• Kim Kellum, LPC

Take a Break by Putting on the Brakes!


Put on the Brakes in Life. How often do we do that? Some people are schedulers and they must plan ahead and have all the details down to the last set of socks to be packed. Some people are spontaneous and can throw it all together and take off for a quick weekend trip. Then there are others that NEVER take a vacation. Seriously not a good idea. But, it's about a daily break. Do you take a daily break for relaxation, meditation, mindfulness or prayer? What happens when we stop and give ourselves a 30 minute break from life? Is it hard for you to do it? Do you make excuses? Watching tv or videos is not the putting on the brakes that I'm referring to. It's the shutting off the phone, putting away the tablet, shutting off the tv, turning off the electronics, lowering the light or sitting out on a relaxing chair in the sun. It's about finding time to allow yourself to rest, let your mind go to a beautiful place, lay out your prayers or your thoughts and just give yourself 30 minutes of peace each day. What happens when we get daily peace?

Recently I decided to practice what I preach. For the past 3 years my husband and I have been on a health journey with his health. He has had 10 surgical procedures in those 3 years. Originally he had a tumor in which he is the only 5th known case ever on the planet. Thankfully it was not cancerous. Then we began the journey of clots and constant medications, surgeries and doctors appointments and dealing with the unknown. The stress has been over the top with waiting for the 'next shoe to drop' constant feeling. Then I went back full time into my counseling field. Started a private practice, jumping through licensing hoops and financial challenges with starting a new business and leaving my old job. Then I volunteer for a rescue group that is honestly like a 2nd job and I have been doing it for over 8 years. But it has been more than just volunteering to foster. I managed the website, petfinder, facebook page, adoptions, email inquiries and on the board for the rescue. Both of our children got married the same summer right after my husband's surgery and so we faced new adventures with the empty nest life. It was good but challenging with our adult children exploring their lives. The balance from being the parent of a child to parent of an adult child is a whole other blog. I began doing as much of the work around the house that my husband shouldn't have been doing because now he was on 2 different blood thinners and 8 other meds. So, I at 50 plus years of age decided I could handle the gutter cleaning, painting the house, mowing the yard, fixing stuff, etc... I had to put on the brakes big time. I worked with my own therapist (Yes! therapists see therapists too. I would never expect a client to go to therapy if I wouldn't be willing to go to one myself) on setting boundaries. So, after 8 plus years with social media I deactivated it. I asked others in the group to take on the adoption coordination for our rescue group, I didn't answer any of the rescue info. and dozens of questions daily about dogs on social media. I passed on the adoption applications to another board member. I backed off of managing my husband's medical appointments and encouraged him to do so. I gave myself permission and set boundaries on how much negativity I could or would be willing to accept from family members and others. I shut my phone off in the evenings. I have began painting. I will be starting to learn to play an instrument like I have always wanted to do. I give myself time to relax. We have a great jetted tub that we don't use very often. I found bath salts at a local shop, got myself started on essential oils and give myself time to relax daily. It has been rejuvinating. It's not a sprint but a journey with time on relaxing. I have had my challenges with letting things go. I have more to let go and I am working on those but the best thing so far is that my spirit is lifted, my peace is being restored, the guilt from not being available to everyone is being slowly alleviated. Putting on the brakes is good to restructure our time. I have found that my time was being consumed with the "have to" things in life that were not necessarily "have to" do activities. I had made them my "have to" list. Putting on the brakes is helping me re-write the real "have to and need to" list to a healthier 'have to and enjoy to" list. There are always "have to things" to do but the "enjoy to" list brings rest and peace. So, put on the brakes. Don't make excuses because when we make excuses it is exhausting our energy, thoughts and spirit when it doesn't have to do so. Without putting on the brakes and enjoying a break, it will take a toll on you. You need time to breath, relax, enjoy, take in the positive, be in the moment. Be good to yourself and enjoy your break time when you put on the brakes.


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