The Vagaggle: Give Yourself A Damn Break

The Vagaggle: Give Yourself A Damn Break

It’s still January, which means it’s still the busiest time of year for me. Unfortunately this January is just a little harder than it usually is due to it being the end of my first year of my degree and also my last few weeks of studying for an extra dance teaching qualification. Add on top of that my usual workload that amps up around this time of year due to dance exams and a musical theatre show, plus no income because I’m self-employed. So that lovely month I took to recover from my op is now coming round to bite me in the butt. Basically the end result is an extremely frazzled and overwhelmed Joeley.

So, my deepest apologies, but today I’m going to write something that I need to hear, but to be honest it might be something you need to hear as well.

A little background on my working life; I’ve always worked, I come from a working class family which means that from the age of 13 I have always had a minimum of 2 jobs (same as every other member of my family) because if you wanted something you better be damn sure that you earn the money to buy it. I wish it was in a cool way like my parents were trying to teach me to handle my money, but in reality it was in a we can’t afford that so if you want it you need to work and save to be able to buy it way. And to be honest it has instilled a great work ethic within me, any chance I get I’ll be working so my days off average at one every three weeks. But recently, as I feel myself starting to burn out, I can’t help but think that perhaps this romanticising of the hustle and demonising of needing to take a day off has had a detrimental effect on my life.

Nowadays the hustle is glorified. You're expected to be constantly on the grind to achieve any kind of success, and hey, once you’ve reached one milestone why not move straight on to the next one? Never stop working, never stop climbing. And for any of my self-employed people out there you know to multiply that by 100 to get a realistic idea of how much we have to work to even make a living wage. Days off are seen as a weakness because you should be committed 24/7 to make that money, you can sleep when you’re dead, it’ll all be worth it in the end, blah blah blah.

Lately I just can’t help but think maybe I should start moving at a slower pace?

Now please don’t think I’m bitter about my job; I’ve worked really hard to be able to pursue a career in something I’m passionate about, but through starting my own counselling and training to become a counsellor I’ve come to realise that at this rate my body and my mind are going to give out a lot sooner than if I just stop and take a breath.

So if you’re a workaholic like I am, today I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you to take a breath. Just a single breath will do to start. Don’t think about work, have a listen to your body and your mind and see what it’s telling you. If you’ve managed that to take that breath without the world falling down around you then try and schedule a break every day. Just in case you didn’t know, the world is not going to stop revolving if you take a break, your workload isn’t going to increase by tenfold if you take a break, and you’re still going to get your work done even if you stop for a few minutes and take a break. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying work, but remember that if you don’t take care of yourself and take a breather then you may not have a body and mind that is capable of working.

Now it's time that I take my own advice and take a break.