In a busy world that never seems to stop or slow down it can often make us feel as though we are behind in our lives, we are constantly out looking to achieve that goal that will get us that one step closer to where we want to be.
And so often because of this we either forget to take little breaks or we choose not to have them, convincing ourselves that it makes us weak in some way or stressing ourselves by thinking of how far behind we will be if we take that little break.
But at some point we all have to put down out work\activity\project and pick up a cup of tea with maybe a book or two in order to give our minds a little rest. If you are anything like me then you too find it difficult to justify taking a break, to relax without feeling guilty for it. For the sake of our mental health though, it such an incredibly necessary thing to do.
Last week after experiencing a few very difficult few months where my mental health slipped a little, and after making a tweet and receiving some much needed advice… I made the decision not to give up on my dreams, not to let my mental illness and dark cycles take over again and took a week away from blogging.
Day one, I felt incredibly stupid. Thinking to myself, ‘are you seriously going to take a break in the first year of your blogging days? Are you really that breakable that you can’t handle the responsibility, work and stress that comes with blogging? Are you really that weak?’…
Day one, I found myself in a self-hate thought loop.
Day two, was a little better. I was able to break easily from the self-hate thought loop, however the fact that I was able to break from it made me hopeful that the next day would get better. I still didn’t really want to blog, only wanting to do it because I felt like I HAD to and not because I WANTED to.
Day three, was MUCH easier. The self-hate thought loops came less, I was able to actually enjoy my time away from my laptop and enjoy the present moments.
As the days wore on the less guilty I stated to feel and that was mainly because I realised two things in that week;
- I notice a big improvement in my mental health. I’ve even managed to gain the most weight this week than I have probably ever and although I have mixed feelings on my body changing, it’s made me feel more positive and hopeful.
- Time way gave me time to refocus, re-plan, re-brand (I’ll be doing a post shortly on what I mean about this) and re-approach how I blog. It’s also helped to give me new ideas for new blog posts!
When taking this break I didn’t pick up a book at first, knowing that if I did I would have picked up one of the ones that it’s my TBR pile and I’d probably end up having written up a review on it and posting onto my blog. And so with that in mind I set myself some rules, some boundaries, because the temptation to do something I told myself I wasn’t allowed to. The temptation of carrying on even though it was stressing me beyond even what I realised was ALMOST too much to resist. Don’t get me wrong I have NO self control what so ever and that usually is my biggest flaw but thankfully I have fallen in love with someone who probably has the most self control I’ve ever witness in one person and he helps keep my temptations kept aside so I am able to focus on the bigger picture.
So what did I do to ensure that I would not dive back into blogging?:
- I kept my laptop hidden away inside of two bags and placed in the cupboard (yes I am that bad that I have to resort to such lengths to assure I don’t give into temptation).
- I started focusing a little more on my candles, how I really want them to look, how I want them to appear, the labelling and picking out the names of them. A lot of that got swiped aside as I was also focusing on how to make my blog and go through with becoming a blogger.
- I focused a little more on planning my WIP (Work in progress) and writing more in my notebooks (yes I did mean I had to buy more notebooks, that part actually made me really happy. I’m always happy to have a reason to buy a new notebook or two).
- I took a lot more nature walks with my boyfriend as well as spending a lot more quality time with him (rather than sitting in the same room while I work on my blog and he does his thing).
- I started to read for pleasure again. A year or two ago I had stopped reading, finding myself unable to focus on the story line any longer I just stopped reading. I lost my love for reading for a while. That was until I read Olga Gibbs fantastic page turning book Heavenward and Hallow. But even then with my love of reading returned to me I didn’t look for books that I wanted to read and I limited myself to reading ONLY books that I was going to review. If I wasn’t reviewing it, then I wasn’t reading it.
- Lastly, I’ve started getting back into all the things I used to love when I was younger. (Reading, Writing, writing music, playing the piano, writing my own poems again and tracking my dreams through a dream journal, and so on).
With everything in mind, I’m VERY much aware of how difficult it can be to make the decision to take that break, to let yourself relax and to accept that you can re-grow from your time away.
But when your mental health is suffering, when you find yourself no longer able to enjoy the things you used to, when getting up in the morning feels like a chore again instead of a blessing to be a wake, to be alive and this opportunity to do something new, something different, something fun or exciting. That’s when you need to be able to step back and think to yourself, ‘I need a break,’ and you need to do so without the guilt.
No one should ever feel guilty for looking after themselves, for being able to say stop when they need to. No one should feel guilty for giving your brain that break, your creativity side that much needed rest to refuel.
No one should feel guilty for taking a needed break.
I want to thank everyone who spoke to me, gave me words of encouragement and advice. I could never repay you for your kind words or for helping in stopping me from making probably one of the worst decisions of my life this year.
I came very close to giving up on my dreams and on my blog but with the support from some incredible people and strangely timed WordPress “achievement” that reminded me a year ago on the 10th August 2018 I made a WordPress account and for 2 months even created a free blog site before quickly deleting it due to self-doubt and insecurities.
This year wasn’t about giving up, that was last year, this year is meant be about fighting the fear and fighting for what I want. The biggest fight will always be with myself but I refuse to let that side of me win any longer, I’m ready to live the life I want.
Like my yearly quote says;
If you can’t fight fear, fight scared.And that’s exactly what I pan to do.
I also want to thank you all so much for sticking by my side and for taking the time to read my post. I hope everyone has a wonderful week a head of them, and don’t let those Monday Blue’s get you!
P.S – I have a Harry Potter giveaway running on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter, where I will be picking not 1 but TWO winners. So be sure to check that out!
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