Taking a break is nice. So nice that it almost feels like a mistake. I question what I did to deserve this. It’s a good mistake, but one I do not understand. It is something I ask myself everyday. The moment I take a break, whether it be a physical, mental, or emotional break, all of the questions come back to haunt me. Am I worthy of this? What am I missing out on because I’m relaxing? Will they notice I’m gone? The questions continue to pile in as I try to process what is going on around me. It is something that I, nor anyone, should ever feel they have to ask themselves.
Over winter break, I took time to relax and connect with myself. Some of my biggest plans consisted of going to Walmart to go food shopping. Otherwise I stayed at home in my pjs all day reading or watching tv. It wasn’t like I had much I could do. Usually, I would find something to keep me occupied but I finished most of my tasks before coming home and it felt nice, almost too nice.
Why does it feel like I’m doing something wrong?
It’s as if we are trained to think that taking care of oneself and taking a break is a bad thing. Obviously taking care of our physical health, such as going to the doctor, showering, eating healthy food, etc., was always something we were expected to do. But as soon as someone mentioned mental health, we were told to toughen up and get through it.
Instead of taking the time we needed for ourselves, we kept pushing to the brink of exhaustion and mental burnout. Then we would get yelled at for not better managing it, even though we were trained not to. How are we supposed to recognize that we need help when no one will allow us to? If a break is all we want, why won’t they give it to us?
You deserve a break
After realizing the true value of a break, I miss it. I miss not having responsibilities or daily requirements to be fulfilled. I love being able to sit and stare off into space without worrying if I am going to be late for a meeting or class. I love staying on my toes and on top of things but I didn’t realize how much of a toll 2021 took on me.
I have always been one to want to do everything and anything even without having all the time in the day to do so. But I didn’t realize how much I was putting myself to the edge. I don’t want to lose my spark, drive, and motivation, but I also don’t want to lose passion and energy because I don’t have the time for myself to relax.
Say it with me
Here’s to relaxation, peace, and harmony.
Here’s to recognizing mental health is health.
And here’s to 2022 and my mental health.