I’m one of those people who goes to yoga classes, and while attempting to twist myself into a lopsided pretzel have a million things running through my mind. It doesn’t matter how many times the instructor has me meditate or try to focus on the present. Thoughts like, “What’s on my grocery list?” “Is my car in a towaway zone?” or “Did I forget to respond to an important email?” race through my mind faster than a session of cardio HIIT. It’s ironic that sometimes we have to give ourselves “permission to pause,” when taking breaks should be second nature. Yet in a world where everything is fast-paced and things are expected on demand, it’s important to remind ourselves that taking time to focus on only ourselves isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
For the past few months leading up to my wedding, I had severe anxiety. It wasn’t because I was nervous about getting married or trying to make everything perfect, rather it was because I had so many things to do on my checklist that I was constantly worried about running out of time. I remember the days before my wedding I couldn’t sleep, and as I much as I kept trying not to, I constantly replayed my to- do list over and over in my head like a bad Justin Bieber remix.
It wasn’t till my anxiety began to affect my health that my fiancee (now husband) was like, “you really need to relax.” And he was completely right. Not only had my anxiety affected me mentally, but it also began to affect my body negatively. It was then I knew things needed to change.
After my wedding, I began taking more time for myself. The concept of permission to pause is so real to me because I experienced firsthand what it could be like if I continued in GO mode, never taking the time to relax or slow down. My health problems were the culmination of a few months, but what if that continued for years?
Luckily one of my all-time favorite activewear brands, Athleta is running a “permission to pause” campaign, centered around mindfulness and restoration. The soft fabric and neutral colors of these pieces inspire me to relax, clear my mind, and take time for myself. Today I sat on a bench, enjoying my peaceful surroundings and thought about how thankful I am to have time to myself to enjoy the little things. It’s not until we take time to pause that we can become the best version of ourselves when we start up again. I hope my story inspires you to take some time out for you today. And if you want to shop my the Restore line and my picks, you can click the links below!