Do I Still Need "Time-out"?!

As kids, I’m sure many of you remember receiving ‘time-out’ punishments where you were instructed to go to your room until you’d calmed down or, as was in my case, sit on your ‘time-out’ step.

Why did our parents enforce this? It was to get us to calm down and think about our actions, usually because we were mid tantrum and they didn’t want to listen to us crying and screaming!

I was thinking of this whole notion of ‘time-out’ today as I made breakfast for myself in my currently quiet apartment (roommate is on vacation!) After a very busy week of work and travel, I thought to myself, I’m actually glad to be giving myself my very own ‘time-out’!

So it made me think…even though we were forced to do it as kids, is ‘time-out’ actually something positive we should learn to give ourselves?

You see, it’s so important for all of us, especially as we grow up into adulthood, to know when to take timeout to just spend some quality time with ourselves. When feeling low, a lot of us depend on other people to make us feel better. We project our feelings onto them and expect them to be able to accommodate exactly what we want and need. But nobody is a mind-reader and nobody can give you what you need other than yourself!

I’ve learnt this the hard way. There have been times in the past when I’ve placed too many expectations on another person and that just left me feeling disappointed and the other person annoyed!

It’s so much healthier to be able to look after ourselves and fill ourselves up with love and appreciation, rather than depend on someone else to do this for us.

So, when you’re feeling a bit low, or tired or stressed…instead of reaching for the phone to make plans with your boyfriend or friends, what if you gave yourself a ‘timeout’?

When I get tired or feel a little low, my instinct is to distract myself with as many things as I can so I don’t have to feel what I’m feeling. I want to eat, talk to friends, see my man…but none of those are actually healthy ways to honor how I’m feeling.

But now luckily I’m learning to understand the value of taking 'time-out' to comfort myself! And why do I do this? Because it not only strengthens the relationship I have with myself, it also means I am able to value the other relationships I have in my life by not placing unrealistic and damaging expectations on them.

So, when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, emotional or grouchy…give yourself permission to take some ‘timeout’ to recharge your batteries and take care of the precious girl inside of you!

Here are some of my favorite ways I like to take my ‘timeout’!

  • Run myself a bath
  • Watch a movie
  • Cook a healthy meal for myself
  • Read a book
  • Go for a walk
  • Turn off my phone
  • Take a power nap

Listen to your own instincts and learn what works for you. And remember…

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. So, learn to look after her now and in return, she’ll love you for it!

Now please excuse me while I go and run myself a bath....