Why You Need to Take Breaks from Work Without Feeling Guilty

Photo by Adrian Swancar from Unsplash

In today’s age of modern, booming lifestyles, it has never been this easy to get access on in-depth information of anything you want to learn. You can start up a business on your phone and build a brand around your passion cost-free. It’s been a humongous privilege to be a part of a generation where the opportunities of the world literally are in your hands and the possibilities of where you’re going to go are limitless.

Now more than ever, work has been so demanding, leaving you frantic and anxious about meeting all the demands before you get left behind. During this time, it appears that taking a brief pause is considered shameful. We have now reached a point where the culture of working hard to the point of burning out is considered the right, ideal way to hold the banner of success, and anything less of that is being entitled.

It’s as if our methods of reaching our success are invalidated. We are no longer allowed to create our system of resting and working. Hectic schedules have become the norm, and anything less than going crazy is defined as ungrateful for the opportunity that’s been given to you because you’re not working hard enough or having no dream at all.

WHY DO WE NEED TO TAKE BREAKS FROM WORK? 


We need to take breaks because we are not meant to be in constant work mode for the rest of our lives. Resting shouldn’t be something you need to be guilty of. When you rest, you’re paying attention to your physical and mental health which is necessary for work.
During times of relaxation, your mind and body are restoring energy and relieving the negative toxins that have been accumulated from hours of work.

Resting isn’t some kind of excuse to lay off workers and slack off, it’s a necessary process to mitigate the effects of stress and anxiety. If you have clearer, healthier physical and mental health, you’re not only more focused on work but are also quicker to resolve problems should they come. You’re on your feet ready to seize the day, not cranky and exhausted from having fewer hours of sleep.

YOU GET TIRED EVEN WHEN IT’S DOING SOMETHING YOU LOVE 


Even if you love what you’re doing, that doesn’t mean you won’t get tired or
feel unmotivated. Every once in a while, you need to give some time to unwind and restore peace of mind. Take a break from checking emails, responding to comments and clients, creating content etc. Take a break from working physically and mentally.


If you love what you’re doing, you would give yourself time to love it even more by longing for the struggle and thinking of better ways to make the journey more worthwhile.
It’s ironic how when we long for relaxation when we’re busy, but we look for things to do the moment they get off our plate. 

Understandably, we constantly want to learn new things and adapt to the trends that our competitors are doing. We love to master our skills so we can be the best in the industry. We are wired to give a better, more perfect performance than the last time. Otherwise, we’ll just be as good as the last time, and that’s not a reputation we want to be preceded by.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR RESTING ROUTINE 


It’s pivotal you understand that resting doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping for hours. Resting can be being physically active while mentally present. It can be doing a cardio exercise for thirty minutes and enjoying a hot shower at night time. Resting can be strolling down the park with your siblings or having a movie night with your partner. To make it more productive for you, you can customize your routine for relaxation by engaging in developing other aspects of your life, health being the top priority.

STOP FEELING GUILTY FOR BEING HUMAN 


A lot of people have been absorbed into this overwhelming culture of stressing yourself, otherwise, you wouldn’t be successful. Keeping up with this notion is
punishing yourself for being human and what happens is you’re emphasizing the number of fails than the number of successful attempts. Living like this is draining in all aspects, and you’ll be left fighting for your life. It’s important you learn the value of resting and knowing when to take time for yourself. This means stop being guilty of giving yourself a break even when everyone is still working. Stop being guilty for not producing results at a time when everyone’s comparing theirs with each other.

 

STOP TRYING TO BE PERFECT BECAUSE YOU WILL NEVER BE ONE 


Every day, we are changing in more ways than one along with the environment we live in. The only constant thing in this world is the human cycle of trying, failing, resting, and getting back up again. It has been this way since the first humans on this earth ever existed, and the one thing that keeps man wanting to swim instead of merely being afloat is to do other things besides how to survive. Making it your life’s purpose to be perfect in the eyes of all is a sad and pitiful goal.

Your life is a gift that should be used exploring and discovering more it has to offer rather than constricting yourself to the shallow boxes of what is deemed acceptable by society.
The desperate want to become perfect and always the person who will help others in time of need is a reflection of what you perceive your self-identity to be. It shows a bad side of yourself; your arrogance to think that you can be more than a human, that you have all the abilities to make other people’s lives easier and more convenient with your help, even at the expense of your life.

The moment we embrace our imperfection, we won’t spend time punishing ourselves for accidentally falling asleep at 2 am. We won’t always be in perfect working conditions simply because there are other things in life than work. We won’t always have perfect days like what we see in movies, and no matter how much we adore waking up early and everything just falls right, we are only hoping for a fantasy that will never happen. 

WHERE DOES THIS GUILT COME FROM? 


This constant need to push yourself beyond limits is fueled by the fear of being at the bottom of the ladder. You’re living a life where everything you do is to please the people around you, and making them proud is greater than your own happiness. You make your choices based on the opinion of your parents, friends, competitors — anyone you want to please. Because you want to prove to them that you’re worthy of their expectations as early as possible, you’re beating yourself up, sometimes close to hitting rock bottom, just to become someone that you’re not yet ready to be.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY 


There’s no reason to feel bad for being tired, lazy, uninspired, for basically being human especially if it compromises your holistic well-being and health. Be very mindful of your body — what it needs, how far it can handle, what you need to do to take care of it. Don’t abuse your body because you will never be able to get another one. Taking care of your health must always be your number one priority. You must always make it a habit to invest in taking care of your body at a young age. If you overwork your body as you build your dreams, you wouldn’t be there to see what you have built.

RESTING IS NOT THE SAME AS DOING NOTHING 


Resting allows your mind and body to recharge for working for hours. Resting is masked as doing nothing. Taking breaks is necessary for a healthy work-life balance and to ensure a productive daily routine in all aspects of your being. Working like a machine 24/7 is only going to bring you more harm than good. When you think it’s bringing you results, it’s the opposite. It may make a huge jump on your career but not as huge as when you’re healthy and strong, proactively being in control of your choices.

SUCCESS ISN’T MEASURED BY YOUR PRODUCTIVITY 


Just because time waits for no one, that doesn’t mean we have to dedicate every minute of our lives to working tirelessly — in hopes to achieve success faster than anyone else. Although we are expected to be productive all the time, that doesn’t mean we have to be productive in the way they think we should be. Productivity is more than ticking off your to-do list or finishing the tasks for the next week today.

Productivity can mean investing in your health to refill that energy in your body, so you can come back stronger and do more than the last time. That said, doing your other hobbies is productive. Going on family road trips with your loved ones is productive. Having alone time in your room while reflecting on how much you’ve changed in the last year is also productive.

CONCLUSION: 


Being guilty every time you rest from work is like being guilty of breathing in this earth, for taking a few minutes to appreciate the life you’re living. It’s like being sorry that you’re doing anything besides working and it’s nothing short of ridiculous. When you’re too agitated about reaping the reward at an expected time, you gradually lose the reason, the sense of purpose of breaking a sweat in the first place.

When you lose that sweet taste of appreciation in yourself, you would no longer feel accomplished for the things you have done and for the things that you will do soon.
As you grow older and pulled in different directions, always remember to actively redefine the meaning of productivity when you begin to feel guilty for resting.

It’s pivotal that you truly understand and accept that it’s not all about achieving a milestone or maintaining that leverage against your competitor. If we’re always better, always on top, how would we know how it feels to be below? How would we learn to be humble to rise from failure? If we constantly stress ourselves to become the best even at the expense of our health and other life commitments, how can we be truly happy?

 

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”

William Burroughs

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

16 thoughts on “Why You Need to Take Breaks from Work Without Feeling Guilty

  1. These are really good tips! I always feel bad when I book time off of work to blog or just spend time on myself. You've reminded me that breaks are good and that working too much is bad for productivity. Thank you for sharing! Em x

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  2. I have been saying this for years! I don't understand this culture of work till you drop. There is nothing wrong with taking a break, for having a mental health break and having boundaries between work and your life. Work is work, even if if you love it, and your life is your life and needs your attention too. Thanks for sharing. Giulia, tidbitsofcare.com

    Like

  3. I have been saying this for years! I don't understand this culture of work till you drop. There is nothing wrong with taking a break, for having a mental health break and having boundaries between work and your life. Work is work, even if if you love it, and your life is your life and needs your attention too. Thanks for sharing. Giulia, tidbitsofcare.com

    Like

  4. I definitely relate to this! I've considered taking a couple weeks' leave from work many times over the past 12 months, I find it so stressful. I'm so grateful to still have my job throughout the pandemic (I work in healthcare) but working with Covid Postive patients was really difficult. Thankfully we're nearing the end though now x

    Like

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