Once in a while you just need to stop and smell the roses.  I find that I am certainly guilty of rarely doing this, except perhaps when forced to by other reasons (sick child, sick spouse, sense a pattern?). Even then I tend to always be “on” and going, or doing.

I have friends who do it even more than I do, but they are people who are in a position that they must, being pulled in 5,000,000 different directions. I can not, and care not, to imagine being in that position, but I do respect what those people must be going through. Even they need to breath once in a while, we all do.

By breathing I mean to slow down, take a step back and just relax. Disconnect from all electronic devices even if for only ten minutes, but just do it. No one has an excuse not to, and it needs to be done often. Nothing is so important (short of a true emergency, of the “life or death” variety) that it can no be put on hold for ten minutes. So here is what I propose.

  1. Every 4-6 hours, designate 10 minutes just for you.
  2. Change your environment. If you are working in your office, or home office, or hotel room, or anywhere – get up and move. Go outside, go to a common area, a garden, any place that takes you out of your work space/place/zone.
  3. Make yourself comfortable, sit on the floor, a chair, lean against the wall, or take a walk.
  4. Clear your mind and try to take in the environment around you.
  5. Observe what is going on around you. Truly take it in.
  6. Breath. Deep cleansing breaths. Inhale and exhale intentionally, and pay attention to your own respiration.
  7. No less than 10 minutes, but as much time as you can spare.

Was that so difficult? It doesn’t take special equipment, it doesn’t require any expenditures, and likely no task left alone for that 10 minutes will cause any damage.

I find when I do this, I have an easier time keeping on task, focusing on a project, and then in turn refocusing and getting a better quality result. We all deserve a break, some solitude and peace. Time to reflect, refocus and realign. Best of all – it is good for you, it helps reduce stress and relieve tension. We all have too much of that. No excuses, just breathe.

Good times to unplug and breath:

  • Planes, trains and automobiles. Turn it all off and just relax, read a book (and I do mean fiction, you are looking for an escape here, not another self-help or business book).
  • Waiting – whether for an appointment, for the doctor/dentist or otherwise, you already lost that time, might as well redirect it to something else. I often do this when my clients are late to an appointment, sit in my car and just listen to music and stare off into space.
  • Before you get out of bed

So what are you waiting for? Take every opportunity you can to just breathe.