Taking a break

October 21, 2019 Sandra Dawes

Sometimes when you’re feeling overwhelmed with a project or a task, the best thing you can do is walk away for a moment and clear your head. I used to struggle with this because I have a hard time letting go when I want something to work a certain way (I can’t be the only one, can I?). When I do finally surrender and take a step back, things seem to practically solve themselves when I come back to the issue at hand.

It’s amazing how taking a break, giving yourself something else to focus your mind and energy on, can give you clarity on something that has been driving you crazy! When we’re working with tight deadlines or a really important project, the idea of taking a break can seem like crazy talk. There’s a lot to do and there’s no time to slack off and take a nature walk!

If there’s one thing I’ve realized, it’s that it’s often the things we tell ourselves we don’t have time for that we need to do the most! When I think about times in the past where I’ve spent far too long banging my head against a wall trying to figure something out, I realize it wasn’t time well spent. I think about the number of times I was advised to just “take a break” and chose not to because there wasn’t any time for that!

Taking a break isn’t something that we should avoid. I actually think we need to do it more often. I’m not talking about 6-month sabbaticals in a foreign land (but if you can, go for it!). I’m talking about giving yourself 20 minutes to do something that brings you joy, whether that’s going for a walk, cranking your favourite music and dancing like no one’s watching or just lying on the couch with your eyes closed – TAKE.A.BREAK. It’ll be okay 🙂

I used to think that if I wasn’t doing something productive in my waking hours, I was wasting time. I would feel guilty for going the entire day without checking my emails or doing some kind of work, even on the weekends! It’s a bit silly to put that kind of pressure on ourselves. At the end of the day, there comes a point where you can be extremely busy AND unproductive at the same time.

I’m learning to take breaks without feeling guilty. I’ve run myself ragged trying to do too much and know that it always catches up with me, so I’m doing my best not to do that again. We have to practice kindness and compassion to ourselves the same way we do with others.

You can have a plan, be focused and take action. You will see the fruits of your labour. When you feel stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed or simply exhausted; hit the pause button. Take a break and come back refreshed and revitalized to continue doing the work you want to do. There’s not point in pushing yourself to reach your goal if you don’t have the energy or time to enjoy achieving it!

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