It is okay to take break!
This happened to me for the first time in my podcast journey. I asked you all for topic suggestions over my social media. I always love to create the episodes that you all love to listen to. One of my sweet listeners suggested this topic. So, first of all Thank you so much Namita for such a wonderful topic. But the actual fun part comes next. She suggested a couple of more topics as well. I was about to reply to her thanking for her suggestions and assuring her that I will work on those ideas. I was about to tell her that I have already created an episode on this particular topic and was about to send her the link. I started searching my website to look for this topic. To my surprise, it was not there because I never created one. So, I officially have so much content that I have started forgetting which topics I have already covered. We are so close to the 100th episode. I simply cannot believe it. I mentioned this topic so many times in my episodes that I actually thought that I had already created an episode on this topic. So finally, here you go with a most talked about episode! Episode 89 - It is okay to take a break.
Hello my dear listener! Welcome back to yet another episode of Morning Cup of Sunshine podcast. How are you doing today? I am going on a vacation in the next few days and I am so excited to take a short break from my work after a long time. I simply can not wait to tell you all about my vacation but that will come in the next few episodes. But I do want to talk about taking a break. You work so hard every single day, you work in our day job, you might have a side hustle, you might be taking some courses, you take care of your family, you have social obligations. The list is endless, sometimes, it feels like you are just running around, finishing one task after another. Sometimes, you don’t have time to take a breather between the tasks. The pile of chores, responsibilities keep on growing day by day. But then there comes a day, when this burden is unbearable to bear. You just want to take a break from all this running around. You just want to take a break from that long to-do list. You want to take a break from all the disciplined routine and just let yourself immerse in some form of self care. But you are afraid that everything will fall apart if you take a break, your office project or your team will struggle if you take a break for a day or two or more. You are afraid that your well established family routine will be drastically disturbed if you decide to take a break for a day or two. You are afraid that you will lose traction if you decide to take a break from your side hustle. You are afraid that your progress will slow down if you take a break from your workout. Am I right? You are afraid to take a break. I know, I was in the same boat for the longest time. I felt guilty, I felt scared but to tell you the truth, nothing of that sort happened when I took a break. Of course there was an impact, I am not denying that but it was not as disastrous as I thought. Everybody survived, everybody adjusted and I got a well deserved break.
This happened back in October 2021, I was working at full speed , with all my available energy. My days were extra full. It was the festival season so there were numerous social commitments. I was working almost every weekend for a project in my day job. I was running around picking and dropping my kids off to different activities. I was working non-stop from early morning to late night. I was trying to somehow put up an episode for my beloved podcast every single week. I had absolutely no time even to feel tired, or overwhelmed. It was just a crazy month but one day when I was writing in my journal, I realized how tired I was. It was hard for me to even write anything in the journal, let alone plan an episode or record an episode. It was not easy to break my streak. I had not missed even a single week since starting the podcast. Yet, I knew that I was exhausted. I was not able to put my heart and soul in the episode as I was recording one. I also applied for two days leave in my day job. I did a lot of soul searching during those days. I re-prioritized everything that was on my plate. Unfortunately, few things had to go. It was a struggle for me. I do not like to leave things halfway. I take it as my personal failure but this time I had to take some action because I was really at the breaking point. I took the most difficult decision to take a break from the podcast. It was heartbreaking for me. I did not want to do that. This podcast is my cup of sunshine, it feels my day with so much positivity. Every day, when I wake up early, sit in my favorite spot in our home and start working on a new episode, I absolutely forget everything around me. I don’t think about the upcoming meetings, kids lunches, or appointments. I am in my zone. That one hour in the morning recharges me to tackle the entire day with zest, so letting go of that one hour was an extremely difficult decision. But I had to take that decision and I did announce a break on my podcast page. I also took a backseat on a few social engagements. I started keeping my day less filled. I started to see that it was helping me to find the lost rhythm of my day. I was much more relaxed, I was much more calm and I felt a lot more peaceful. But today I want to tell you a few real life lessons that I learned from all this. So, are you ready for it?
Don’t wait till your breaking point.
This was the biggest lesson I learnt so far. Don’t wait to take a break till you have no other option left. I would suggest rather than going on a mandatory break because your mind and body are not co-operating anymore, take frequent and shorter breaks to rejuvenate yourself. It can be a quick outdoor walk in the evening after your work day or shorter 5 minute indoor walk after every meeting.
Don’t fill the void immediately with something else.
After taking a break from your extra full routine, I am sure you will have some leeway in your day. You might have some time in your hand which was not previously available. This is your white space, use this time to relax, unwind. Do not fill this time immediately with some other activity. This is not the purpose of break. This time is for you to relax and enjoy the white space that you never had before.
Don’t go on a guilt trip, you deserve it.
This was super crucial. I struggled with this a lot. After taking a break from my podcast, I used to get several emails, sometimes some friends called asking why I am not doing an episode. When I got asked this question, I felt bad, I felt guilty about not doing my justice to my listeners. I felt as if I failed them. I tried to go back to my old routine but it was very short lived, I had not recovered from burnout. I was still pretty exhausted. So, finally the planner in me decided to put a timeline to this break, because I did not want this break to be indefinite. Quitting was never my intention. So, I decided I will take my time, I will come back in the new year. This time I will be more ready, more prepared and much more relaxed. This definitely helped me to cope up with my guilt. So, if you are anything like me, maybe put a timeline on your break, promise yourself that you will be back, but don’t rush, take your time but don’t quit too. Accept the fact that you deserve this break and you are worth it.
Don’t be upset about the aftermath, you will recover.
Yes, my dear friend, there will be an aftermath. Just imagine, you are back from a lovely vacation, you enjoyed a lot, you had the best time of your life, you are relaxed. But when you come back, you do have to unpack, do the huge load of laundry, and grocery shop to restock your home after the vacation. These are some of the tasks that you have to do after that beautiful vacation. I know sometimes, these chores feel unwanted, especially after the vacation but they help you get back into the routine, your daily rhythm of life. This is the exact same thing about any break. You take a break from your work, the day you return you might have to spend some extra time to reply to all those emails sitting in your inbox. When you take a break from blogging, you might have to put in a little extra effort to get back into the rhythm of writing again. Even when I took the break from podcasting I noticed my download numbers were down for a week or two since people moved on, they fell off the routine to listen to my podcast but I noticed my podcast gained momentum back once I started posting regularly again. Just because you had to put in a little extra effort after a break does not mean you are failing. Trust the process. You are recharged from your break. You are refreshed, maybe you are back with more ideas. Use them, be creative and enjoy the process again. After a break, you will find a new found love, happiness in the same activity which felt like a burden before.
I understand that taking breaks doesn’t always come easy to us, so I want to gently remind you that it’s okay. Breaks are allowed, and often it is necessary to pause, take a break, and start again.
Just remember …it’s okay to take a break during busy, hustling days
…it’s okay to take a break from your work, from your day job
…it’s okay to take a break from a relationship
…it’s okay to take a break from your creative passions, your hobbies
…it’s okay to take a break from your exercise routine and diet
…it’s okay to take a break from your social commitments
…it’s okay to take a break and just be