Stop. The Most Powerful Word You Can Tell Yourself

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Stop. It was told to me by someone in the context of when things become too much. Overloading on staying productive, working to make things happen in your business, school, work, or any situation, STOP.

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This is such a fast-paced world that we live in, even in a pandemic. It is all about being on that hamster wheel of life. STOP is such a powerful word in your vocabulary because you can say it to yourself. Stop being so worried and let it go. You can tell yourself to stop letting stress take over your life. It is okay to say stop, I have had enough of life today, and I need a break. There is nothing wrong, and yet the emphasis by everyone around us is to not stop. Keep going because it will be okay if you immerse yourself in things that keep you busy or, worse, the distractions in life.

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Don’t worry, I have been one of the worse offenders who did not tell myself to stop when stress is a part of my daily life. For a long time, I had used distractions and even the thing I love most in this world, writing, as a way to not stop. All work and no play makes James a dull boy. For so long, I was stressed to the max, where it began towards the end of summer, and since my mother’s death, it affected my health significantly. I could not stop. It got so bad that suicide became an option in October. It was worth it to hit that lowest of lows because it made me realize that I was working myself with school, starting a business, the many writing projects, and everything else that I could to distract. Just stop, James.

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When I finally took the advice of this kindred spirit, it was a lifesaver. It is not a perfect world as sometimes I forget and get overwhelmed about things like money and my business. Still, I have been telling myself to stop more and more feeling the effects of slowing down to enjoy some of the things that make life great. In this pandemic world where things, at least here in California, are closed down again, and I can’t go downtown to sit outside a coffee shop or visit my favorite bookstore. I can still tell myself to stop when I have hit my limit for the day, and it varies. I can write for hours some days and very little to none others.

Take a moment to stop and just listen to the birds outside while you are sipping on your morning coffee or, in my case, tea. Let yourself breathe and see how it changes your day. I sometimes can sit for hours on end in front of something I am writing, and so I use the technology at my disposal to remind me to get top and walk around—dance for a few minutes every hour or so. Find ways to make lemonade out of the lemons of life. Okay, enough of the metaphors, but it is okay to STOP. Life within creativity will always find a way, and you only have a finite time on this earth. You might as well make the best of it while you are still breathing. Just STOP, the most powerful word in your vocabulary. Listen to what the universe is telling you to live in the now.

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worse that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

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Learn to Love Yourself in the Alone Time

I have spent the last several months going to work and going home. Not much socializing. Sometimes once a month I would go out if invited to something. I was trying to save money. And I was trying to work on myself. I went to counseling and did other activities to pull myself out of depression. I don’t have insurance so that was the best I could do. I remember feeling alone often. I looked for ways to stay busy and distract myself from how I felt. I wished I could afford to go out and spend time with even one person.

As I was getting to a better place with my finances, the pandemic happened. Everything shut down. I lost a lot of work. Other than concerns for my income, my daily routine didn’t change much. I couldn’t read a book at a coffee shop, but I could live without that. I had grown more comfortable with myself and didn’t mind the alone time. I still feel alone but it doesn’t bother me as much. I’ve grown to a place where I enjoy cooking again. I read more. I write fiction more. My creative ideas are never ending.

During the pandemic, there were videos of celebrities feeling upset during social distancing. This reminded me of how I felt. I realized there wasn’t anything wrong with me or how I felt. We were all reacting in a normal way to isolation. I hope people are discovering new things about themselves. If you’re bored during isolation, you need new hobbies. If you’re alone and uncomfortable, you need to love yourself and enjoy your own company. We all should set time aside to be alone. It’s important to our wellbeing. Find your happiness in the alone time.

James Pack is a self-published author of poetry and fiction.  Information about his publishing credits can be found on his personal blog  He resides in Tucson, AZ.