Sometimes you just need a break, ya know? In this post, you’ll see why I needed a break and how I recognized I needed a break. Remember, breaks are important for mental health, so here’s some motivation on why you should take a break, too!
Take a break! Runaway with us for the summer, let’s go upstate! We’ll all go stay with my father . . . THERE’S A LAKE I KNOOOOW IN A NEARBY PARK, YOU AND I CAN GO WHEN THE NIGHT GETS DARK!
Anyone else as obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack as I am? No?! Oh . . . okay.
Anyway, I most definitely needed a mental health break! If you didn’t notice (and it’s okay if you didn’t), I haven’t posted since last Wednesday. I just needed to chill — I had too much going on and not enough mental capacity to process all of it. If I have to sacrifice my blogging schedule for my mental health, then so be it.
My point is that it’s okay to take breaks. In American society, you’re seen as “weak” or “unmotivated” if you take a step back and say “no.” We’re a country of “go-getters” and “yes (wo)men,” but that’s not healthy for our mental health. We’re still in #MentalHealthMonth, so today I’m deviating from what I said I’d be posting today in last Wednesday’s mental health post — I’ll come back to the trap that is diet culture next week if anyone is interested — to talk about the importance of taking a break and signs that help me recognize that I need to take a break.
To start, I won’t deny that I was extremely stressed. This time of year is always the hardest for teachers because summer break is just in sight, but time seems to be dragging its wagon. And we’re not the only ones in the classroom feeling this way . . . Students are, too! This leads to behavior problems that, honestly, no one wants to deal with.
Not only was I stressing about that, but I was stressing about my career. One good thing about the COVID pandemic is that it made me more reflective, and when you spend more than a year working from home, your mind starts to wonder. My career has been on my mind nonstop since March 2020 and I’ve been questioning whether this is the career for me or not. I felt stuck, so I shopped around the job market. I had a couple of opportunities open up for me (including the hiring process to be a special agent for the FBI, of all things!) and during my little break, I actually accepted one of those opportunities. To say a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders is an understatement and I’m excited to continue teaching next year in a new setting.
The funny thing is I didn’t feel stressed, but my normal signs of stress were coming about. For example, I’m a jaw clencher because of one of my medications I take, but my jaw tightens when I’m extremely stressed to the point where it’s completely shut and hard to open. This is the first telltale sign that I need to slow down. It doesn’t matter how many stretches I do to loosen my jaw’s clamp, the only thing that relaxes my jaw is relaxation. So, I took some time off from blogging and work and I spent my days watching Outlander, cuddling with my kitten, and going on leisurely walks. I’m fully relaxed now and back in action thanks to some much needed R&R.
My last point that I would like to make is that life is short and yes, some things are meant to be taken seriously, but not everything. It’s okay to say “no.” It’s okay to take breaks. It’s okay to feel tired. Listen to your mind, body, and soul and take a break if you need to. You’ll be so much happier once you do!
IN THE COMMENTS . . .
Share what you do to relax and recharge! Obviously, I enjoy vegging out and binge-watching a good show with my kitten, but who doesn’t, right?
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