I’ve been on hiatus. It’s summer, so I haven’t been teaching. Plus, I’m pregnant. And I haven’t felt like doing anything. But instead of beating myself up over my lack of motivation, I’ve decided to embrace it. To take the break I’ve been so fortunate to have. And to rest before the busyness of going back to work and of having a baby begins.
Giving myself mental health breaks is something I’ve had to learn to embrace. For most of my life, starting in high school, I’ve been on the go. Starting the next thing before the current thing is finished. Keeping a fast pace. Always working on new projects and taking on new jobs.
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned the beauty of slowing down. Of not taking on everything possible. Of letting myself sometimes doing nothing. Of giving myself a break.
And I’ve found that, after giving myself the break I obviously needed, I feel rested and ready to get back to work. I actually feel excited to be busy again.
So if you are overworked and feeling ready to take a much-deserved break, here are some tips for doing so:
- Make time in your schedule to do nothing. Literally pencil it in. If you don’t, your schedule will take over and your time will no longer be your own.
- Take your mental health days. Even if your employer doesn’t call them mental health days, you can think of them that way. Take a day off to do nothing but self-care. Go for walks. Journal. Eat good foods. Treat yourself.
- Keep track of your mental health days. Make sure you’re getting at least one a quarter. And even if you can’t get the entire day, like maybe you have to take a half day to go to an appointment, make sure you’re at least taking a couple hours before or after for self-care.
- Practice self-care every day. Even on the days you don’t feel you have time, schedule five minutes to meditate or to journal. Find what works for you and implement it into your day. Take a break. And remember, a little bit goes a long way.
However you decide to take your mental health breaks, make sure you do it. No one’s going to tell you to and some naysayers may even discourage it. It’s up to you to take them. And always know, you deserve it.
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Photo by Екатерина Шумских