Guest Post: Why You Should Schedule Pauses in Your Life

4 Sep

Ruth Wong from The Mommy Cafe is visiting us today and she think all mothers should take those much-needed pauses for respite. Yes, I definitely agree too. Read what Ruth writes…

Woman relaxing in hammock

Woman relaxing in hammock

Do words like stressed, overwhelmed and pressured describe how you are feeling today? Or perhaps you’re feeling lost in life and not sure what’s the next step. Then it’s time you press that pause button on your life and take a real break.A while ago, I was experiencing a huge sense of being overwhelmed, to the point of almost burning out. Thankfully, I managed to take a break before I potentially breakdown.

While it wasn’t a deliberate pause I made, it helped me realise just how important it is to regularly schedule pauses in our lives.

Why do you need a pause?

1. To take stock of your life.

When we are caught up in the humdrum of daily living, most of us don’t stop to reflect on the meaning of what we are doing, where we are headed, what are the issues hindering our progress.

A pause gives you the time and space to do all that. It helps you examine your priorities and see if the goals you are working on still align with your vision. It restores perspective and give you renewed sense of empowerment that comes from gaining greater clarity and focus in life.

2. To refresh and replenish your body, mind and soul.

We are humans, we can’t go on and on without a good rest. We need rest to prevent us from burning out or from developing health problems that arise from a stressful life.

However, you need a pause to not only rejuvenate your body but clear out your mind and soul, and restore you with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation. That happens when you have time to sit down and examine issues that are important to your life, discover and eliminate the time stealers, ask deep questions about your passions and what you are doing to achieve them.

It’s also a time to nourish your body, mind and soul – by eating healthy, attending to your needs, giving yourself more love, and filling your mind with positive thoughts and flushing out the negative.

3. To achieve more in life.

When you are clear about your goals and are in the right physical and mental state, you will naturally be empowered to achieve more in life.  It’s like being in a game of shooting. You can’t shoot not knowing what your target is. But once you know what to aim for, even if you don’t shoot as well initially, you can hone your skills and achieve the perfect score eventually.

How to get the most out of a pause?

So now that you’ve decided to schedule a pause in your life, how then, can you get the most out of it?

1. Plan how long you want your pause to be.

Do you want half a day, a day or maybe a weekend or longer? After you have decided on the time frame, think about what you want to achieve – do you want to reflect on certain issues, work on career goals, have a good rest, or spend quality time with someone? Knowing exactly what you want to achieve during the break helps you to be focused and not end up squandering your time away.

2. Disconnect from the external and plugin to yourself.

Disconnect from the internet, your smart phone and shut out the white noise. It’s a time to tune in to yourself.

I believe for many of us, we don’t listen to our inner self as we go about our busy lives, or either that, it gets drowned out by all the noises around us. However, when you think about it, much of our unhappiness arises from being disconnected with who we are and what we truly want. So let’s tune in and listen to what’s within.

3. Create a proper space for reflection.

Find a place that offers quietness and peace to facilitate the process of thinking and reflecting.

It can be a space somewhere in your home, or it could be at the garden or park, or even in a quiet café. You may like to also make this your regular reflection spot so that each time you go there, you get into the mood for quiet reflections quickly.

4. Eliminate the clutter.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, lack focus or simply not sure what to do with your life, chances are there’s clutter somewhere in the house. Often, the clutter can also be in the form of mental cobwebs. So make it a part of your pause ritual to get down to some decluttering and you’ll be amazed at the results.

The goal of the decluttering is to remove things and retain only that which is essential to you, nurtures you and supports you in your goals. This process not only helps you get clear on what’s important to you, it will allow you to make space for the new to enter your life, it could be a new job, a new project or a new relationship – but it will happen.

I experience that all the time when I do a major decluttering – new projects appear out of the blue, cheques for payments that have been delayed for a while comes in. Surprise gifts from people.

Photo credit to

Are you ready for a pause now? You will soon discover the beauty and magic a pause brings to your life!

Ruth is from Singapore and she met Purnima at World Moms Blog. They were together in Social Media coordinating at WMB for sometime and that is when they grew close to each other. Ruth writes at The Mommy Cafe



4 Responses to “Guest Post: Why You Should Schedule Pauses in Your Life”

  1. Purnima September 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Thanks for this wonderful post, Ruth. It is definitely a much needed thing in a mother’s life. I just had my pause for a day when my mother was visiting an she completely took over the kitchen and I got my respite, but for a day!

  2. Ruth September 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Thanks so much Purnima for having me here on your wonderful blog! I hope readers will find the post useful. I’m glad to hear you had your respite! Believe it was great to tuck into a meal prepared by your mom! 🙂

  3. Mamma_Simona September 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Great post, Ruth!

    I’d just like to add one thing …. to any other people like me out there… now don’t start stressing about “having to” do all the suggestions written above! The only reason I say this is because (as good and valid as all the advice is) it doesn’t help if you just stress about “not being able to” follow it 100%! I speak from experience – I ended up spending a month in a psychiatric hospital a couple of years ago because I worried too much about everything I thought I “had to” do in order to be a good mom / wife / daughter etc! 😦

    The main thing I learnt was that we all have the same amount of hours – people who seem to have more time just prioritise different things. Here’s a stupid example from my own life …. for years I thought I “didn’t have time” to make my bed before going to the office in the morning, then I’d get home and be miserable because my room looked a mess and I was tired! A few months ago I simply started making the bed before getting dressed for work … and guess what, it didn’t take nearly as long as I imagined! Now every day I get home I’m happy cos my bed is made! 🙂

    Just make “me time” a priority and you’ll be amazed at all the opportunities you get to “recharge”. 🙂

  4. Jennifer Burden September 5, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Thank you for the reminder, Ruth. I definitely needed it!

    Jen 🙂

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