You may or may not have noticed (chances are you didn’t), but I took a few weeks off from blogging. It may not seem like such a big deal to you, but for me, it was. One reason for this sentiment was that I have hit the publish button weekly for one year and three months now. Prior to my weekly blog post schedule, I was much more inconsistent with my writing. After finally making the commitment to myself (and to you) to adhere to a more regular schedule, the past year or so has helped to keep me focused and feeling like I have a purpose — to create content, share, and hopefully provide some type of value in the process.
But, lately do you know what I’m come to realize? The past month I have just not been feeling it. Let me elaborate, or simply be more blunt. I have not been in the mood to visualize a topic, do the work, and hit publish.
There were many mini-moments of internal apprehension (and even guilt) associated with this slight conundrum (because afterall, let’s face it — is is a miniscule worry to have). I consider myself to be one of those individuals who has a strong internal drive and willpower. I’m fairly self-driven and can usually motivate myself to execute a task if I’ve set forth the intention to do so. While I truly know that my blog is nowhere near the point of monetizing and reaching a grand audience, I do know that a few readers have gotten used to a somewhat regular posting schedule, and topic, to look forward to in their inbox.
During my contemplative phase of deciding whether or not to skip on writing a post, feelings of I should and what will my readers think? popped up in my mind more than I would have liked. But after waffling back and forth about whether or not I should allot the time to sit down and type away, this time, I instead just listened to my yearning for rest and for taking a break from the work.
I think it’s important for my readers to hear the honest truth, because part of holistic living is acknowledging your mind and body, and the hustle lifestyle (to the point of exhaustion) is not really my thing.
So, if you’re in a similar situation how do you know when the time is right to slow down and take a break?
In my instance, I knew it was appropriate to allow myself the deserved respite because the work began to feel forced, not exciting to me (not fueling my inner core of what ignites me), and more like an obligation than anything else. I set out with the intention of creating this blog as a means to help others learn how to make changes in their life (mostly related to improving diet). We’ve all heard the general advice of help yourself before you can help others around you, but sometimes it is easier said than done.
Without boring you with the details, the past month or few have been a little more stressful than usual, and some of my personal experiences have forced me to learn to slow down a bit, in an attempt to take in life’s moments at a healthier and more digestible pace. As a result, the underlying message that I’ve realized from these minor life stressors is to be more grateful for what I have. This revelation seems to keep manifesting itself lately (probably because I still require work in this area), but it’s a welcomed one because it’s helping me to get out of my head (which I tend to do a lot) and focus more on the now.
I am someone who likes to be productive and stay active, and who gets bored easily. I have a difficult time sitting in the house, vegging, and just chilling. I’m constantly thinking about what’s next, what did I accomplish today?, or that mental to-do list. While having an agenda and a plan for life can help get one closer to achieving goals, too much of an emphasis on future living can prevent one from experiencing life happening around us in the present moment.
In my case, I have realized that all of these constant thoughts of I have to do this, I should do that, or I shouldn’t be so lazy have begun to wear me down. These internal dialogues can be draining and impede my ability to take in today. And if I’m not enjoying the now, what’s the point of all of this?
When should I take a break from work, and is it ok to relax from time to time?
Well the answer is: of course it is!
I’m fine with taking paid time off days and vacation from my day job, so why wouldn’t I apply those same rules to my own hobbies, life, and/or side job? In my scenario, because this blog is my creation (and also because I am the only person working on it), I felt a bit more pressure than taking a break from a day job where I am not the sole employee for a company.
Listen to your body
I would give the same exact advice to a client who may be experiencing a physical symptom possibly related to diet. How do you feel when you eat that food? Not great? Try eliminating that trigger food for a bit to see if you feel any better.
Feeling worn out, exhausted, not energized, or excited about the work? Perhaps a short break will help you to press the reset button that is very much needed on occasion so that you can get back on track to be able to bring your strongest self to work and/or life again, in order to help others in a much more meaningful, impactful, and genuine way.
Did I just write this blog post for myself? I think I may have just coached myself through one of life’s many moments with you as my witness.
If you enjoyed reading How Do You Know When to Slow Down and Take a Break?, please share this post with a friend so that they too can learn a thing or two.
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