Have you felt fatigued lately? Overwhelmed? Like there was no end to this sudden loop we have gotten into. Have you felt anger and annoyance without solid reason? Have you experienced an inexplicable sadness that has sapped you of your energy? Have you felt lethargic and sometimes stifled?
If you have, it is only but natural, thanks to what is transpiring in the world around us.
The last year and a half has been trying for many of us and in many ways, we have had to grapple with grief and more. There have been shades of guilt from privilege and survival for many of us, while cabin fever set in for others. The news has been anything but kind and we all have had our share of load to carry.
I find solace in work, sinking into work is therapeutic for me and that is exactly what I did. But, often replacing the need for something with something else entirely just doesn’t help.
The experts have a lot to say and there is already a massive need for mental health help and not enough resources are available for people to get access to seamless support.
From a personal perspective, I signed off for a big chunk of time from everything I was doing as I needed to take time off.
I stopped consuming news. I realised I wanted nothing to do with WhatsApp forwards or propaganda that was coming my way, so I chose to disconnect from anything that was not giving me value. I went off social media entirely for two months. I reduced the number of things I was up to for a while and managed with the most important areas I wanted to focus on only.
I did not manage a full switch off but just disconnecting and disengaging with a lot of the noise and chatter helped me tide past some of the more difficult days in an easy manner. I took a break from writing too as I felt that I was not in a frame of mind to be able to coherently share and provide value if I wrote under the circumstances.
I am used to taking on more than most people around me and processing more. My energy levels always have lived up to my expectations but at some point, I knew I needed to switch off so I could sustain for loner.
The biggest struggle is to accept and understand that you are not alright and in the best space you want to be. It is also hard to be vulnerable and say so out loud. Strength is often romanticised to a level that it can destroy you. Being aware is half the battle won.
What we all need to do is recognise the value of a break and what it can mean to us. Recalibrate, rejuvenate, and refresh as you prepare for more and this makes the journey more sustainable. The human mind is only capable of focussed attention for short spans of time. Work breaks both everyday short ones and one-off long breaks can truly help hit refresh.
There is also research that proves that taking breaks can help in many ways. You get better focus, you learn better, you get an energy boost, it helps reduce stress, you get better health, both mental and physical, and a break also helps boost performance and creativity.
Take conscious breaks to help you tide through these times. Get help if you need to beyond your immediate circle, because sometimes you need an unbiased neutral ear to guide you in the direction that you choose to take.
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