It is okay to take a break! Just don’t quit!
It is easier said than done. Many times we feel like taking a break from what we are doing. When your body and mind are getting overloaded, you need to pause, think, and decide. It is important to take care of yourself and ensure you won’t get burnt out in the compulsion of doing everything that needs to be done and you want to do.
In the current day scenario, people face external & internal pressure to live up to the expectations. It may impact one’s health unless you take a breather. However, there could be different aspects of life that get us tied to the routine that would leave no scope for the break.
Let us consider the external situations. If it is taking a break from the job, it requires quite a lot of preparation and cooperation from family and at work. Finding ways to handle financial commitment when not working can be overwhelming. Without much planning, if you take a break then it may lead to more stress than helping you with the advantages of taking a break. Not an easy thing to do.
When it comes to the tasks at home, again you would face complex situations. However, some tasks could be outsourced/delegated (provided someone is ready to take it!)
So the easiest thing which you can pause is the work which you do for yourself! Maybe the exercises, lessons that you are keen to take, reading, writing and so on. It may not be the ideal thing to stop doing as these kinds of work help you to unwind, relax, provide self-satisfaction. But, by considering external factors, it would be easy to give up on the activities that you like to do.
That’s how I came up with a break on blogging when things were going haywire with too many things in hand. I could not stop the tasks that were committed to the family or work. So I ended up compromising on the voluntary work which I was keen to do, exercises which I enjoyed, and the blogging that gave me the satisfaction of doing something for myself.
When we focus on calculating external factor, we tend to ignore the internal factors like own opinion, interests and the joy it brings. So it leads to a different set of obstacles to the break.
Was it hard to stop/pause? Yes of course! FOMO (fear of missing out), what others think, whether I will be able to start again, what if I lose interest in it, am I doing right, how come I can’t make time while others are able to manage, and many more doubts that could bog us down.
When I just could not spend time on these activities, it led me into the guilt, self-pity, and a feeling of not being enough. This was happening during October 2019, I thought of getting back in November, and then in December. But when I could not start in December, “not enough” sentiments were running high. I was feeling bad whenever anyone talks to me about writing, classes, and meetings skipped. I realized that the unintentional break is pulling me down than giving me the breathing space that I needed.
Looking at the situation as an outsider could enable us to think differently and come up with a better solution. That’s what I did in mid-December 2019. Instead of wanting to do the things which I was not able to do, I decided to take a break. This decision gave me the power and the feeling that I am fine and know what I am doing. So I could easily talk to anyone and discuss without any guilt and uncomfortable hesitation.
Decided to go slow on the matters that would not cause adverse impact the day to day life at home or at work. I aligned my priorities according to the situation and started focusing on little things of joy.
A small change in my thought opened up an array of options which I could enjoy without time commitment and external dependencies: Unplanned walk, chat with a friend, listening to inspiring talks, small improvements in garden, crafting, baking, hooping, rebounding, painting, redoing a small corner at home, up-cycling, and many more. While I was at these things, I had no thoughts on what to do next. Each activity is independent and no tags attached to keep continuing.
With this change, my break became refreshing. No more guilt, I am planning to take one step at a time. Coming back from the break with this blog. Hopeful that other activities too would get started at the right time.
Though we are talking about the break which had no major impact on work or family, there may be situations that could impact existing balance but you still need to take a break.
So listing down some of the lessons and guidelines that could help you when you need a break!
- Take a break when your body and mind demand, do not pull the rope till it breaks. Take care.
- Talk to friends and family, or consult an expert when things become hectic and overwhelming.
- Do not beat yourself with “I am not enough” thoughts. It is okay to be not perfect.
- Consider the pros and cons and understand where you are stepping into.
- Think of both external and internal factors and take an appropriate call that is suitable for you.
- Be strong with your decision and do not waver as it may confuse you or derail you (in that case you may not get the required result)
- If it is difficult to take a big break, try to have smaller ones that could give you a breather. (Something is better than nothing)
— Anitha KC