Take a Break
Updated: May 17, 2021
One Friday at the end of a work week I realized that I felt lethargic and really, all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch TV. And eat popcorn. And drink a glass of wine.
My parenting schedule allows me one Friday per month when my son is at his father’s place, so usually on that Friday I try to take advantage of this and either go out and have an adventure with friends (not during COVID-19, obviously) or be super productive and write or clean or plan or scheme or ...do something.
This particular Friday I did not feel like doing anything, other than laying on the couch and wishing I had servants to bring me popcorn and wine. This inspired guilt. I have so many things on my plate, I have so much to do all the time, I have my fingers in so many pies. How dare I be counterproductive?
But as I thought more about it, was I really being counterproductive? Was I actually going backwards in any of my projects? No. I was resting. I was taking a break. I was giving myself some time off.
So, I got up, dragged myself to the kitchen, made popcorn, poured wine, dragged myself, popcorn, and wine back to the couch, and binged watched Gossip Girl for I don’t know how many hours before I went to bed. It was glorious.
The next day I checked multiple things off my to do list including eating healthfully, and having a writing date with myself, and I felt good the entire time. I felt focused and able to put my phone away when I needed to without feeling like I was lacking.
We are living in such a results-based culture. Wee are encouraged to go! Go! Go! all the time, have a full time job and a side hustle, and also be a perfect parent and also have a clean house, and also be a good partner, and also have a dog and clean clothes that are always neatly folded and put away and no dirty dishes in the sink. Productivity is valued above all else. It. is, exhausting. We check out and get lost in social media and forget that resting is important, too, that we don’t always have to do more, be more, have more, that we can take some time and just, well, be.
Being unproductive on purpose is actually, well, productive.
I invite you to intentionally create time in your schedule to rest and relax--whatever that looks like for you. Take a bath with wonderfully scented bath bombs and candles, read lounging in blankets and a hot tea in your favorite mug nearby or get a massage. Give yourself permission. Schedule it weekly into your calendar. This is a non-negotiable event that is blocked out just for you. Being intentional about slowing down is being intentional about your well being, your mental and emotional health, and totally counts as self care. It lowers stress and helps you build up reserves in case you hit a crisis point and rest is no longer an option.
You work hard. You deserve care. I want that for you, the ability to take care of yourself. You are important. You deserve to rest.