As I’m writing this, I’ve taken around a week and a half long break from blogging. It might not sound long, or maybe it does if anything longer than 2 days off leaves you itching to write, but it’s the longest I’ve had ‘off’ since May.
I suppose I wasn’t really completely off as I was still active on Instagram and Twitter, but my motivation and even my love to write was just gone. Luckily for me, I write around 2-3 weeks in advance so there was never a lack of blog posts. I don’t know if I just burnt out and then got myself into a rut, but every time I thought of writing I felt a sense of dread and as I sat at my keyboard nothing came out.
So after two or three days of feeling like this, I decided to just give in to the feeling and take a break. I spent time with my friends, read a few books (reviews coming soon I hope!), watched some YouTube videos and listened to folklore by Taylor Swift over and over again. And now, I feel inspired, refreshed and ready to write again.
This week and a half of a break got me thinking about how important it is to just take some time away sometimes, whether it’s from blogging, work or whatever has you feeling stressed or unmotivated. So, I’ve put together a list of 6 reasons why taking a break is so important.
- It’s a form of self care.
In recent years, the importance of self care has been really emphasised. Taking a break is such a vital form of self care. Recognising that you’re burning out and you need some time for yourself, and actually giving yourself that time, is one of the best things you can do for both your mind and body. I’ve felt it can be quite self destructive to keep going when I know I need to stop, so I’ve decided that I actually deserve that time to look after myself rather than to keep pushing until I literally can’t go anymore. Taking a needed break is a great way of proving, and acting on the fact, that you care for yourself.
2. It leaves you feeling refreshed.
It’s simple; having time away from what makes you feel stressed, and putting it out of your mind for a while (if you can), can make you feel more relaxed and rested. It’s like a reset; letting your mind focus on other things, or nothing at all, allows you to come back to what was originally making you feel stressed calm and collected instead. I had to get over the initial anxiety of not doing what I felt I needed to at first, and then as I started relaxing into my time off, letting my body and brain rest for a while, I began to feel reinvigorated and ready to go again.
3. It brings a new wave of motivation.
I always find that a lack of motivation is what leads me to taking a break, and more often than not, that drive comes back with a bang afterwards. Being stressed or burnt out can cause mild symptoms from decreased creativity and tiredness to more serious mental and physical health issues that severely impact your motivation. But, breaking away from whatever is causing this for a period of time allows you to rebuild that passion and drive, making you feeling happier, healthier and more motivated than before. A break allows you to refocus on what is important.
4. It gives you time to think.
When everything is go-go-go, your mind can often feel like it never stops. It’s so often just ‘onto the next thing’ and then the next and the next and you don’t get the time to reflect or contemplate your next move. Having time to think is essential for good productivity and for me, stability in my mental health, the decisions I make and things I do. When my brain feels overwhelmed, taking a break allows me to sort through my thoughts and file them away. Imagine a huge storage room with filing cabinets labelled “friends and family”, “work”, “blogging” and so on. Sometimes it feels like there’s paper flying everywhere, but a short break and time to think leaves the storage room in my brain neat, tidy and organised – for a while anyway!
5. It allows you to focus on real life.
I often think you can get trapped in a blogging bubble; everything you do and everywhere you go can seem like a photo opportunity, or you’re constantly thinking how you can turn something into a blog post. Sometimes this can really help with your creativity; other times, it can leave you feeling detached from real life. Spending some time away can remind you that a day out with your friends can be just that; you don’t always have to get the perfect insta snap and you don’t have to write about it. Sometimes you can just revel in the moment with the people you love.
6. It allows you to spend time doing the other things you enjoy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. I love writing and interacting with the blogging community, but alongside a full time job (which unfortunately is much less flexible time-wise than blogging!), I felt like I didn’t have time for the other things I enjoy. During my time off, I read two books, caught up on some YouTube videos, listened to some new podcasts and relaxed with my favourite music. It made me realise how important it is to have multiple hobbies and to make sure you spend time doing each one, essentially for your own happiness – why would you deprive yourself of so many things you enjoy!?
What do you do when you take a break? What makes you feel the most relaxed and refreshed?