The Importance of Giving Your Mental Health a Break
I took three months off of my blog, social media, and everything that deals with the online/writing world to give my mental health a break. For months I was feeling burnt out, tired, and like I was failing at this thing we call life. I would have days where I curled up into a ball and cried pitifully. Writing became a chore that took the life out of me, something that used to bring me copious amounts of joy.
So I stopped. I focused on my health, both physical and mental and I worked a part-time job that kept me outside watering and maintaining flowers. Also, I went on walks and fed my body foods that made it happy. Some days I sat in bed for hours and read or did absolutely nothing. I started painting and learning about the world of art and I made my garden look beautiful.
There were days that I ate junk food and had good long talks with loved ones. Also, I cried immensely and laughed just as hard. I thought so much I could have filled three books by now. Then I went on hour-long walks just to think. I had bad days and good days. However, none of those days involved looking at my blog, my statistics, or words on a computer screen.
At first, this felt wrong. I felt like I needed to be doing something. When my days off came around, I felt like a lazy slob who would never amount to anything. The perfectionist in me was screaming to get off my butt and write something to stick to a schedule. I watched as I lost a few followers on different social media accounts, not realizing I needed to give my mental health a break.
You might be thinking, “This does not sound therapeutic at all.” In the beginning, you are right.
However, it was, and I am writing these words because it brings me joy again. With all my thinking, I realized what was wrong and what I needed to change in me. It helped me find the motivation I lost somewhere along the line of my blogging journey.
I realized I was writing based on what I thought others would like, not necessarily what brought me joy. I was so focused on chucking out content for each day of the week I wasn’t noticing that I was in pure agony trying to find words to type onto a computer screen.
We all need To Give our mental health A break.
I know I am fortunate in the fact that I can take an entire month off of my career and still be here to talk about it. While I did get a job to help with my income, it still wasn’t as much as others might need to survive. I understand that 100%. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break or that you don’t deserve one.
Years ago, I worked as an assistant manager at a restaurant. It was hellish hours and tedious work that I did, in fact, love doing. However, I was working so hard that I would get physically ill. My ‘breaks’ off from work only occurred when I was so rundown my boss forced me to go home and sleep.
It wasn’t healthy. If I could go back, I would change a few things about that time. With having PCOS (if you don’t know what this is, I have an article about it here), I can see that the stress I was putting on my body was the source cause of me losing my period.
I was actually hurting my body. The fact was, I didn’t have to work that hard. I could have taken a vacation (or even just a weekend off). I could have asked for help to get things done and should have shared my projects with others so that I wasn’t taking on more than I could chew. Now looking back, I needed to give my mental health a break.
No, I couldn’t have taken a month off, but there were small things I could have done to eliminate some of the stress. Want to know something? You can do this too!
You don’t realize just how important your mental health is until you have sucked up all the energy inside of you. Even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, we all suffer from stress. Too much of it can cause a lack of sleep, digestive issues, and so much more to our physical health.
This is what I learned from my hiatus.
Besides making sure you give your mental health a break, you need to be selfish in this world. I’ve never been scared of dying. It is an inevitable phase of life we must all hit someday. What has always scared me is not living as much as I possibly can.
That I could be wasting my time doing something I don’t love is a nightmare I don’t want to live in. Due to this fear, I become incredibly indecisive to the point that I stall entirely. I stop walking down the road and just stand and stare at both paths directly in front of me.
The months off showed me that I am living the nightmare I never wanted to live. By not making a decision, I was being extremely decisive. I realized that, whether it will work out or not, I need to walk down a path. There is no ‘wrong’ path, but a road that might not fit for us. However, there is always a side road that leads you to another junction.
I always thought that making a decision meant I had to stick with it for eternity.
That is not the case. We are human beings who make mistakes and are never perfect. That means we can change our minds if we need to. It’s called evolution, and you might not believe in it, but it happens. Your mind, body, and soul are evolving each year by the experiences you do and do not take.
I also learned to be selfish. Some of my relationships changed in the past few months (including the one I have with myself). I cared so much about not hurting other people’s feelings that I wasn’t even thinking about how I felt. I’m a self-harming addict in the fact that I would rather suffer 100 times over than make my words hurt another person for even a second.
Sharing how you feel is not the same as trying to hurt someone. In fact, it could be a good thing to do. By holding in all those emotions, you are putting more distance between the two of you. It might not happen in a day, but over time, that distance will build until you don’t even know how to bring them close to you again.
I also learned small things I can do for my mental health every day.
To give your mental health a break, you need to talk about your feelings and put yourself first. I know this goes against everything you were ever taught. However, being selfish doesn’t mean being rude. It means that you love yourself enough to know when it is time to stop listening and start talking.
It also means telling someone no, you can’t help them because you are busy helping yourself. Or not going out or having that drink with a friend because it isn’t what you want to do.
I am the happiest I have been ever. Honestly, I didn’t know I could be this happy. A lot of people will read that sentence and assume that it means I am continuously filled with ecstatic fulfillment. No, I am not. I still have sad days and I still have self-esteem issues. I have times when I lay in bed, contemplating my life.
One thing I do now that I didn’t use to do is small little tasks each day that help boost my mental health.
Happy isn’t something you can be all day every day. It is not something you can be when you grow up. It is also not something that just happens.
Some days it might be happy, but others you have to work for that feeling. Some weeks you’ll feel satisfied 4 days out of 7. It is an emotion, and those change quite often. I am the happiest I have been because I realized in my hiatus that you have to work for it. By being selfish, taking breaks, and doing things that I love, I have found a way to work for my happiness. I’m not waiting for it to come to me anymore.
You have to work…hard.
Movies and TV shows are one of my passions in life. I love the good, the bad, and the ugly. From the actors to the creative minds who film these works of art, I am always enthralled. One thing I absolutely HATE about movies is how easy they can make life seem.
The girl gets the guy, and they live happily ever after. The man wakes up one day with the job of his dreams and a salary that most of us will dream about. The girl loses 50 pounds over summer, and now every guy wants her. It makes life seem easy. The fact is that it is not.
To have a fulfilled life, you have to work your @ss off.
I was upset with myself because the novel that I was writing wasn’t just coming to me anymore. Words were just not coming to me. I was upset because my blog wasn’t blowing up like I had read other blogs had done. I was angry because I still have to work a part-time job to supplement my income. Success wasn’t just put into my lap, and it pissed me off.
I set myself up for disappointment. I like to joke that I suffer from chronic dissatisfaction because, eventually, I get this way with every project I ever attempt to try. The real problem is that I don’t want to work hard. It’s not necessarily that I CAN’T work hard, I just feel like I shouldn’t have to. This is a mentality that will only lead to tears and disappointments.
Do you want that dream job? Work you @ss off. Train, educate, and practice your profession every single day. Do jobs you don’t want to do in order to move up to the dream job you want. Want to lose weight? You have to eat healthy and workout. You also have to do this consistently and you have to work your @ss off (literally). Nothing good in your life will come easy. Want a relationship that will stand the test of time? You still have to work.
Repeat as necessary: You Need To Give Your mental Health a Break.
I hate happily ever after because it doesn’t exist. There is no relationship out there that doesn’t hit a rough patch. Nobody likes another person every second of every day. Those relationships that have hit the 50-year benchmark did so because they worked for what they loved. They communicated when things got hard and compromised when needed. They realized that not every argument needs to be won, but that every situation needs to be resolved.
I’ll repeat myself again, you need to work your @ss off.
Burnout can be a real b!tch If you Don’t Give Your Mental Health A Break.
Above all, taking a mental health break is needed to stop yourself from getting the inevitable burnout. You can love what you do and still get sick of it. I love writing. Since I was little, it was my release. If I were sad, happy, stressed, anxious, etc., I would write. It always soothed my spirits. However, after writing one or more articles every day for two years, I was sick and tired of finding words to cram into a sentence.
I kept finding little projects to do so that I didn’t have to write that day. I found an excuse every day. “I’m ahead of schedule, I don’t need to write today.” Or, “I’m not feeling that great today, I’ll write tomorrow.” One day turned into one week.
When I did force content out, it was sloppy and useless banter that no one cared to read.
So, after the few months of self-therapy, I’m back b!tches! However, I’m not the same person I was before this. My not-really-vacay-vacation showed me that I need to change things or else I am going to be on a rollercoaster I never signed up for. This means my content is going to change and that my schedule will change along with it.
Instead of feeling like a failure, I am going to realize I am a human being. That I need breaks in order to breathe. Also, I need to enjoy the content I write for it to be great. I need to be selfish, and I need to work hard for the things I love (while I stop putting energy into things I don’t). I needed to give myself a mental health break because it is just as important for my mind to be healthy as it is for my body.
While I start a new chapter in my blogging world, I would love to know what you WOULD like to read from me? Just because I’m writing content I enjoy doesn’t mean I can’t find things we both want to talk about. Do you like articles like this or want something a little different?
Let me know in the comments below or on my contact page. Also, let me know your take away from this article and what you do for your mental health (whether big or small).
Want to stay caught up with everything going on here? You can sign up for my weekly newsletter so you never miss a second of action!!
**While I do research and find reliable information to share for each article, I am by no means a professional. Make sure to speak with a healthcare professional before changing anything in your health. Also, I do have affiliate links that, if used, will give me a small commission. While I do make a profit, I will never share a product/service that I do not 100% stand behind.