How to Make Time for a Time Out


“What do you do to relax?”

I once asked this to a group of women and got the reply, “Relax.  What’s that?”  


In this “hurry up” society when everything is at our fingertips, and Starbucks will now have our coffee ready when we arrive, we don’t know how to relax.  Stress relieving activities.  What are those?  And if we knew them, why would we do them?  We don’t have time!!  

Given that it’s Spring Break around here, I thought I’d spend a day on this topic of taking a time out.  We’re not going anywhere this week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find time in our day to relax, decompress, or take a time out.  

These days people think they have to take a vacation, go to the beach, or camp out to relax.  But even then, they’re tied to their iphones, ipads, electronics, etc.  


So how, in our everyday lives, do we build in time to relax, decompress, take a time out?  In this day and age driven by stress, HOW can we build in some relief?  


  1. Breathe – No really, just BREATHE.  Take a minute, seriously, just one minute, and focus on your breath.  Feel and hear the inhale.  Feel and hear the exhale.  It can be calming.  It can help you focus and get you centered.  Eventually the minute will extend to two minutes then five minutes.  Then maybe you can think of doing this upon waking and before going to bed and anytime through the day when you realize you need to focus or need a time out.  
  2. Read – Find a book of five minute devotions or scripture readings.  You may enjoy poetry or even a few pages of a novel.  
  3. Get outside – Take a leisure walk.  Maybe take your lunch outside.  Open your blinds or windows if you can’t get outside.  Let the sun shine in!
  4. Gratitude – Take note of things for which you are grateful.  Keep a journal.  When you lay down at night or wake up in the morning, write down 3-5 things that you are thankful for.
  5. Self-Care – Soak in a warm bath.  Schedule a manicure or pedicure.  Or just take 15 minutes to do your own nails.  Massage.


Now when are you going to do this?  

You can start with five minutes.

  • It may mean getting up five minutes early.  
  • It may mean catching yourself when you’re scrolling social media and instead close your eyes and breathe for a couple of minutes.  
  • It may mean that when you are out doing errands, just park a little bit farther away and walk to your destination.  Feel the warm sun or the breeze as you go.  

So whether you’re on a beach this week or working 9-5, do yourself a favor and take a time out.  I dare you!


Do you find it difficult to relax?

How do you work in daily time outs?  

I know my list isn’t complete.  What are some other ways to sneak in some stress relief?