The Silver Lining Behind Slowing Down and Enjoying the Season

“I just want a break!!” My youngest daughter seems to cry every time I ask her to do something. No dishes. No dance. No joining us for dinner. No walking the dog. No music performances. No plays. No. No. No.

“What do you want to do?” I ask, not so innocently.


Two seconds later: “Can you increase the screen time permissions on my phone? Umm hmmm….

The good coach/Mom in me says: “I’m hearing you say you want time to relax.”

That’s an understatement.

I’m also hearing this from my clients – “I really feel the need to take care of myself, this month,” says one. “I’m going to stop pushing getting my new business off the ground and spend time doing things I really enjoy that inspire me.”

“I don’t know what it is but I really don’t feel like working so hard on this right now,” says another. “I feel like I am really supposed to be just taking in what’s going on around me.”

“It sounds like you want to be a human BEing for awhile,” I said to this one client.

And that’s the rub.

Everyone seems to be looking for permission to just BE.

It’s as though the world is pushing and we are in the middle of it all crying out: JUST STOP!!! Somehow, it can seem we are spectators in our own lives, with no control over the storyline.

And it’s interesting because so often this time of year I find my clients are pushing – almost in panic mode – wanting to ensure they close out the current year strong, and are ready for the next one.

This year that’s not the case with many of them.

They’re looking for permission to just BE.

BE still.

BE connected.

BE themselves.

Is it Mercury Retrograde? This might seem like a random thought but people keep saying that, so I looked it up in the Farmer’s Almanac. What the heck is Mercury Retrograde anyway?

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards. These times in particular were traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.

Apparently, during Mercury Retrograde, plans can go awry and intuition can be higher during these periods and coincidences can be extraordinary.

AND, what’s more, on the day I wrote this blog post – December 6, 2018 – I discovered that we’ve been in retrograde since November 17, and it was ending on December 6.

What the heck? Apparently stopping – or at least pausing – is EXACTLY the thing you’re supposed to be doing during Mercury Retrograde: reflect, recharge and not make any big decisions.

Intuition is alive and well in my clients.

One of my clients recently shared that she is so thankful she took the fall to focus on her health because now she is feeling so much more capable of managing the regular work and life stress. She ate better, slept more and exercised more often, and guess what? It worked! The results of her self-care showed up in her work. The health gurus aren’t wrong. Taking care of your health  – taking care of you – impacts every area of your life.

Give yourself permission to slow down, enjoy the season and just be.Click To Tweet

Here are five signs that it’s time to retreat inward versus push outward to get more done in your business and in your life.

1.  Your entire body is crying out for a good night’s sleep

Is this you? You’re pushing it and working every night until 10 or 11 pm and up again at 6 am or before to get a few more emails responded to; one more report prepared; one more sales call made. Is the regular sacrifice of sleep really worth it? Are you really getting that much more done? Take a tip from Clement Moore and put yourself down for a “long winter’s nap” – many nights in a row. Recharge. Sleep. And you’ll be more productive afterward. I promise.

2. You look with longing at the pictures your friends are posting where they’re having fun

Who’s got time to have fun? There’s so much to do! Shopping, school concerts, end of year fundraisers, family visiting, holiday socials… When will you have time to do what you want to do with the people you want to do it with? Just stop! Right now. Take a look at your calendar and take three things out of it. Give yourself some breathing room to do whatever you want.

3.  You are snapping at everyone around you

Are you getting upset at seemingly benign things that ordinarily wouldn’t bother you? Is everyone else too slow, too annoying, too obtuse, and too ridiculous? Hmmm…. Maybe It’s time to look in the mirror.

4.  You can’t remember the last time you made time for (insert something you enjoy)

Now is the time. Schedule that thing in your calendar – even if it’s downtime with you, yourself and you.

5. You find yourself getting dangerously close to road rage

I recently witnessed a woman get out of her car and walk over to yell at a man in a truck who had done a U-turn in a quiet neighbourhood intersection. Is it really worth it to get that mad at people? What does it do to you, let alone the person you’re yelling at?

Do yourself a favour. If your still small voice is telling you to slow down and take a breather, do it. Just STOP. Take care of yourself. Have that good night’s sleep. Enjoy that time with friends. The work will be there when you’ve recharged.

A friend of mine recently shared that she decided to do more fun things this past fall and focus on making herself happier. Guess what? Her business is booming and she’s fully booked two months out. She thinks it’s because she’s happier and she’s not worrying about where the clients are going to come from anymore.

It turns out there’s a silver lining to slowing down, reflecting and recharging, it’s called productivity.

The silver lining behind slowing down and enjoying the season. Click To Tweet

If this article has you interested and you’d like to hear more, follow along at or apply for a complimentary strategy session at

How has this article impacted you? What will you stop or start doing to give yourself a little self-care during this busy time of year?

To your success, in business, and in life,

Susan Elford

PR Launchpad Guidebook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a Leadership Coach and PR Strategist who especially loves to work with women who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a full and satisfying life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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