I am the queen of not letting myself take a break.. from anything.
Called in sick because I am actually sick? Oh just let me go and get some work I can do from home.
Not feeling too flash and not in the mood for exercise? Guess you'll be going for a long walk then.
I like to make things difficult for myself, I like to get to the end of the day and look at my "to-do" list on my phone and see that almost everything is ticked off. Which is fine.. until I get to the point I've hit now- I am completely and utterly exhausted, physically and mentally. I have pushed myself to the absolute furthest I possibly could and now I am seeing the complications of it.
I have barely been out of bed before 8 every day this week, not getting to my office until lunchtime and then trying to make up for all the work I should have already had done. Tears over anything and everything, anxiety constantly sitting on my chest, emotional eating one day and then barely eating the next. The point is, if you can help it, you should avoid getting to this point, and while I may not be any good at implementing ways to give yourself a break every now and again, I am good at researching them and then passing them on to you.. here ya go.
What is that saying? Do as I say and not as I do..right?
- Go to bed earlier than usual or sleep in a little bit later, physically give yourself a break.
It is surprising how much more rested you feel with even just half an hour more sleep. Don't oversleep though, God that just makes you feel worse. It is shocking how something as wonderful as sleep can make you feel so terrible in large doses.
- Write your thoughts out on paper.. and then burn it if you want.
For me, once I write something out I feel like I have released some of the holds that my thoughts are having on me, that's probably why I am a blogger- duh. Write out the things you are sick of having to think about, put them on paper and then burn that paper (in a controlled environment obviously, I don't need anyway burning their house down on my conscience.)
- Get out of your own space.
Get out of your office, your home, your town- go somewhere where you don't know anyone and you don't have to think about anything. Don't take your laptop with you, don't think about what's happening back in your space. You are out of it, don't think about it, be in the moment.
- Have a hot bath. I would be doing this one right now if we still lived in a house with a bath. There is something SO calming about being in a warm bath and not worrying about the outside world. Until you realise you are literally bathing in your own dirtiness.
- Schedule in time to do absolutely nothing. If you are anything like me you will set out a schedule in the mornings and try your hardest to stick to it during the day. Instead of feeling like you have to fill in your every waking moment with something productive, schedule in some time to be highly unproductive.
- Surround yourself with people you love.. and then be in the moment.
Put down your phone, put away your worries and immerse yourself in the moment of being around a group of people that you truly love. Have a BBQ with your friends and a few beers, host a family dinner (make sure you tell everyone to bring a share plate!!!). Put everything aside and be present.
- Indulge in a guilty pleasure.
Secretly LOVE trashy TV? Spend the whole evening watching it on the couch with a sneaky block of chocolate and a cocktail or two. Make a playlist of all you "guilty pleasure" songs- mine would include some OG One Direction, maybe a little bit of Short Stack (the old stuff, not that newer shit), OH and some old school Miley Cyrus.
- Have a complete rest day from exercise (if you exercise every day)
And if you don't exercise at all maybe try some as your "giving yourself a break"? I am a serial offender for never having complete rest days, I might have a "day off" but that means a day off actually working out, I will still go for a long walk or a run.
- Go tech free for the first few hours of the day.
I've been implementing this rule for a few months now- no phone until I get to work. I get up, go for my walk, exercise, eat breakfast and then walk to work.. all without my phone, incredible hey!? It just sets me up for a less reactive day, gives it a go!
- Have a God damn cry if you need to.
I think I have had a cry at least once a day, every day this week- I am not joking, the tears have been real. There is no tough gal act going on around here, I am an emotional wreck most days. If you need to let a few tears out, off you go, do it right now if you want- I won't judge you.
- Creatively express yourself.
By this I mean get your feeling and thoughts out through some self-expression in the form of painting or drawing or dancing or whatever floats your boat. A good dance off to some shitty music in the kitchen when no one is home sounds pretty good to me!
We live in this world where we put so much pressure on ourselves to be busy all the time, to be successful, to be productive, to be the absolute best versions of ourselves. Sometimes (like right now, for me) that pressure goes from someone pressing on your hand to a mountain of bricks falling from the sky. Giving yourself little breaks every now and again is going to help you not get to the point where you just cannot function as a human being anymore. Do it.