The Power of Stillness by Ataisi Iris

The Power of Stillness by Ataisi Iris

It's a new year and it's already off to an eventful start. For those of us in Canada, especially Ontario, we had to deal with another lockdown. 

I had great expectations for New Year's Eve, but COVID had other plans. It's alright. It's a pandemic; we adapt. I always set goals for each new year. 2020 was a relaxed and restful year for me, and I promised myself I would get back on my feet and do more in 2021 (Lol, I spoke too soon). This year, I’ve opened myself up to new opportunities and started personal projects that I had pushed to the corner of my mind.

There is such a stark difference between my 2020 and 2021. I went from sleeping long hours without feeling guilty to questioning my life choices when I chose to nap instead of study. I realize that 2021 is a different year, and I cannot approach it the same way I did in 2020. I have more responsibilities this year, but if I am not careful, I could experience burnout. 

One thing I noticed that worked for me in 2020 was having a day of stillness. On one day of the week, I would turn off my notifications or let my phone's battery die. I would lock myself in my room and sleep or read books or write without interruption from anything else. It was never perfect because sometimes I wanted to know people missed me (news alert: they did not lol). Or when I checked my phone, I would see requests for things I did not want to deal with at the moment, but I still found them hard to ignore.

Anyways in those few hours where I freed myself from external interactions, I encountered peace. I remember one time I did it for three days (I responded to texts here and there, lol I'm not perfect y'all) , but there was a calmness that rested on me that even my friends could see.

I need to revisit those days of stillness.

I feel like I cannot take the time to be still because of my work load. Then I get into this intense space, where my mind begins to run “Oh my gosh, I have so much work to do, but I can’t stop, I need to do this and I still have to finish that, but I’m too tired, but this person needs this, and, and I and I...” I end up crashing, and watching Netflix instead.

In times like this, when I'm stressing about work, I always remember this conversation I had with my dad. My dad was in the washroom, and he received a phone call. Being the good daughter I am, I grabbed his phone and stood outside the washroom door shouting: "so and so is calling you."

And he said something to me, "Ata, that is why there is the option for missed call." (PS. if you call me, and I don't answer your call, my dad said it is okay to miss your call, lol). 


I don't know if you're anything like me, but I am a bit impulsive. A thought or request can come in, and I will drop literally everything I am doing to attend to it. Most times, I do not feel good afterwards because by doing this, I put myself through unnecessary pressure. Something those hours of stillness taught me is the importance of protecting my peace. I like myself more when I am peaceful and not frazzled. Those hours allowed me to see what was important to me and what I could hold off on. 

If you can take those extra days to be quiet and still, I implore you to. 2021 is like a fast-moving train; I feel like so many things are happening all at once. It is vital to protect your peace of mind in the midst of it all.

Here are a few tips for a successful day of stillness:

1. Let loved ones and those who contact you frequently know that you will be away from your phone. We don't want people worrying about your safety in a pandemic.

2. If you're able to turn off your phone, do so. If not, put it in "Do Not Disturb" mode and turn off notifications to all social media apps.

3. Lastly, have a plan for your quiet day. What do you plan on doing: reflecting, writing, reading, or sleeping? (Reading and sleeping are my favorites)

Prioritize these quiet times, pick a schedule and commit to it; maybe it's once a week, once a month, or a few days a year. Find a routine that works for you. I hope these times of stillness help you as they did me. I wish you a successful 2021 and I'll see you in the next post.

Leave a comment below and join the conversation! What does your #NewNormal look like?

About the Blogger: Ataisi Iris

A profile picture of Ataisi posing with her hand under her chinThis article was written by one of our Blog Contributors, Ataisi Iris. Ataisi runs her own blog, called Face to Face with Abba. She uses writing as a medium to share her honest life  experiences, hoping others can relate and learn from her journey. She is also a portrait photographer and specializes in self-portraits. When she is not shooting, writing or studying, she is most likely watching funny videos on YouTube or taking walks. Ataisi loves people, and desires to see everyone be the best version of themselves. You can find more of her work at Her socials are @ataisiiris and @ataisiirisportraits on Instagram.
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