The Importance of Taking a Break
Lifestyle print editor Ceri Jackson shares the importance of taking a break from life’s pressures at this time.
From the moment lockdown began, we were bombarded with “Easy Morning Workout Routines” and a multitude of ways to remain productive during this period. Productivity is important, particularly at a time like this when life can often seem pointless or without purpose, but it is also important to remember that this is not a forced boot camp to make us “our best selves”.
I remember thinking to myself that during this lockdown period I am going to be the most productive person ever; goodbye Ceri the professional procrastinator and hello Ceri the new and improved productivity machine. I set myself an obscene amount of goals, more than I would ever expect of myself, and eventually was met with a horrendous ‘burn-out’ period.
“I set myself an obscene amount of goals, more than I would ever expect of myself, and eventually was met with a horrendous ‘burn-out’ period.”
Rather than being proud of all the tasks I had achieved, I was more focussed on the things I never managed to complete. We live in a society where taking breaks or having days off are deemed as a waste of time — if you take a day off to just watch Netflix we are brandished as lazy, or if you spend one day relaxing rather than revising then you are not working to the best of your ability. I have come to realise this refusal to allow ourselves breaks, is, in fact, the most counter-productive approach towards productivity.
Following my ‘burn-out’ period, I neglected my practical tasks completely (which I do not recommend – do your revision kids), and solely did the things I wanted to do. Whether this was spending six hours on Animal Crossing or sitting in the garden reading a book I had been wanting to read for ages, doing these ‘pleasurable’ tasks made days far more enjoyable. Eventually, I found myself wanting to revise again or wanting to work-out because mentally I felt less of the pressure I had originally put on myself.
Balance is key – especially in a time like this. Just because someone you follow on Instagram has spent every day working out or studying for hours, does not mean it is also the ideal usage of time for you. What I am saying, in a roundabout way is if you want to spend a day in bed watching Tiger King and eating ice cream, then go for it, and do not feel guilty for doing so. Similarly, if you wake up and want to learn a new language, nobody is stopping you. Being self-indulgent is not always negative. Taking one day off will not result in the permanent ruin of your success.
Regardless of how you are coping with lockdown, I hope you are all safe and keeping well.