Pressing Pause

By Jodie Ratcliffe 2021-05-06 12:16:26

Preserving your energy in the whirlwind of life.

I'm not much of a sailor but at times in life I have certainly felt a little ‘lost at sea’, sailing on a boat that’s being pulled in so many directions, losing control of the mast, trying not to capsize and wondering if I’ve done all the things I was supposed to do. What I’ve noticed about these moments of losing control is that they usually happen when I’m juggling too many balls, or when the world and people around me are moving at a pace that I just can’t keep up with. And what I’ve learned is that rather than steering the boat into the middle of the ocean to try and battle through the storm, it’s much more beneficial to guide it back to the shore and take a moment of rest. From the shore, our whole perspective changes. We are no longer being pulled in opposite directions by the tide, but can instead look out to the waves from the safety of the earth and watch the waves ebb and flow to try to understand and make sense of what is happening.

My most recent feeling of being a ‘lost at sea’ came when the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted slightly, the world changed yet again and I suddenly found myself (and my family) with a full diary of extracurricular activities, work deadlines, family time and attempting some form of social life again too. Although it was what I had been looking forward to for so many long months, it suddenly felt overwhelming to be trying to fit so many activities into one day. Perhaps my tolerance levels had changed over the past year, perhaps my energy had shifted, or perhaps my body was telling me to just take it easy and do the best that I can for myself and those around me. I like to think that it was the last option, and so amongst the external pressures of running little ones around and helping with homework, I am also making sure that I factor in time for me. To rest, rejuvenate, and recentre.


The most important thing to consider when trying to figure out how you can press pause for a moment, is to ask yourself two questions;

1. What gives you your energy, and 2. What saps you of your energy?

One person’s idea of a feel-good activity might be another person‘s idea of a challenging chore, because we all get our energy levels from different sources. For example, if you are feeling tired after a long day of work, which of the following would make you feel more relaxed; a long soak in the bath or a long run in the park? Cooking a meal or ordering takeaway? Each of these are very different from each other, but offer energy and stimulation in different ways for different individuals. To figure out what gives you energy and what takes your energy away, you can make a simple list.

This will start to give you a good idea of where and who you get your energy from, whilst also being able to see where and who you should be avoiding if you’re needing to preserve some energy.

You can even take this list of “Things That Make Me Feel Good” a step further, to truly enable you to slow down and take time for yourself . Once you have listed your energising items, big and small, you can start to slowly factor these things into your day.

I’ll give you an example from my own list, which contains items and activities such as:
• Drinking hot tea

• Listening to music
• Practising yoga
• Calling my best friend

• Sunshine
• Reading in bed

Now that I can physically see these activities on a page, I can immediately start to understand what I am craving and what I need to do more of in my slow moments. If I am feeling overwhelmed by the whirlwind of my week, I can make sure that I go to bed slightly earlier so that I can spend some time reading my book with a hot cup of tea. And miraculously, without employing magic, I have given myself the time and activity that I craved and my energy levels automatically rise.

Sometimes pressing pause is exactly the thing you need to do to harness your inner power, creativity, and motivation to help you come back with more energy for yourselves, and those around you. After all, we know that we cannot pour from an empty cup, so I invite you to take the time to fill your cup to the brim with all the things that make you feel energised and enjoy the reward of drinking it all up with your loved ones.