Raise your hand if you took a “time-out” when you were little. Hm, I’m guessing that 95% of you have. It’s a big deal as a kid. Even though it may have seemed like the worst thing in the world, time-outs give a time to children to step away from their actions, reflect on what is going on in their lives, and find solutions.
I am the youngest of four, and we all needed a time-out for different reasons at different times. Many times for being naughty but sometimes just to give us a break from the chaos of a large family. Sometimes, after the first minute or so, I actually enjoyed my time in time-out. I could sit on my bed and dream. Often my dreams involved how I could annoy my brothers as soon as I was released from my time-out situation, but sometimes it allowed me to dream about owning a horse or learning how to dance. I was able to think to myself things like, “Do princesses take time-outs? How about the president of the USA? Does he take time-outs?” It was a time to reflect and to learn more about myself. It allowed me time to think about how I have the ability to apologize for playing with and messing up my brother’s Lego masterpiece or how I could be kinder to someone in the future.
With all this knowledge of an effective skill, why haven’t I taken mandatory time-outs in my adult life? I practice yoga, which helps tremendously, and driving long distances alone seems to do the trick, as well. But allotting specific times for self reflection would be so beneficial for my mental processing, my relationships, and my outlook on life. If life has got you overwhelmed, I think it is time that you start accepting time-out as a necessary event. I’ve decided that I’m giving myself permission to take a time-out whenever life’s chaos gets too overwhel
ming. Maybe I’ve been naughty and I need to rethink my process. Maybe I need one to ensure that I’m on the right track.
I know some might think it is juvenile, but didn’t we learn everything we need to know we learned in kindergarten? At least author Robert Fulghum sure thought so… “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts On Common Things
So find yourself a seat in a corner, and give yourself those five minutes to think about whether you should have pinched Sally or not.