How to Take a Break and Reclaim Room to Breathe

I'm up at 5:45 in the morning, 15 minutes before my alarm signals the start of my morning ritual of breakfast making, toddler changing, and lightning speed life organizing.

By the time my alarm goes off at six, my phone has already beeped too many times to count, letting me know of private sales, news headlines, incoming emails and unread text messages from the night before.

Our his and hers iPads are spontaneously combusting on our dresser, and my husband's phone is blowing up with new data from his usual feeds.

The above scenario is plain ridiculous so early in the morning, but sadly, it's not uncommon in this day and age. So I'm determined to take small steps to take back any down time I may actually still have in the home by carving out mental and physical space for my own sanity.

Here's how I plan to do it.


One of the things I love about this picture is the absence of plugs, wires and gadgets. I don't remember the last time my bedside table or wall looked this spartan. The picture coaxes a slow exhale, doesn't it?

Find quiet in unexpected places

Photo by Moon Design + Build - Browse contemporary laundry room photos

It's no surprise that flashes of brilliance almost always come at times when we allow our minds a few minutes of peace.

The persistent hum of the dryer is like a salve to our weary minds, wounded from data overload, so it's no surprise that the laundry room makes for a simple yet often overlooked sacred space.

Say no to high-tech showers

One of my most beloved sacred spaces in the world is my best friend's outdoor shower in the tropics. It's nothing fancy, just a stone shower area with some homemade soap and coconut oil bottles.

But no one ever bothers me when I'm out there, and I never think about where my phone is mid-lather. TVs and music players and phones have their place in the interior, but keep them out of the shower.

Enjoy your own outdoors

We always want to be doing something. Even in the garden, people find it hard to park themselves on a bench to watch a hummingbird lap up nectar (or they do this while pressing send on their phone) for just 10 minutes.

Having a green thumb and cultivating one's garden is perfectly fine, but our spirits would probably benefit from activity-free garden time as well.

Go underwater

Photo by Lewis Aquatech - More modern pool photos

I hope that the day never comes when smart phones have lives under water. The ocean, the pool, and the tub may be the last places on Earth where we can disconnect for extended periods of time.

Find a space. Any space.

It doesn't have to be fancy. You don't need New Age music playing in the background or a bucolic cottage in the south of France to find down time and mental clarity. You just need space. Find it, and when you finally have it within your grasp, protect it.

And if you really want to disconnect, make sure your sacred space doesn't have Wi-Fi.

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