I’m the type of person who gives 110% to everything I do. It’s allowed me to accomplish some amazing things. The downside is that I hardly ever stop to take a break, running from one activity to the next with little time to recharge. That has been my pattern for most of my life.
Recently, I took my first vacation. Hold your applause. It’s awesome. I know. My BFF and I set off on a week-long Disney cruise. Sun, sand, food, and more relaxation than my little body could handle. I turned off all my phone notifications and let the world fall away. In a word, heaven.
I’d been so focused on my goals that I hadn’t realized how burnt out I’d become. Everything was focused on the next benchmark. Accomplishing the next goal. I knew I didn’t feel like writing. The thought of going over editor notes when I got back was paramount to torture. I could only see myself enjoying examining the back of my eyelids. That feeling vanished after I took the time to take care of myself.
Coming back to the real world, I was ready to tackle it all. I’d written about five pages of brainstorming ideas for my next novel while on the ship. I raced for my inbox to see if my editor had sent my manuscript back yet. I was ready. I went from dreading publication this fall to looking forward to it.
This brought me to one conclusion. Taking a break is every bit as important as putting in the work.
I’d heard many things about the importance of self-care and refilling your creative well, but I didn’t get it until now. I knew it was something I needed to do. I just didn’t realize how low the water had gotten.
If you’re feeling the burn and can barely look at your computer without envisioning setting it ablaze, consider this your invitation to put it all away. Unplug for a few days and let your mind rest. Not switch tasks. Rest. The way you will feel when it is over is beyond any sense of accomplishment you will get from trying to push through with your tank on empty. Believe me. It will be worth it.