Time and time again, I’ve experienced it: overload. Whether it be emotional, mental, physical, or relational, I’m very prone to being tipped over the edge. That edge is never a very pleasant place. I cry, panic, or become just plain bitchy. Sometimes it’s best to resolve or discuss what’s going on, but many times it’s even better to step away and disengage for a little bit.
It’s a very simple concept actually–ten minutes of space. When things start getting upsetting or overwhelming, take ten minutes to do something away from the situation. This is especially helpful for interpersonal fights (I have siblings; I’ve lived this). Talking it out is nice, but when emotions are running high, well-meaning discussion could turn into further argument and upset. Taking time away can help both parties calm down and realize that perhaps the problem isn’t as enormous as it seemed.
Ten minutes of space, for me, is like refreshing the page or restarting the computer. It’s a way for me to find some inner ground, breathe, and get away from it all. I don’t even have to be thinking about the issue–in fact, it’s arguably better if I don’t, in order to prevent rumination. Just getting away, finding a space to decompress or distract myself with something calming, is enough to ease my mind and bring me back into a state of peace. Sometimes, after I’ve taken my time, the issue doesn’t even need to be resolved. It was all in my perception.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a little break rather than trying to resolve it immediately. You’d be surprised how helpful ten minutes of space can be. I’ve seen it work wonders in many different situations and for all ages.