Giving Yourself Permission to Be Still

BY Christine Khetarpal | June 8, 2019

Last year, I ran a 5-Day Self Care Challenge in my free Facebook community, Your KICK-ASS LIFE (After Divorce) for Women.   

Through dialogue happening around the challenge, we uncovered something interesting. A group of us agreed: One of our main challenges with self care is actually a resistance to sitting still… a challenge with stillness.

Pausing and just being can be truly difficult (even for those of us who are fierce and have risen to challenges that seemed so much more formidable!).

So, why is stillness so hard for us?

I think it may be because we are used to intentionally filling our lives with activity – to “stay busy” during our Life After Divorce journey.

And, let me be clear. I also think this is perfectly normal and healthy.

Divorce presents you with an amazing opportunity to re-discover yourself and stop settling. You’ve been granted opportunities to try new things, learn new things, eat new things, experience new things… the possibilities are endless and wonderful!

Meanwhile, it’s also common (and again, normal!) to be very focused on caring for others during this difficult time – especially if you have children. You worry about how they are handling the changes that come along with the divorce. You want to spend extra time talking with them, doing things for them, and simply being there to observe and seek clues as to their wellbeing.

So, if you have found yourself working hard to “stay busy” during your Life After Divorce journey, you aren’t the only one! It’s a reasonable, normal, and beautiful response to your circumstances.

But there is a potential pitfall here.

It’s quite possible to fill each day with tasks, responsibilities, errands, activities – even entertainment – and avoid feeling your feelings. You can easily stay busy just for the sake of staying busy – and not really deal with what is going on inside. I’ve done it myself, and I’ve seen many of my coaching clients do it, too.

So it makes perfect sense that when we hit that “pause button” – with the intention of just stopping and sitting still for a moment of quiet – that it’s not easy.  

Stopping for a still moment is really you saying, “Okay, I need to take some time for myself.” And that can trigger resistance inside of us. And knowing you are resisting that? It can be confusing, frustrating, and even paralyzing at times.

I’ve heard clients say “I can’t even relax. I don’t know how.”

But the truth is that – whether it’s for an emotional re-set, to slow down before making a rash move, for a moment of self carestillness is something that you need to be able to access. It will aid you in your journey to heal, learn about yourself, and emerge into your new life post-divorce.

The good news is that it’s not complicated to re-claim your ability to relax and just be. It requires self awareness (You’ve already checked that box! You’re reading this!), commitment, and practice. And you, my beautiful friend, have everything it takes to do it!

Let’s start here and now.  


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How to Give Yourself Permission to Be Still…“I can’t even relax. I don’t know how.” It can so hard to just be still. But the truth is that stillness is something that you need to be able to access. It will aid you in your journey to heal, learn about yourself, and emerge into your new life post-divorce. Divorce advice for women, life after divorce recovery, moving on after divorce. #divorce #divorcerecovery


I invite you today, no matter what your challenges, to take five minutes and start. (Or, even just one minute… whatever you’re comfortable with, because the duration doesn’t matter much. What matters is that you’re saying to yourself, “I give myself permission to be still.”)

When you do, notice how comfortable or uncomfortable you are with doing it.

Notice what happens inside when you aren’t actively doing something or planning something.

For a short time, you don’t need to take care of anything. Let your to-do list, your kids, the food shopping, tomorrow’s meeting, what you’re making for dinner… Let it all go – for just a few minutes.

Check in with you. What’s going inside?

Close your eyes and try it now. This article will be here in five minutes…

Welcome back. How did it feel?

Can you commit to trying this again- once per day or even twice per week?

Here are some extra tips for getting used to stillness:

Find a way to be totally undisturbed. Turn off your phone. Choose a time when you are comfortable being out of reach and un-plugged from technology. (Maybe it’s when the kids are either in bed or still sleeping, so you’re not worried you’ll miss an important phone call.)

Try this in the mornings. You may know I’m a big fan of morning routines. I believe they help us set an important intention for the day ahead. It’s simple. Just sit (or lay down) on your bed – or wherever you are comfortable – and just be. Check in on how you’re feeling. Be aware of you – for just five minutes.

Remember to breathe. In fact, focus on your breathe. Take deep cleansing breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth. If it feels good, you can add some visualization. Picture good energy rushing in, and tension or worry being pushed out.

Try counting while you breathe. “One, two, three, four, five. One, two, three, four, five.” Do that for about five rounds.

Write about it. When the time you’ve allotted is up, consider making some notes. Maybe it’s in your journal. But if you don’t have a journal, that’s fine – just grab any piece of paper. List five adjectives that describe how you felt – emotionally and physically – during your few moment of stillness. Note any thoughts you had. Note how comfortable you were.

(Side note: Sometimes we forget the power of expressing ourselves on the page. I call it “purging on a page” because the goal is to just empty ourselves out. It’s so useful for opening the doors and welcoming peace into our lives.)

Practicing stillness gives you an opportunity to stop the chaos on the outside, and to temporarily set aside that fantastic to-do list, so that you can truly see what’s going on inside. Try it today, and jump into my free Facebook community, Your KICK-ASS LIFE (After Divorce) for Women to let me know how it went for you!