Over the holidays, I took a much need break. Despite upcoming conference materials, marketing tasks, blog posts, etc that I could have been working on, I chose to not work. Ok, that’s not 100% accurate as there was an occasional email or Agile2017 work that continues but overall, I didn’t work.
My mind kept reminding me how much Jan and Feb will suck if I don’t get ahead on some of these tasks but I took a breath and told myself no. My mind kept trying to highlight how tricky things might get with our upcoming move into a new house but I took a breath and told myself no. My mind did this non-stop for the first week. Then frequently in the second week. By the third week, I finally found myself not feeling as guilty. By the fourth week, I rested. A mental health day is a great start but for me, it’s not enough…I need a break to truly get the benefits.
I now understand the value of a sabbatical. All of the vacations (week, weekend) durations are not enough for me to let go. I knew this on some level because I always joked I need a vacation from my vacation. However, now I have experience. I’m hoping that Jan and Feb don’t suck as bad as I fear and it will help me get less guilty in week one or two in the future. I know…being optimistic but I can’t take month long breaks often. I’m lucky that I have the option now. And I have to figure that out because I needed the break…my mental health needed the rest. I was able to mindlessly play games. I was able to read a book for no educational value. I was able to relax my shoulders out of my neck.
I’m now returning in full gear and feel focused and energized. I’m eager to mark things off my to-do list. I’ve already prepared 3 blog posts in the time that it was taking me to write one before the break. I’m able to reprioritize the work without feeling overwhelmed.
People have expressed the benefits of mediation to help speed this up…you may be seeing an experiment post in the future.
How do you achieve a mental health break?