This week I was facilitating various corporate Doodle Breaks and there was one really BIG barrier that was keeping some people stuck from taking a Doodle Break.
I will relate this with doodling, but this can be applied to to everything in your life that is good for you!
Author and visual thinking expert Sunni Brown calls doodling “the act of making spontaneous marks in order to support thinking,” and the science backs her up on this. Studies have shown that even a short doodle break can help people solve problems in inventive ways, make fresh mental connections, retain information, or simply relax and enter a meditative state. No matter how you look at it, a doodle break is 5-10 minutes well spent.
So why is it so hard to actually take one?
I mean it. If the science is there, why isn’t everyone who reads my posts taking a doodle break right now? What’s the biggest obstacle?
It happens to be the same obstacle that keeps us from doing many other restorative self-care practices:
If you’re like most people, the biggest thing that stands in your way…is you.
Even if we know objectively that restorative self-care activities are good for us, it can be hard to shift our mental priorities from checking off items on a to-do list to spending time on something that feels “unproductive.” We put it on the backburner—sometimes for years. We tell ourselves we "don’t have time.”
“I don’t have time to meditate”
“I don’t have time to dance”
“I don’t have time to chat”
“I don’t have time to doodle.”
We have time.
You have time.
No matter how busy you are, somewhere in your day, you have enough time.
What you haven’t been giving yourself is permission. You have to allow yourself to take the time, even if it feels silly or self-indulgent.
A Doodle Break can be just 5 minutes long. It doesn’t require any special knowledge or equipment. All you have to do…is let yourself do it.
When you doodle, your only goal is to make marks on the paper. It doesn’t matter what the marks are. Simply enjoy the feeling of the pen moving on the page. Give yourself that tiny space where you don’t have to think about your day, don’t have to move on to the next thing.
You don’t have to be “good at drawing.” You don’t have to be “artistic.” Whatever judgements are in your mind about why you can’t do this are just thoughts, not truths. Anyone can doodle. If they’re given access to a writing implement, even babies and toddlers doodle (all over your walls and furniture).
Consider this your permission slip to take 5 minutes just for you. Grab a pen or pencil and give yourself permission to just…draw. Let go of your worries about being good enough or getting something “productive” done, just for a short while. The result doesn’t have to be beautiful; it just needs to exist.
Try letting yourself play for 5 (or even 10) minutes. Give yourself permission to do this tiny thing every day for a week.
Try it—and then come back and let me know how it goes.
 Quote for the week:

“Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter”  - Greg McKeown

Have a great day ahead. 
Melissa x


P.S. Are you ready to give yourself permission to take a Doodle Break? Click here if you are ready.