I am back from break. Funny thing, I didn’t even realize I needed one as badly as I did. Like many of you, the pandemic has certainly slowed down my travels. In one way this was a very good thing as it allowed me to turn toward different adventures, such as setting up my private practice, renovating my home, and making room for a new puppy. However, all this time without a solid break away from my home, my work, and my everyday life had me forget what makes breaks so necessary.
I had given myself one week breaks during the height of the pandemic, but I now know they were not breaks at all, but rather a break from professional work so I could focus on my home renovation – a whole different level of “work” let’s say. Then that slowly wrapped up and I was able to take a one week vacation. Wow! That was refreshing, but just as I was getting into being “off” I was back “on” again.
So, I slated in a full two week break away from home intentionally. I wanted to get away from my life and let myself actually take a full break. Here’s what I noticed:
I didn’t even realize how burned out I had been. I could tell this when, during the midpoint of my break, I started to dream my own dreams both at night and during the day. I had space to let go of all of my daily concerns and be with myself. Not just be me and move through my day, but actually embody myself. It almost scared me to know how well I function in my life even when I am not embodied. And I didn’t even realize it!
The break allowed me to embody myself and craft some new ideas and ways of being in my work and my life. It helped me not only think about my present, but dream on my future. It helped me be present to anxieties I carry within myself and give attention to them in a loving manner. It has given me courage to really change my work calendar and say more “no’s” to others and more “yes’s” to myself.
All of this from a simple break. Yet, I think you can see what I am getting at — to take a break is not simple at all. First and foremost, it takes honoring one’s self and valuing one’s self to step away. Second, to really think on the type of break that is needed. In the heart of the pandemic and in this strange phase we are in now, it is hard to think one needs a break — but, I bet you do. I certainly did.
Now, I am back in the driver’s seat of my life once again. I had anxiety returning. Would I lose myself again? Would I not have the courage to say no? Would the ideas I am dreaming on for myself and my life simply fade? All of these ideas flooded my mind as the miles flew by toward home.
How to calm that anxiety when you return from break? Take it slow, take it one day at a time, and stay closely connected to self — from there adjust. Much of this first phase of being back is about adjusting — to a new schedule, to a new way of conducting business, to incorporating novel things into my routine — first adjust. Then, l wait and see what unfolds from there.
And, yes, I am already dreaming on my next break.