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Time Out… That Means You, Mom!

After all that you do, don't you think you deserve a time out?

We mothers go hard for our children 24/7.

We keep adding to an already packed to-do list, because things need to be done, and we’re the ones to make them happen. We’re always saying “yes” to requests (as if “no” just doesn’t seem to exist in our daily vocabulary).

When we walk in the house after working all day, our work hat remains on and we keep going and going and going… just like the Energizer Bunny.  In case no one has uttered these words to you recently (or ever for that matter), I’m here to tell you… Take a time out!

Oh no! Did I just say forbidden words? Ones that you yourself have never thought about or dared to say out loud? If your response is an affirmative answer, I want to assure you that me imploring you to take a time out is the right thing for you.

I had to learn the hard way what the opposite effect is on your life. It’s called “burn out.” And, when you burn out, you’re no good to yourself and definitely not to your children. That’s because your mind and body are totally depleted and you’ve got nothing to give.

Your body has officially shut down and will not get back in gear until it has fully charged up on rest and relaxation. Even if you attempted to do something, it would be a no-go.

So how do you welcome time outs in your life so that you never have to experience over exhaustion? You began with these strategies:

Give Yourself Permission to Take a Time Out
You must say to yourself, “You know what? You do a great job mom. You make life happen for yourself and your family. You are diligent. You don’t have a lazy bone in your body.  But you need a break. And, today and everyday, I give you permission to take a time out.”

Look in the mirror when you say this to yourself. It will make you more accountable to you because you are facing yourself.

Stick to Your To-do List
I know there is a lot to do in a day’s time, but I want you to put down the most important things you need to accomplish and nothing more. That should be around 6 to 8 items on your list. Once you’ve accomplished the things on your to-do list, cross them off and then do nothing. This will prove that you have time to rest. Take advantage of it.

Enlist a “No” Zone
We don’t like to tell our children, friends, family or co-workers “no.” However, this is a healthy word. I had to get comfortable with saying the word. At first, I felt bad, because I thought everyone would think that they couldn’t count on me. That’s not the case though. I am dependable.

It’s just that if I always say “yes,” I will never have time to rest because I’d always be involved in a project, going to an event, etc. I’d never get time to rest, which is what’s needed to be your best – and to go hard for the things that matter.

I hope I’ve made sense and that you’d heed my advice.

And guess what? Now that I’ve completed this week’s column, I’m going to take a time out and do absolutely nothing. Yay me!

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