The Conundrum of Taking a Break!

take a break

We all have fun days of social fun, holidays or events that get us on a flurry of fresh activities that contrast the routine of typical days or a cold or illness that requires us to do nothing but rest. These days tend to side-step typical tasks we usually manage such as email, bills, tasks and projects usually set out as a “To Do” list.

I have noticed that “the day after” that follows these breaks out of norm seem to cast a weight on our shoulders and a dip in our energy and motivation. In this sense our re-engagement with routine can come a bigger effort than usual and may even overwhelm us as our task-list can suddenly appear unsurmountable … sound familiar?!

I experienced this recently and felt the need to consider why this “day-after” seemed to bring a tinge of anxiety with it. I associated this to a feeling of guilt- that I had been “slacking-off” and that now I had to “make up for it”. So I asked myself does that seem rational? No- of course not, we all need down-time and days off for fun, rest or recovery perhaps from a cold or virus. It amazes me how much modern-life associates ‘busyness’ and ‘doing’ to productivity and achievement which often leads to this wharped perception of not doing as being invaluable (see previous blog post). Nowadays we are learning about the need to balance this attitude with time-out, rest, hobbies and socialising in order to maintain a sense of not only positive wellbeing and enjoyment of life but our own sense of self (our personal interests, natural talents and creative intuitions- in a simple term “play”).

So rather than focusing on what seems like a weighty task list- what about considering what the previous days offered and why they are valuable and should not be cast down or dismissed due to the sense of heavy duty (accurate or not) that seems to follow them. The reality is that a “break” is always a good idea- it freshens the mind, relieves stress and reminds us of the broader perspective of life– that it is for living and NEVER just about the admin!

So when you feel those days of weight… try a simple change of perspective/ attitude.
What did I enjoy about my time off?
Why was it important?
What did it remind me of?
Did I realise anything new about myself?

See how you can benefit from the awareness, fun or respite of previous days and take it into your current situation. Looking at the present moment and the tasks ahead- reality check your situation!! How pressing are they? Can I focus a short time and bundle a few related tasks together to be more efficient. What can I remove or delgate?
Prioritize what is most important and jump in.

Changing your attitude, changes your energy level and focus.
Go from feeling stuck at red to feeling green and ready to go!
You will surprise yourself how you can keep that feel-good sense of your time-off and take it forward into your week!

To-Do lists will always exist – when you notice them dictating how you spend your day, you likely need to take a step back and assess the value this approach is bringing to your life? A small change in awareness equals a huge ripple effect of positive benefits.

Keep your perspective broad, life is for living so always embrace those chances to discover and learn a bit more about you and the world around you! When those lull days seem to follow, keep in mind that it is your body and minds way of acknowledging it’s gratitude for the creativity, rest or fun that preceded it. Never resent down-time – it’s in this time that treasures emerges, healing occurs and great realizations can be made.

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