Pause, Rest, Self-Care and Find Your Flow

Looking back at my month of October 2021, I was writing and publishing much lesser than previous months. I had been doing more reflections, soul searching, thinking and planning than I would previously do. I am also facing more mental and emotional demons during the past few months. In a rather ironic way, my level and style of writing took on another different field arising from facing, challenging, adapting and adopting in the battle against this ongoing global pandemic, as well as inspired by the many in-depth writings, thoughts and flow of writing by Fernando Gros, whom had an influence on thought thinking and writing. During a period of pause and reading, I found a series of posts that inspired me to link some of my thoughts, writings and directions together in this “Pause, Rest, Self-Care and Find Your Flow”.

Photography by Ryan Cheng

Pause

Many of us live in a rat race society, we are chasing many things in our life, however, do we really know what we need, what we want and do we really want/need it? When the global pandemic hit us on a full impact around Q1 2020, it seemed like we were forced to pause, re-organise and re-invent our work and daily living. However, did we really get the chance to pause at all? Or are we continuing to chase for our survival instead?

I found still.life Instagram post on 9 ways to pause intentionally, it strikes something inside me, do I know when and where to pause and take a breather? Probably my quest for my business survival during this global pandemic period (it’s close to 2 years and still counting) eventually inflicted some worse impacts on my mental and emotional health during this year 2021.

I decided that I really and I must pause.

Here are my types of Pause

  • Learn to stop and say NO
  • Change your environment if you can
  • Practice gratitude and be thankful
  • Take a break from work when you need it
  • Head to the outdoors, into nature and outdoors
  • Get up, stretch, walk, and exercise

Rest

This was where I first discovered still.life Instagram account after reading their post on 9 types of rest. This post was short with simple words/phrases to describe the types of rest that we can implement. I was kind of enlightened, it dawned upon me that I badly needed a rest, mentally and emotionally. My content creation and media news coverage on my this website TGH Technology and Business Portal/Blog had slowed down as I was feeling a lot of pressure, overwhelmed a number of occasions by this ongoing global pandemic situation and its impacts.

Feeling restful, I started to explore still.life Instagram account in-depth, discovering more posts that I found meaningful, helpful and therapeutic. At the back of my mind, heart and soul, I visualised a workflow – Pause, Rest, Self-Care and Find Your Flow, the subject heading of my article.

The truth is, I am mentally and emotionally exhausted, as well as physically exhausted from my mental and emotional drain.

Here are my types of Rest

  • Reduce time/Go offline on social media platforms
  • Read a book (physical or e-book)
  • Head to the outdoors, into nature and outdoors
  • Find a new hobby to embark on
  • Rediscover your old hobbies that you used to like
  • Write down, let your thoughts and feelings out, on a journal (physical) or online (blog, social media)

Self-Care (Balance and Recharge)

Starting from Pause, next is Rest. Now is to Self-Care (Balance and Recharge). I probably never learnt my previous lessons to Self-Care, that I need to take care of my own self first instead of putting others before me. Inspired by still.life Instagram post on Self-Care (Balance and Recharge), I am seeking to rebalance and recharge my Self-Care.

Therefore, it’s high time that I apply Self-Care (Balance and Recharge) for myself.

Here are my types of Self-Care (Balance and Recharge)

  • List down the things that are draining me, take the steps to remove them
  • Avoid people who are judgmental, negative, people that put you down
  • Head to the outdoors, into nature and outdoors for a recharge
  • Talk to someone that you can trust, someone that will not judge you for what you are going through
  • Reduce your time online on social media platforms, go offline if you can or if you have to

Find Your Flow

While I was stringing together this flow of Pause, Rest and Self-Care (Balance and Recharge). The concept of Flow brought me back to a teaching that I learnt during my UQ Honours Year, when I was reading “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who has recently passed on in October 2021.

How do “Pause, Rest and Self-Care (Balance and Recharge)” leads to “Find Your Flow”? I am taking an approach to write and explain in a language and style that is more suited for the ground level versus from an academic journal jargon or from a psychology perspective.

What is Flow? How does it apply to me and to you?

Flow is a state in which you are so involved in it that nothing else matters. This is something that we feel when we are fully alive, it involved not just what we do, it’s also in harmony with the our environment that is around us. A simple and daily activity such as singing, dancing or participating in sports, or it can also be from reading a good book or having a good and engaging conversation.

In this current climate occupied with a global pandemic situation, our mental and emotional health and well-being has been severely impacted downwards. What can we do, or change, to let us back into the flow again, a return to the days when we are happier doing and enjoying our favourite activities or hobbies?

For more in-depth understanding on the Flow theory, you can watch his YouTube video below when he gave a talk about this topic.

YouTube video links: https://youtu.be/TzPky5Xe1-s and https://youtu.be/fXIeFJCqsPs

After my flow of Pause, Rest and Self-Care (Balance and Recharge), I need to get back on my feet again (for the record, I didn’t fell and spiral down again, it’s not like during May and June 2021), taking the steps to regroup, reorganise and continue striving forward in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic situation.

During this writing journey on Pause, Rest, Self-Care (Balance and Recharge) and Find Your Flow, I am also indirectly building up my chapters and notes for my upcoming photography therapy zine. How can I find my flow and adapt it for my photography business, content creation and writing?

On a personal note

Most of us, if not all of us, not just here in Singapore, the whole world is facing a very difficult and tough time battling this ongoing global pandemic. Our life has changed drastically, it might not return back to normal pre-COVID days. Our working life has embarked upon a new future of work, of a hybrid working environment.

As for our mental and emotional health/well-being, the impacts are huge, wider and affecting more people. On the subject of mental health, this pandemic has significantly raised the importance of mental health awareness and why mental health matters.

Photography by Isaac Ong

I hope that my short sharing on Pause, Rest, Self-Care and Find Your Flow, along with still.life quotes and sharing, would help you in some ways or another, as we continue battling this ongoing global pandemic, as we strive towards the reopening of our economy, society and travel. We have a healthcare and economic crisis on our hands, we are facing additional mental health crisis too.

We are learning and adapting towards endemic living with this COVID19, we all want a return back to some normalcy. This has not been an easy time for you, for me, for all of us.

When can we see the light at the end of the tunnel? I really don’t know, most of us don’t know too. This might take another 6 months? Or would it take another whole year in 2022?

Implementing our own personal flow of Pause, Rest, Self-Care (Balance and Recharge) and Find Your Flow, maybe we can adopt and adapt in a new direction as we continue to battle the twists and turns of this ongoing global pandemic.

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