Since mid December I’ve slowly eased into taking a break from being online and from my work. It was a must. If I didn’t take a break, I was going to break.
2014 was the year my creativity died. It was ugly. Good and wonderful things happened, but my time filled up and I didn’t protect my margin. I should have taken routine breaks and since I didn’t I had major, major burnout which now requires major, major break-ing. I’ll ease back into work just as slowly, but I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve been doing, not because this is a recipe for taking a break or getting one’s creativity back, but the opposite, I’m kind of amazed at the types of things I find relaxing:
- watching cats sleep
- staring at the fire in the wood stove in my office for an hour (it has a window! note to self: never get a wood stove without a window!)
- putting puzzles together (I did the best one twice!) I’ve done over 10 puzzles in the past month
- cooking delicious meals
- taking baths
- having dirty hair for too long
- reading lots of books, finishing four so far
- cleaning (I’m crazy and this is fun for me–but ONLY if I’m alone in the house and I have the option NOT to clean, otherwise it’s simply torture)
- quieting the house
- decluttering (I’m giving it all away)
- getting rid of clothes I don’t wear (even if I love them) or clothes I don’t love (even if I wear them)
- getting rid of decor that doesn’t spark joy (thanks for that push Marie Kondo)
- being okay with the undone
- not returning texts (my apologies to the good people of the world)
- not answering my phone (this is actually normal for me// #introvertsunite)
- not returning emails in a timely manner (my apologies to the real grown ups of the world)
- watching my favorite shows (let’s hear it for The Legend of Mick Dodge and Alaska the Last Frontier :disclaimer, I’m a boy mom)
- giving myself permission to say no, yes and nevermind
- eating more real food and less crap in general, no rules here, nothing strict, I just want to be mindful of what goes in
- paying attention to if I’m cold, and when I am, making changes so I can be warm
I’m so glad I’m finally taking a real break. I need lots of margin in my life. Not just for margin’s sake, but because unless I have margin, I create junk, I have no energy for being intentional with other people, and everything I do seems to take twice as long. My work depends on me protecting my margin–it’s basically part of my job description.
I’d love to hear what quirky thing relax you. I hope you take the time to evaluate your creative side, and if it’s suffering, don’t do what I did and take a year to realize how much it affects you and the work you are called to do– squelching creativity can affect every part of our life.