If you follow my blog (and I sincerely hope you do!) you might have noticed that I left for a long time. A few months to be exact. A lot has happened over the past few months. I became a board member, started freelancing with my first client, and found out I was expecting my second child. Not to mention I’m trying to leave my current job.
It all got to be too much to say the least.
And, having to remember to write or find something to discuss that I was actually passionate about was getting tougher and tougher as the weeks went on. I felt lost and overwhelmed. I needed to step away.
To be honest, at first the break was unintentional. I went two weeks without posting and didn’t even notice just because I was so swamped with everything else. Then, once I did realize what happened, I decided to roll with it. And, in the end, I took a few months off.
The result? I came back strong! Stronger than I thought I would to be honest. As the new year approached and I knew I wanted to get back into the swing of things, it all seemed a bit overwhelming. Would I really be able to handle this?
I’m not going to lie, it took some support and motivation from my family and friends. Then, come the middle of December, I decided to try again. I got back on social, started doing Twitter Chats again (#SEMrushChat and #SEOChat to name a few), and wrote my first article in over 2 months. And… it actually felt really great! I was finally back to my old self and, even now, when I get a little overwhelmed, it feels good to continue my presence and keep going.
So, by now you’re probably wondering why I’m writing all of this. That was a nice story and all, but what’s the point? My point is, I wanted to share a small glimpse into this experience to showcase one thing – it’s okay to take a break. No. Beyond that. Sometimes, it’s okay to do nothing.
As someone who is always looking for the next challenge or always trying to please those around me, I had convinced myself that I had to go non-stop no matter what. I felt guilty that I wasn’t spending time with family, but then guilty that I wasn’t working. My brain was in constant limbo and I didn’t know what to do. That’s why stepping away, even for just a few days, is such a good thing. I truly believe that it can be detrimental to a person’s mental health and overall happiness.
Oh, and don’t worry, if you don’t agree (or are more of a numbers person), here are some stats to prove why even the best of us need a break sometimes:
- 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year
- 80% of workers feel stress on the job and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress
- 54% of Americans who do not have enough spare time say they frequently experience stress
This isn’t meant to be a “preachy” article, but I do want to say one thing. If you are stressed, anxious, depressed, whatever – take a break. For the sake of both you and everyone around you. Step away, take a breather, reevaluate the situation, focus on other things for a bit, and come back ready to take on the world!
“All we need is the commitment to get enough sleep. Take time to recharge our mental and emotional batteries, put away our phones and laptops and tablets regularly, and try to introduce some stress-reduction tools into our lives.” – Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post founder)
So, as the new year gets underway, be sure to make it a goal to make some time for yourself or your family. Work and life are always crazy, take time away to realign yourself and take in the small things. After all, those are usually the most important.