When you don’t know what to do, be still.


I know this was a quote I heard somewhere, and no amount of research is turning up a reference, so maybe I’m just wishing it was a published quote, or maybe someone said it and it just sounded profound.

What should you do when you are unsure of what to do? When you’ve hit that level of overwhelm and you don’t see a right next step.

You may have a different answer, but I go back to the quote: be still.

In times like these, I’ve been known to take a nap. For me, that’s the ultimate version of being still. I put on a guided meditation, maybe a yoga nidra. Depending on the level of overwhelm I’m facing, or the time of day, I could be out for 30 minutes or a couple of hours. If it’s the middle of a workday, I’ll take my lunch break and set an alarm (that’s the 30-minute version). If it’s the end of the workday, I’ve been known to nap for up to 3 hours. (You know those naps. You wake up and wonder if you’ve slept through your alarm and what day it even is?)

But there are times when I just don’t know what to do and I can’t take a nap. I can find myself in this position when I need to focus on something difficult or complex. Or after an emotional event. These are the times where I take 5 minutes to meditate. I pause any screens and notifications. Then I take 3 deep breaths. I drop my shoulders, close my eyes, sit up straight with my feet on the floor. And I focus on breathing. This allows me to reset my mind. Maybe I even find some clarity around what was causing the overwhelm in the first place.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Photo by PJ Gal-Szabo on Unsplash