Take a break, cut yourself some slack, take some time out

As a blogger, cutting yourself some slack is actually pretty difficult if you’re anything like me.  It’s hard to just let things go, when you expect better of yourself.  I always want to be productive and be able to say I’ve achieved something useful today.  Not being a full time blogger has it’s own set of advantages or disadvantage.  A con is that you have to make time to blog, outside of all of your other commitments.  You have to work full-time elsewhere or study alongside it, as well as having family responsibilities or social commitments.  This means I set myself regular goals and tasks that I expect I should do within a given time period and not doing them means things build up.   Last week, I had several tasks that I planned to do every evening, after work.  These tasks vary from chores to blogging related activities.

And honestly? I did zero of those things.  Literally none of them.  Nada.  Zilch.  In fact, I didn’t even attempt to do most of them.  I was at work in the day time, which meant I was out of the house on the weekdays.  I would got home, exhausted.  I’d sit around and think about the things I had to do that evening.  Then I realised I was way too tired to function properly and would end up sleeping instead.  They were meant to be short naps but the snooze button became my best friend in the evenings and I kept hitting it until I had to get up – just to have dinner.

And that’s okay…

Normally, I would feel down at this point. I would regret that I wasted so much time and had lots of unproductive evenings.  I would feel guilty, knowing full well that I was behind on the week’s tasks – that I would struggle to meet the goals for this week.  But I didn’t.  When I decided to sleep I made a conscious decision.  I choose to look after my mental and physical health over anything else.  My own well-being was far more important than blogging in those moment.  Don’t get me wrong, I love writing posts for this blog.  But it’s not something I want to become a chore. It’s a fun task, relaxing even and it makes sense to write when I’m actually in the right mindset to be able to write.  Last week, I could barely remember my own name, let alone actually construct sentences.

I’ve been working a lot in the past few weeks, had a lot going on in my personal life and even had a really busy time with my blog.  Even with the blog related things, I haven’t had a chance to share most of it on here yet – don’t worry, it’s coming – but if you’re following me on instagram or twitter then you may have seen some snapshots of what I’ve been getting up to.  I’ve been to two trade shows, a planner convention and a VIP launch event – all simple because I love stationery and blogging.  I also have a pages of blog post ideas – so I don’t think I’ll run short any time soon.  In fact, I should be going to the Cross Sports Book Awards this evening too but sadly will end up missing it to go to the hospital.

That’s been alongside working extra hours to meet some deadlines at work, including the organisation of a launch party and tons of promotional materials that made me want to not look at computers for a while. I love designing and social media but after the weeks I’ve had at work, I kind of needed a bit of a break from it.  So I took those few evenings to sleep, recuperate and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

Remember to allow yourself a break

I wanted to share this little story with you as a reminder that it’s okay to have a break.  In fact, you should have one.  It’s good for you.  Taking some time out has helped me to think clearer.  It’s given me some time to stop thinking about today’s to do list but rather to think about the bigger picture.  I’ve come up with even more ideas or goals that I want to achieve by giving myself that space to step back and observe it.

With all of the tragedy in the news these days, it’s perhaps even more important to take some time to look after yourself and your mental well-being.  There’s so much overwhelming sadness in the papers or recent events, it’s heart breaking.  I’ve cried countless times whilst reading the news – especially in .  It’s truly heartbreaking and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by these tragedies.

I’ve spoken about the importance of self-care often but I think it’s something a lot of us neglect.  We forget about doing it.  Often, we’re so busy looking after others that we forget to make time for ourselves.  But honestly, if you’ve decided you’re going to have a nice relaxing bath tomorrow after work, put on some music and drink a glass of wine then do it.  If your friend wants to go to the cinema, don’t reschedule your bath time.  Put it in the diary, treat it like a priority.  Most people don’t cancel on plans they’ve made with friends or colleagues but are happy to cancel on their own plans.  I admit, there are times when you do need to be flexible and alter your plans.  But you do also need to pay attention to how much time you actually spend taking a break.

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