collect (one's) thoughts

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collect (one's) thoughts

To pause and think before speaking or taking action. Can I please just have a second to collect my thoughts before I respond? Susie paused to collect her thoughts and come up with a tactful response to her seething sister.
See also: collect, thought

collect one's thoughts

Fig. to take time to think through an issue; to give some thought to a topic. I'll speak to the visitors in a moment. I need some time to collect my thoughts.
See also: collect, thought
References in periodicals archive ?
The mosque of Zaghloul, the town's oldest, has over three hundred pillars taken from Greek and Roman monuments in Alexandria, and the spacious and delightful mosque of Al-Mahalli, opening onto a narrow but busy little street, is a pleasant place to stop during the heat of the day to collect one's thoughts and to give thanks for the abundance and the richness of life which makes up this delightful town.
And I think it's very important to be able to retreat inside and be able to collect one's thoughts and collect your ideas.
With so much demanded of everyone in today's world, time to collect one's thoughts is a novelty few can afford.