I've been taking a break - a much needed break. From creating blog posts and putting myself out there (you can always find my musings on LinkedIn!
And I've been thinking about what it ACTUALLY means to ME to take a break because...
- It's so individual
- We are in a time when the normal things we used to do when we had a pause aren't available (coffees catch ups, walks with friends, yoga classes)
- Breaks to me have become very muddied with work / baby/ life so that a break is not that different to daily life.
In fact all of my "times off" or "breaks" in the past 18 months have been more stressful because I've tried to switch off AND been thinking about all the things I have to do (or worse still trying to do it while pretending I am off!!)
Sound familiar? For the past few weeks I've been more intentional about taking dedicated breaks and really being mindful about what they involve. So I'm writing this from the heart today to share what that actually means to me. In this busy, uncertain, ever-changing time where we can't take the usual breaks i.e. holidays we are used to - I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration to take a break for yourself.
Be specific with your rest / pause / break - how long will you take (5 minutes, 5 days - what do YOU need?) Be intentional - what do you want to achieve in that time - think about what makes you feel good! It could be a break in the day to take a bath or a nap (daytime naps and baths are truly magical) or it could be to do something exciting. I know an amazing hypnotherapist who took a week off in August and in that week created a new organic body butter product and sold loads and essentially created a side hustle! She was so excited and passionate that it was fun for her and she didn't need to rest - she loved being active! Know your WHY - why do you need the break? Is it regular maintenance or are you close to burn out? That can determine how long you need to pause or what your body needs. How do you want to feel when you're off? I know social media is a big energy drain for me so one of the main things I have stepped back from in the past 2 weeks is scrolling instagram. It's done wonders for my mental health. Be honest - this is the hardest one for me as I say I'm off work but I still have a list of little things I want to do (often creative projects I need headspace to do but they take time so eat into my time off meaning I don't actually rest") Create boundaries - for those 5 minutes of meditation, 30 minutes for a bath or 5 days off, what do you need to put in place to protect that time? I'm talking turning your phone off, putting your out of office on, saying "no I'm not free that week for a meeting" rather than "I'm off but can have a quick chat"....and respect yourself like you would someone else's boundaries. Would you call someone if you knew they were on holiday? What are you telling yourself when you need to take a pause? If you read this and find it hard to know where to start, I invite you to check in with yourself and ask yourself how you are feeling. And then follow your lead. Better still, take 5 minutes to ask someone else how they are - compassion is one of the best ways to boost our own well-being as when we reach out to others it makes us feel good.
And if no one has asked you for a while, here I am asking you - "How are you feeling today?"
Email me or connect with me on LI and let me know!