Why I Needed a Break (And Why You Might Too)
While that date probably means nothing to you, May 18th was the last time that I posted anything other than a wedding or engagement feature. May 18th is symbolic of the fact that it’s been over two and a half months of pretty pictures but relative silence in this space… and we all know that on the internet, two and a half months is basically an eternity. Conventional wisdom says that consistency is key in order to gain a following and keep them happy, but sometimes you have to throw wisdom to the wind and do what’s best for you… even if that means disappearing for while.
Because sometimes you need a break.
I’ve blogged semi-regularly since I was twelve years old, which predates xanga and brings me squarely into the good ‘ol days of diaryland. Anyone remember/use that? When I was 12, my blogging mostly consisted of “which manga character are you?” quizzes and long tributes to mountain dew with far too many exclamation points, but over the years evolved into high school drama, emotional poetry, and eventually, travel adventures. When I started my business, it was natural that I would continue blogging about this new season of life, and somewhere along the way, I started writing more because I felt I had to and less because I loved it. Passion was replaced with obligation until I felt there was just nothing left… and that, my friends, is why I needed a break.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe there is something in your life that you once loved but now find yourself dreading. If any of these five reasons apply to you, maybe it’s time for you to take a break, too.
1. To prevent burnout.
When I was in college, I took a full load of art courses every semester. And while I loved the challenge, by the end of the semester I was done. So done. I vowed to never look at another paintbrush or pottery wheel again… but after that break in between semesters, I was always ready to jump back in again. Taking a few weeks or months off really does wonders for your ability to keep going, because no one can work hard and hustle without a break forever.
2. To gain a new perspective.
While it’s a bit cliche, it’s true that when you’re in the thick of things it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Taking a step back from your daily routine allows you to assess what’s been working and what hasn’t, which leads to a stronger business that is more aligned with your core goals.
3. To take more time to relax.
Taking time to relax is essential to your concentration, mood, and overall heath. There are countless studies that indicate how detrimental for your health it is to stress yourself out trying to accomplish an overwhelming number of self-inflicted goals and responsibilities. The world will not end if you work a bit less for a season in order to relax and regain your mental health.
4. To start fresh.
When you realize that your path has diverged from the one you want to be one, it helps to put a bit of time and distance between yourself and that season of your life. Time away allows you to put a distinct marker between each season and come back to a clean slate that is new and better than ever.
5. To remember the joy you felt when you first started.
When there is pressure to be creative every single day because your income depends on it, it’s easy to begin to see creativity as a job rather than a joy. Before you know it, doing the very thing you once loved has become a burden and a chore and you can’t remember why you wanted to do this in the first place. But when you’re able to take a step back, it’s easier to remember why you started on this journey: because it makes your heart swell and puts fire in your bones. And when you get that feeling again, hold on to it. Hold onto it with everything you have, because that joy and that passion is the very thing that will propel you forward and set you apart.
If this resonates with you, don’t be afraid to take a step back. Because maybe, just maybe, a break is exactly what you need to keep going.
Congratulations to Jennifer, the winner of the Starbucks giveaway! Jennifer, and keep an eye on your email for details!