Counselor's Corner: Sometimes You Just Need to Take a Time-Out

Are you feeling anxious, stressed, depleted, or even agitated? Perhaps it is time to give yourself a time-out.

When life becomes unmanageable and we feel overwhelmed by the stressors and cares of this life, it may be time to pull back and take care of ourselves.

If you are “drowning” how can you expect yourself to help anyone else? Sometimes we have to do the important job of taking care of ourselves. However, we often don’t take the necessary time to do this because we believe we would be selfish.

We must love ourselves enough to know when we are no longer functioning at full capacity and then pursue what is needed to regain balance in our lives.

Many occurrences can happen in life that can throw us off balance-illness of a loved one, loss of any type, dealing with dysfunctional loved ones, transitions and changes in life, or any type of reoccurring stressful situation.

You will know that you need a time-out when you experience at least 3 of the following:

  1. Fatigue or extreme tiredness

  2. Headaches and/or pain in the body

  3. Agitation, irritations, and/or anger

  4. Feeling overwhelmed

  5. Disrupted sleeping patterns and/or restlessness

  6. Difficulty concentrating or focusing

  7. Feeling flat, sad, or even depressed

This list is not exhaustive, there can be other signs that you need a time-out. Look

for consistent changes to your normal behavior and emotions as an indicator, it’s time to take care of your needs.

Give yourself permission if you need a time-out

We all have needs, emotional, physical, and spiritual. There are times that we get so focused on other's needs (which could codependent behaviors*) that we neglect our own needs. Neglecting our needs is not healthy and can create codependency tendencies to worsen.

Daily do a self-check with yourself? Ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have energy?

Am I irritable, or feeling angry?

Did I sleep well and do I feel rested?

Where is my focus?

Am I sad, depressed, or feeling anxious?

If you answered the above questions in a negative way then stop and take a mental inventory of how, when, and where you began to get depleted.

Next, practice giving yourself permission to take care of your needs. Sometimes you may only need an hour but depending on your needs and how long you have neglected yourself you may need a day or several days to recover. There are times that you have been so depleted that you will need much longer than several days. Ask the Holy Spirit what He would have you do to take care of you so that you can get back to advancing His Kingdom.


Reflect and journal:

1. Do I need a time-out? How do I know that I need a time-Out?

2. What can I do if I need a time-out?

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