No, no, not me – you! It’s time to take a break, friend.
I have had the last two weeks off as I transition jobs, and at first, I was absolutely furious at the thought of this. But then… it didn’t sound so bad. And now that I’m wrapping up my two weeks, I’m glad I got this time. It was really valuable, and I caught up on a lot of things I’ve been putting off.
Do I need to take a break?
Do you ever feel like you are so swamped, so overwhelmed and so FULL of work and chores and things to remember that you might burst? It might be time for you to take a break – and I mean a real break, not a 15-minute walk outside with your dog while you’re reviewing your to do list in your head.
A real break.
Like, a leave-the-house, turn-off-your-laptop, pretty-much-a-vacation break.
Thinking you might need a break? There are a few signs I use to tell myself it’s time to hit the pause button.
1. You can’t remember the last time you did something for yourself.
If you just read that sentence and wondered aloud, “Hmm, I wonder what the last thing I did for myself was.” then I can assure you, it’s been too long.
I am always guilty of this. When was the last time I watched a TV show I enjoy, read without interruption, got a pedicure or sat in the sun and soaked it up (with appropriate SPF, of course)? If I can’t give a specific answer of something I did for myself, even if it was a small thing like painting my nails or using a face mask, it’s been too long and I know I need a break.
2. You’re feeling especially negative.
If you find yourself complaining or sniping about things that you wouldn’t normally acknowledge or getting upset or frustrated with things that you would usually overlook… It may be time to take a step back, take a deep breath and get away from it all.
Personally, I know when I am excessively negative about things – always finding something wrong when someone is doing their best, not expressing gratitude, picking at Patrick, starting arguments with friends – it is because I have lost focus on what is important and who I want to be.
Coming back to my work and my life refreshed sends that negativity packing.
3. You haven’t used a vacation day or mental health day in more than two months.
Seriously, you accrue vacation days for a reason, and if you have personal days or mental health days and haven’t used one of those either… What do you think they’re there for?
I don’t advocate for taking advantage of your employer’s benefits, but I do advocate for taking care of yourself. I bet your boss would agree, if they’re worth anything.
And hey, if you’re like me and you’ve been stockpiling your vacation days for a long vacation in the middle or the end of the year, use holiday weekends to your advantage or just take advantage of your Saturday and Sunday off each week.
4. You’re having trouble getting any work done on days or at times when you usually feel productive.
Do you usually get a burst of energy first thing in the morning once your coffee sets in or in the afternoon after lunch? Maybe you’re used to slamming out a ton of work on Sunday afternoons. But now your to do list is piling up, your time feels stretched thin and you are totally confused and even more drained.
You sound drained.
5. You don’t feel well.
Forgive me for getting down and dirty with your personal wellness, but…
- Are you having tummy troubles? Gas? Digestive issues? Bloating?
- Are you having more headaches?
- What about acne or breakouts?
- Are your muscles feeling tight, sore or achy?
- Do you wake up still feeling tired?
- Are you feeling ready for bed hours earlier than usual?
- Do you just feel kind of… meh?
Friend, you are working yourself to the bone, and you need to take a break. It’s the truth – your body says so.
What do you like to do when you really need a break? Are you a quick getaway or a stay-cation kind of person?