A blond woman in a black bikini top and white vest closes her eyes and places her hand on her chest. Image by Darius Bashar

Appreciating the Pause

Posted by K O on

A blond woman in a black bikini top and white vest closes her eyes and places her hand on her chest. Image by Darius Bashar

Life keeps speeding up. Every week, when we unfurl the to-do list it seems a little longer. And the longer the list gets, the slower it can feel like we’re moving. So it might seem counterintuitive to say, the answer to all this speed is a pause.

When we’re feeling burned out, the best solution is to take a timeout. Put down our phones and turn off our computers. The human mind is not designed to run an endless sprint. It starts to give out as surely as our legs would if we never stopped running. This why meditation and light exercise are so important. They’re intentionally low-level mental activities that re-center the body. They provide stimulated rest for the mind. Meditation has been proven to lead to greater and sustained mental clarity. 

Once you’ve got a handle on your own heart-rate, it’s time to spread the pause. That’s right. It’s not enough to think of self-care as a solo act. When we do, we end up dealing with only part of the problem. Often we imagine we’re on our own, which is troubling because “the crux of the problem lies in the fact that human well-being is not achieved alone: our psychological health is grounded in attachment to and acceptance by others. We are, essentially, social animals” (Harvard Business Review).

So if we want to get well, we need to do it with others. Reach out to loved ones on your journey of self care. Take walks together. Gather friends to try new activities to stretch your body and stimulate your mind. A little social time can go a long way in helping lower our stress.

Finally, bring that pause to your hustle. Quiet moments and check-ins aren’t just for your life outside the office. Coworkers check-ins can help mitigate burnout and boost moral. These check-ins aren’t pity parties; they’re moments to cheer on accomplishments, acknowledge challenging work, and address obstacles that might go unnoticed in the blurring pace of business.

If you’re in a position of authority, make these moments of connection part of the office routine. They’re important, because “human connections are especially critical for addressing the effects of stress, anxiety, burnout, and other forms of workplace distress. When organizations offer individual solutions, it can send the message that employees are on their own when it comes to their mental health” (Harvard Business Review). Human beings are the most important asset in any organization, so make sure you’re investing time in the proper maintenance of your team.

A tower of four smooth rocks on a wooden surface with a blurred green background.

Two people walk hand-in-hand down a path through an apple orchard.


1. https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/blog/meditation/meditation-for-you/breath-meditation-clarity

2. https://hbr.org/2022/04/stop-framing-wellness-programs-around-self-care

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