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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

TIME OUT! 2 Things you can practice today to stave off anxiety and depression in this hectic time.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Aug 18th 2008

blurry image of a clock faceAs kids many of us remember taking time-outs in our rooms and as parents many of us are currently enforcing it. For kids, adolescents, and adults, there are so many different things to be anxious about these days. We have world anxiety from all the wars going on and the continuing stories on issues with global warming. Many of us have food anxiety, from a bitter inner battle with our race of who-can-be-thinnest, aspiring to look like the physically shrinking celebutantes, to our growing national obesity epidemic. We have economic anxiety with dwindling paychecks and rising gas prices with our current recession. All of this often feeds into sleep anxiety leaving an increasing number of people popping pills to fall asleep without adequate information on the addictive properties of many of these agents. None of this mentions generational anxiety with the boomer generation crunched between taking care of ailing parents to financially supporting their recent college grads at home because they can’t find jobs.

With all of this anxiety spinning in our heads, we’re more prone to experience increased muscle-skeletal tension, along with a host of uncomfortable emotions like fear, anger, or sadness. If we let this cycle continue to build, it can lead to increased anxiety or depression. If you are prone to an anxiety or depressive disorder, this stress can aggravate it and send you back into the condition you worked so hard to get out of. Without attention to how we’re doing mentally, emotionally, and physically, it’s hard to justify taking the time-outs we really need in daily life.

So here are 2 little brain nuggets to chew on that can be helpful in this time:

  1. Yes, you heard it here, we all need daily time-outs. Not just the once a year vacations, or a weekend out with the family from time to time. We need this break daily. Life can be overwhelming right now. A time-out can as short as 30 seconds or as long as an hour in a day. What can you do to take a time-out from your daily busy-ness to restore and calm your mind and body? Sometimes taking a good inhalation of a bottle of really good essential oils can transport you to a different place, and be restorative relieving tension from your body and mind.

  2. Say NO! - Most of us are so afraid to say no when an additional responsibility is given to us by friends, family, or job. Pay attention to your mind and body, notice if you are getting imbalanced, if so, just kindly let people know that right now your plate is full and that you’ll have to come back to this later or to please let someone else take it on. It is OK to say NO!

What are your favorite ways to take time-outs during the day? Do you have difficulty saying no? Feel free to share stories, comments, and questions that come up for you.


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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