It may have been apparent to some that I have been absent from my normal blogging schedule for more than a month. As I have stated previously, it is essential to take care of oneself in whatever we do, and this applies in blogging as well. Recently I have gone through some events that have warranted not only a break from blogging, but also a break from the normality of every day life. While some may view the inability to “keep on keepin’ on” as a weakness, I actually see a great deal of strength in the self-awareness that must be present in consciously making the decision to “check out” due to life happening, and I can appreciate the insight of knowing when it is time to do this.
In reflecting on writing this post, I thought of Isaac Newton’s law of motion that states “an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” I think this is a classic example of adult responsibility in that, once we are in the workforce we tend to just keep going whether we know we need a break or not. While we see this ability of continuing on as a positive thing and as evidence of our societal responsibility, I think the lines of communication have gotten crossed a bit. While it is great to have a positive work ethic, it is also important to understand the need for downtime, and recognizing the signs of when to take time off to avoid burnout.
In my case, I noticed that intellectually, I wanted to keep going because my clients needed me, but emotionally I knew that after taking a much needed break, I would actually be better able to help them than if I had just powered through. Sometimes when you give yourself permission to withdraw from the world for a time, when you return to the land of the living you are much more efficient, empathetic, and grounded than you were before. This is exactly what happened to me when recent events reared their ugly head, and although I was not in a great headspace at the time, I did have the self-awareness to recognize when I was not okay.
I think in general, there can be a variety of different clues that indicate needing a break. Some include the physical aspects such as headaches, other muscle pains, or the tendency to become ill more often. There can also be emotional symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, the loss of hope, and negative thinking. It is important to not only identify symptoms, but also to get curious about why those symptoms might be presenting in this way – in short, by understanding the why, we can often fix the what. And although I am back to blogging, I may be sporadic with it until I fully reclaim my normality, and I think that’s okay. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to function on a different level than we did before while we fully recover from the things that life throws at us.