It’s getting to that time of year when the Out of office goes on with an automatic reply that goes something like:
‘ Hi, I am currently on leave until 4th January and will respond upon my return. If urgent please contact email@example.com in my absence.’
However, for daily blogging there is no break or time off unless posts are pre-written in advance.
And sometimes that can be challenging when you want time to plan what direction to take things in the future or just want to take a break.
There is no out of office for daily blogging and once you start you commit to never being able to take time off.
It can feel daunting but it isn’t all bad because there is so much to gain from committing to a writing practice every single day.
Taking breaks will always be necessary. However, when you commit to doing something every single day, suddenly taking a break becomes a little more difficult.
As much as you can try and make up for it the day before or the day after, it’s not quite the same as maintaining consistency.
Once you’ve stuck with something as a daily habit for a couple of months or even a few weeks, the thought of missing a day and losing that streak isn’t particularly tempting.
And so it becomes easier to not take breaks.
But as great as it is to be consistent and build daily habits, you never want to apply so much pressure that you won’t let yourself take a break even when you feel like you need it.
A morning routine is a great way to keep yourself in sync. But sometimes life will have you thrown off track, have you doing things differently and you’ll find yourself out of sync.
Instead of a meticulous step by step almost domino effect morning routine, you find yourself frazzled and in a rush. You forget the things you usually do or they’re done with less effort.
And so when you go out into the world you’re all over the place.
When that happens what you probably need is to rest, relax and reset.
The thought of spending your day doing nothing productive or nothing that adds to the end goal might seem like a waste of a day.
Surely, laying in bed or sitting wondering about life is of no value in the long-run.
It might seem useless at times but I think it’s valuable. Taking a break is valuable and if you don’t think it’s true, why not?
Often people uphold hard work like a badge of honour. It’s only when they later find themselves burnt out after having run themselves into the ground that they even consider a different way is possible.
But you don’t have to wait for burnout. Take a day or even a few hours off but not just because you’re on holiday or it’s the weekend.
Choose to rest or relax when you could be working.
If you go through a period of stress or anxiety, something that can work wonders is taking a break.
It might seem counter productive and you might feel like the better thing to do is pull yourself deeper into what ever has gotten you off balance.
But further exposing yourself to thing that isn’t making you feel good is probably not going to make you feel any better.
What you might need is to take a break.
In this day and age, in our go, go, go society it can be challenging to really take a break from your day to day life.
And so I think it’s important to figure out what helps you rest, reset and refresh your mind.
It could be a walk in nature where you’re away from buildings and cars but surrounded by greenery and wild flowers.
It could be a massage, something that forces you have to stay still and you have to put your phone away.
And once you’re done you’ll know that it worked when you can go back to thing that had you feeling stressed but you now feel calm and at peace.
When you feel like you need to escape or getaway it often has nothing to do with your surroundings. Although you may find yourself wanting to book a trip or get a change of scenery in many cases it’s actually your mind that needs a rest.
You might think you need a holiday when in fact a couple of days dedicated to slowing down, quality sleep, nourishing food, soft music, a massage and a walk in nature will do you a world of good.
A major part of present day culture is working hard but it is often to our detriment. You trudge on even when you know you need a break and only stop when your body gives way.
You don’t need to reach breaking point to justify resting
As much as working hard and achieving goals is great, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your well-being.
Now might be the perfect time.
If you find yourself stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, you might also feel a little helpless.
But the chances are you actually have a pretty good idea of what you can do to help yourself.
Rest, put your phone down, turn off your tv or computer, phone a friend, stretch…
However, despite knowing what to do and knowing what will help, we refuse to tend to our own needs.
People will often say things like I don’t have time to rest or I’m too busy to take a break.
But the truth is that mindset comes from not valuing taking care of your well being.
It might feel strange at first but it’s much better for you to regularly rest from life than to be forced to rest every time you work yourself into the ground.
Sometimes bounce-back and sometimes give yourself time.
I dedicated a whole post to bouncebackability. It’s an important part of life and I believe that having the resilience to not let every little thing in life knock you about is useful.
But on the flip-side sometimes you just need a break. You need to eat good food, take a walk, relax, spend time alone, sleep, do something enjoyable, turn your phone off, sit in silence, take some deep breaths, get a massage or whatever it may be.
It’s not about wallowing but instead admitting ‘I’m going through something and I’m going to take care of myself’. Don’t be so quick to always bounce back to the point where you’re trying to bypass or ignore your feelings.