Sometimes you need a break. But you tend to be hard on yourself because you believe you should do better.
Especially with the current Covid-19 situation, most of us have to adapt to these unusual circumstances. Everything got more complicated.
Maybe you usually don’t work from home and you need to find a new system first.
Or you still go to work, but fewer people have to do the same amount of work. So you got more to do than usual.
Or you have to somehow manage your kids at home and need your attention or support.
If you also have a side hustle on top of all of that, things can get exhausting after a while. And potentially turn into a huge mess.
And then there’s still the online course you’ve been meaning to take…
It’s important that you take care of yourself.
And that you know when to rest.
It doesn’t help anyone if you’re hard on yourself and get burned out. Least of all you.
And just think about it: You’re not even that productive when you’re exhausted.
Why you need a break
“But I really have to do this. And people are counting on me for that. I have to get it all done. I can’t let them down… But I promised”
You may think that you can push through it and get everything done anyway. And you probably can. But it’s not a good idea.
Just think about it. When you’re exhausted, you feel awful and you can’t even think straight. And even coffee has its limits.
Maybe your head is throbbing, or your brain feels like cotton wool.
In bad cases, it can even be a full-blown migraine or you literally feel tired to the bone.
How productive do you think you are when your brain is this foggy?
You get distracted more easily and you have to think very hard.
Everything takes so much longer and you’re much more likely to make mistakes.
When you need a break, you simply can’t be as attentive and effective as you need to be.
This can quickly turn into a vicious circle because you’re wasting precious time.
Instead of spending 40 minutes on your task, it takes you one hour because you can’t really concentrate.
That’s 20 minutes you could have used to give your brain a break.
All these wasted minutes add up over time. And you tend to keep on pushing harder, getting ever more exhausted and slower in the process.
Even at night you can’t rest because you’re freaking out about all the things you still have to do.
So you wake up even more exhausted than the day before.
Take a rest to recharge
If instead, you rest for a while, you’ll feel fresher and more ready to tackle your next challenge.
Take the pressure off and give your brain some necessary air and space.
Your brain needs downtime to function properly and to be efficient.
Mental breaks are important to increase your productivity, restore your creativity, and be able to focus again. They also reduce stress.
These breaks can be nature walks, meditation, naps, your favorite Netflix show, a bubble bath…
Anything that calms down your brain and actually empties your mind.
If you take the time to relax you’ll have more energy for what’s coming next.
And you’ll do it faster. This is so important to realize.
When you don’t rest, you’re slow. You really don’t do yourself a favor by insisting.
An hour of rest is not a waste of time if you truly relax.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
You tend to feel guilty when you don’t have it all together because you think you should.
You need a break.
But you don’t want to disappoint the people who are counting on you.
You know what? Maybe it’s not even a priority for them, and they can wait a day if you ask them.
Often, you put pressure on yourself for no reason. Just like in the graphic below, you might overestimate how important your deadline is.
It’s also possible that you have set extremely high standards for yourself. And not meeting them for a day makes you feel like a loser.
As if a day or two in your life really determine if you deserve to be successful.
Taking a break because you’re exhausted doesn’t make you lazy.
It means you’re mindful and smart.
You’re not just slacking because you “didn’t feel like it”. You’re taking a break because you need it to be your awesome self again.
You are not a machine.
It’s okay to be tired or distracted. And when that happens, it’s okay to take a break.
And it’s also okay that this break is as long as you need.
Sometimes, one hour can work wonders, sometimes you may need two days. This has nothing to do with your value and self-worth.
So there’s no reason to be so hard on yourself because you need a break.
Taking a break isn’t a waste of time because it makes you more effective.
Improve yourself. Improve your life!
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