flowing through them which are linked to the bodies energy system.
Massage your hands mindfully and you are doing your whole body a huge favour.
4. Eat sitting down:
Better still eat sitting down without multi-tasking and the demanding distraction of technology. If you are eating then just eat. It creates a nurturing pause in your day.
Eating mindlessly has consequences. Bottom line your body is able to receive more nutrients and goodness from food when you’re in a more relaxed less distracted state.
5. Seek silence:
Seek silence to re-balance yourself. I happen to believe silence is incredibly restorative and very therapeutic.
Urban noise and the sounds of technology can be a constant background stress that you may not be aware of.
6. Take the stairs:
Take a therapeutic pause from excess sitting and go find yourself some stairs. You remember stairs. They were invented before lifts and escalators.
Walking up and down stairs is a great way to smash stagnant energy, poor circulation and stiffness. Take the stairs, get your lymph fluid pumping again and you’ll be helping your body detox . Your lymphathic system only works effectively if you move.
7. Get hydrated:
Yes, they say the brain is one of the first parts of the body that becomes dehydrated. Fatigued foggy thinking are the results of dehydration.
Stopping often to drink water is an awesome therapeutic pause.
I’m currently reading French Women Don’t Get Fat where a whole chapter is dedicated to the art of drinking more water and staying hydrated for better glowing skin and to maintain weight.
8: Count your breath:
Inhale on 10 then exhale on 10. Inhale on 9 then exhale on 9. Inhale on 8 then exhale on 8. Inhale on 7 then exhale on 7. Continue.
Count your breath before you get out of bed, turn on the computer and as you drink your first morning cup of chai tea.
9. Part your teeth:
Slightly part your lips and teeth and feel your jaw and neck/shoulder muscles naturally release and let go. Ahhh!
Such an awesome therapeutic pause to release surface tension, clenching of the jaw and grinding of your teeth.
10. Rest your head onto your folded arms:
Fold your arms on the table or desk in front of you. Give yourself permission to rest your head gently on your folded arms.
Close your eyes and simply feel the flow of your breath through your body. I also love doing this lying on my tummy . It’s extremely therapeutic particularly if you have lots of restless energy racing around inside of you.
11. Get up and walk away:
The same four walks for hours or even days on end can drain your energy.
Stand up walk away and give yourself a refreshing change of scenary.
12. Wiggle it ….. just a little bit:
When was the last time you flexed that spine. Get the energy flowing up and down your spine again.
Dance, wiggle, stretch or buy yourself a hula hoop. Yep, hula hoops are in. In fact I’m off to a hula hoop yoga dance class soon in Bali.
13. Hum to clear the confusion:
Humming is incredibly therapeutic. Hum to clear your head from confusion. Place one hand on top of your head and the other on your belly.
Close your eyes and “hum” gently on your exhales. Feel the energy of the hum move between your hands as it clears your thoughts.
14. Clear your head by inhaling nature:
Its all about the fresh air, exhaling fully and swapping the concrete man made structures for breeze, sunshine, rain, clouds, plants, flowers and trees.
There is no doubt something magical happens when you soak yourself in the fresh outdoors.
If all else fails and you have no time simply breath with purpose. Your body will still benefit enormously.
This book offers simple practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience. Just One Thing is a treasure chest of over fifty practices created specifically to deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness. I love Rick Hanson’s books.
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Join Carole under the Tuscan sun in Italy, May 2013.
Restful restorative yoga, meditation and walking retreat. All welcome.Immerse yourself in Tuscan culture staying in a fully restored 17th century country villa set amongst 28 hectares of natural woodlansds as you rest, replenish and rejuvenate your soul. Click here for all the relaxing details.