When to take a break

Self awareness

When to take a break

In this era of busyness, where the busiest person always seems the most important, there are some times, we have to consciously stop ourselves and breathe.

Some time last year I got into this space where I was so tired, so very tired. But I felt I could not stop, which is a lie, because my body did stop me. I felt like every minute I rested, work kept piling, friends needed to be met, commitments needed to be kept.

I ran on and on until I woke up one morning and could not get up. It was the morning right after my birthday so I woke up at 5.30 am so I could get into work early. Except I had the worst headache I had ever gotten. Lifting my head off the pillow was painful, felt like every time I tried to lift my head, there was a stone inside that pressed my brain. So biting my lip, I walked into the sitting room, head spinning and realized I was so weak I could not make it to the washroom even.

When I finally walked to hospital (after seating on the road a couple of times on the way), turned out I had a blood infection. The damn infection took me down for a week. A week of fevers and weakness and I was so sick I could not even enjoy watching a movie, let alone read. I mostly slept.

I picked up a few lessons after that incident. And the way I know when to take a break are;

  1. When your body keeps breaking down. This really could be in a variety of ways. Are you catching every flu and infection that your colleagues or family have?
  2. When you become snappy. If I am snapping at someone, I stop and take stock. Most times, if it is not PMS, then it definitely coming from a place where am running low on patience and I maybe just need to catch a breather.
  3. When I can never seem to get out of bed. I am a morning person. Normally I cannot wait to get out of bed, switch on the radio and get started on having a brilliant day. On the days when all I can do is snooze my alarm, wonder why I chose to have a job, talk myself into how much I need to show up for my career, that is how I know I need a breather.
  4. When I become weepy. Everything seems so difficult and it literally takes a toll on me to to think of even the most basic of things. For me this mostly happens when cooking feels like someone is extracting my tooth without anesthesia.
  5. It becomes harder to take care of myself. It feels exhausting to think about eating well, going to the salon, washing my hair. Which normally are things I enjoy to get done. They start to feel like chores.
  6. When you feel like you are running away from yourself. We all have those times when you have been on auto pilot so long that you are not aware of how you feel, or what you really want. All your life becomes repetitive unconscious decisions, even the destructive ones. Sometimes we need to stop and catch up with ourselves.

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