Ever been tempted to simply sit down and have a cup of tea (without doing anything else) and stopped yourself because of ‘I Should Be…’ guilt’? I should be writing that email/finishing that report, I should be cooking the tea, I should be researching cheaper insurance, I should be doing the ironing…
We live in a world where spending 10 minutes down time is seen as a self-indulgent luxury. The height of achievement is seen as keeping busy. For some of us that might even look like sitting in a windowless office with strip lighting for 7 or 8 hours a day. In winter we might not see daylight for much of the week.
What if success looked very different? What if success was the recognition that 10 minutes of guilt-free self-care is more valuable than working flat out all day? And valuable not only to ourselves, but to our families and friends, to our workplace and even to society as a whole?
Thankfully, bit by bit, this awareness is creeping into mainstream life.
Enjoying (by really noticing) the taste of your coffee, getting outside for 10 minutes with no specific agenda other than to feel the breeze on your skin, doing a short guided mindfulness practice away from distraction. All these are quick and easy ways of Prioritising You in your day.
This isn’t self-indulgent or selfish, it’s self-affirming, nurturing, joyous. By prioritising ourselves in this (guilt-free) way, we develop a stronger, healthier frame of mind. This in turn has a ripple effect that goes way beyond those 10 minutes – both for ourselves and for everyone we encounter as we go about our day. We give our brains a well-deserved pause from frenetic activity, we lower our stress hormones, we build resilience for when tougher times come our way.
So, what’s stopping you taking your well-deserved 10 minute break?!