The Ten Minute Mini-Me Break

There was a time when unexpected stay-at-home days (like when your child experiences uncontrollable diarrhea and cannot go to school) meant a long list of chores I just had to accomplish. Such days were not to be wasted, I reasoned but instead filled with the intention of completing all that I usually neglect during the busy work week.

By lunch, I would be burnt out and tired.

And by dinner, I would be disappointed by all that I wasn’t able to accomplish (my To Do list tends to be longer than the hours available in the day). I would, of course, lovingly care for the sick one (a full-time job) and do as much as I could to catch up around the house (a second full-time job), but I always went to bed wiped out.

The last two days have been unexpected stay-at-home days for me (due to the sick child described above), but my mindset has not been what it once was. I still set out to a) lovingly care for the child, and b) cross at least ten items off my extremely urgent “NEED TO DO TODAY” list. But this time—

I took mini-me breaks, where I stopped working for 10 minutes and did something just for me: I sat in complete silence and savored the beauty of our Christmas tree; I triaged my Google Reader articles; I read a few articles; I laid on my bed – not sleeping, but resting my mind and body; I hung on a little bit longer in the embrace of my sick little one; I worked on an art project I wanted to finish.

Bottom line is that I am learning what joy there is in living with intention and in the present, not worrying about tomorrow or next week. The mini-me breaks fill my soul. And only with a content soul can I continue to dish out the love and care I have for others. It’s remarkable, really, how happy I have been lately, even in the midst of total chaos (sick kids, a leaky roof, a broken know how it is). And I’m convinced it is a result of my efforts to capture and tame my mind. The mind can be very convincing, you know but not always truthful.

Take time for yourself today. Just 10 minutes every couple of hours, no matter what you are doing. Breathe deep. Go for a walk. Smile. Look at pictures of your family. Fill your soul however you want to fill it (FYI: You can’t go wrong by going for a run). It’s worth it.


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