Take a Time Out

Take a Time Out

We all deserve and need a time out sometimes. Several things come to mind for me when I think about this topic. Today, however I am going to focus on two ideas. First, we most definitely need a time out when we are emotionally triggered. More on this in a bit. Secondly, we unquestionably need to take a time out from the daily grind of our multiple roles and responsibilities.

Let’s tackle the emotional space first. I don’t know about you, but I say really stupid things and demonstrate behaviors that I deeply regret when I am triggered. When triggered we go into our primal (survival) brain, the place of the fight or flight response. I fight! How about you? Regardless of our personal response, we need to ask for and take a time out so that enough oxygen can get back up to our thinking center so that we don’t regret what we are about to say or do. Sometimes this trigger response happens so fast that we don’t even know what is happening before it is too late and we have subsequently spewed mean words and demonstrated disruptive behaviors. The key is to catch ourselves, to be aware of our body’s cue that our primal brain has kicked in, so that we can ask for a time out.

Asking for what we need brings its own challenges. Many are not very good at being vulnerable, taking the risk and disclosing that a break is personally needed at the moment. “We” must get better at this for the sake of our teams and the relationships we have within our organization(s).

Projecting blame onto others is another component of being emotionally triggered. You made me so ______________ (mad, angry, sad, frustrated, you fill in the blank here.) Please remember NO ONE can make you feel anything. You are 100% responsible for how you are showing up. Our journey is to become more and more aware of ourselves and our trigger points and take a time out whenever we need to.

Next up is exploring the need to take a time out from the day to day roles and responsibilities, from the never ending to do list. Adult…itis is lurking around every corner and many are experiencing it day in and day out. Exhaustion, fatigue, overwhelm, time crunches, burdensome stress, burnout, etc. I sense you get the picture.

Nearly every adult I know these days, needs and deserves a time out. Time away from the day to day activities. Time to just be vs. constantly doing. Most humans are not very good at just being/just chilling because of guilt, operating belief patterns and the mental suffering we create when our brains are on automatic pilot. Can you identify with what I am saying here?

We all deserve a time out! Sometimes we need to take one when we are emotionally triggered and sometimes we need to be more intentional and take a break from our day to day toils.

When will you ask for what you need and give yourself a time out?


Contact me:

Cella Hartline Cella Janisch-Hartline, RN, BSN, PCC, Certified Professional Coach, Nursing Leadership Senior Manager for Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative has been involved in various healthcare industry leadership positions for the past 40 years. The majority of her career has been spent working in an acute care critical access facility for nearly 25 years. Throughout her work experience, she has learned most of her leadership skills and techniques through the school of “hard knocks”. Cella’s passion for teaching leadership tips and techniques earned her the 2018 Outstanding Educator Award through the National Rural Health Association. She is well-known for her humorous, engaging and personable facilitation style.


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