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Give Yourself a Time Out

Updated on September 11, 2011

Take Some Time


This is an article about what to do when those everyday hassles and problems in life are getting the best of you. The everyday problems and bumps in the road can really drive you crazy, and the stress of every thing coming down on you at once can really bring down your health and even impair your ability to make the correct decisions.

I was having one of those days. I got into my car and started to hear that rattling sound of doom. There was no rattle yesterday. Today there is a rattle. I am already thinking ~ trip to the shop, no ride to work and one massive credit card bill. I have things to do. No time for problems. My happiness has gone right out the window.

After discovering strange noises with my car, I come home and my smoke detectors are beeping every 15 seconds. I change the batteries, and they are still beeping. OMG. My day is starting to become very aggravating. Already stressed out that my car might be on the verge of falling apart, I was looking forward to spending a relaxing afternoon at home. I really don’t need this constant beeping in my life. It’s a Sunday and no chance of the maintenance man from my apartment complex coming to fix the problem. He is probably at home watching football and certainly not worrying about my constant beeping. After about an hour of this beeping, I am seriously thinking of tearing the units off of the wall. What else could go wrong?

A deep breath and a time out really helps a lot when you feel you are having one of those moments when nothing is going your way. We have all been there, having one of those days where one bad thing seems to trigger one negative thing after another. We need to put the breaks on the day and fast.

What is the best thing to do when you are feeling like your day has just gone to the dogs? Give yourself a time out. Just like you might make your toddler sit in the corner when he/she is having a meltdown, make yourself sit down and calm down. You can’t think clearly at the moment when you are all heated up and over top upset with life. Taking that time out can prevent you from doing something rash like pulling the smoke detector out of the wall that just might make your present situation even worse and give you the time and space to make a clear decision.

Ways to Take Your Time Out

  • Just walk away. Many times you might have to leave the room to get the break you need. The problem will more than likely still be there when you get back. No rush to solve it all right then and there.
  • Think about something else to get some perspective. There are always worse things that could be happening to you. You are just going through daily struggles. Simply imagining something worse happening to you can bring you back down to reality and help you deal.
  • Allow yourself the privilege of visualizing more positive outcomes to your present situation. Maybe my car isn’t really all that messed up. I just might be able to drive around for another week or so, giving me the time to get some money to make the repairs. It might be just a few screws that are loose and causing the rattle noise. Maybe the fix will be easy and take only a few hours and not cost me an arm and a leg to repair.
  • Do something else. Physically removing yourself from your present problem and working on something else can give you a great time out. Even just 10 to 15 minutes away can give you enough time to come back to your immediate problem with a fresher and more positive attitude.

After the timeout, you can come to the situation/problem with a calmer attitude. I didn’t need to rip my smoke detectors out of the wall or call the maintenance man after all. All I needed to do was go to Walgreens and get some name brand batteries and throw my cheap batteries in the trash. Sure enough, the expensive batteries solved my problem. It was taking that time out and calming down that gave me the idea to really read the back of my smoke detector and read the directions which stated to only use certain kinds of batteries. As grownups we don’t have someone telling us to go stand in the corner, we got to be the grownup and give ourselves a time out when we need it.


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Voted up, useful, beautiful, and interesting. Love this hub and the wisdom therein. I will do what you write about today, sometime, just give myself a time out. Makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks Stigma 31 for reading, the comment and the vote up.

    • Stigma31 profile image

      Stigma31 6 years ago from Kingston, ON

      Thanks, I took time out to read this article...I totally agree a few minutes and a fresh look can change up!