We’ve all been caught up in trying to hustle and rush to get things done. It’s pretty much apart of life. But is there a time when you shouldn’t do this? Actually, the answer is that there are numerous times when you should stop, or at least take a long break.
Now, I’m not talking about your job. ‘Cause that’s what your vacations are for. And the same goes for school. You’ve got the holidays to either relax or catch up on. What I’m talking about is more along the lines of hobbies or what you do outside of necessity.
For instance, at the time of this posting, I will have just come off a month-long break from nearly all things writing, except for blog posts and podcasts. The reason why is that I was no longer enjoying writing. Though I loved thinking about it, the actual act of writing stressed me out because I was expecting too much of myself too fast.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with giving yourself challenging expectations, but when they take over your life and essentially become an idol, it’s time to step back and re-prioritize.
Over the past month, I was able to organize my home more and get back into some other hobbies that had been pushed aside. I had forgotten how much I like art. Here’s a little something I did.
It’s supposed to be Mother Nature and Father Time. The first background is done digitally, the second is watercolor. Though I like them both, I think the second is my favorite.
Now that I’m back from my break, I’m going to make an effort not to let writing take over my life. Of course, I will still write, and hopefully long, but I will be more open to putting it aside again for my mental health.
That’s the key, isn’t it? Just like the old saying, “Too much of a good thing…” Many times, there is nothing truly wrong with what you focus on. What is wrong is the intensity of your focus. If you’re thinking of nothing, but this one thing, what are you giving up? What’s the cost of your attention and worry?
I can tell you this, one consequence of your worry is declining physical and mental health. Which, in turn, makes it harder for you to concentrate and do, leading to more worsening health. We’ve all heard about the studies that connect stress with shorter lifespans and a plethora of other health conditions. So, think of it this way, if you get that sick and/or die, then you really can’t do anything you were trying to do. If that the case, then what’s the point of hurting yourself so?
It’s a treadmill set on the fastest setting, and there’s no way to slow it down. The only thing you can really do is get off the treadmill. It all will still be there late. Get your rest now while you still can. And when you come back to it, you might just find that you enjoy it more than before.
So, please take a break and rest. I know it can be incredibly hard, but it’s worth it. You’ll definitely be happier for it.
This is when accountability comes into play. Get someone you know, hopefully well, and tell them what you’re trying to do, and check-in with them every now and then to update them with how “obsessed” You are with what you’re doing and offer to do that same for them. It’s amazing what teamwork can do.
I do understand that people with mental illnesses can’t just put something down and take a break from it. That just doesn’t work that way.
For those of you who are not neurotypical, all I can say is to find someone who will truly listen. And I know that’s not easy and I wish I had a better answer for you. A counselor or therapist might have another solution that works better for you. Please, try to take care of yourself. I really, truly do want you to be all right or better.
Well, I’m afraid that’s all for now. Take care, folks!