So I’m not known for knowing when to take a break. I typically push and push and push until I completely am exhausted of all creative, mental, and physical energy. I do this because I have moments when I get in such a bad funk or depression where nothing happens because I simply can’t and then I get frustrated with myself because I feel like I’m wasting so much time (as if it’s that easy to keep depression at bay). Last week was a little off for me because since this Pandemic started I’ve been on the go and more productive than I have been in recent months prior to it.
I’ve been writing more and doing more for my magazine, and even started a YouTube channel. I’ve got books that I’ve set in motion to be released before the end of the year (at least 4 of them) and there’s so much to do in preparation for this and that’s what I’ve been working towards. Even my weekends have been filled with writing related tasks (I used to have a no weekends thing so that’s big for me) and I have actually loved just how creatively inspired I’ve been and just on a constant need to be doing something to further the goal. Last week, however, I just didn’t feel like doing any of that. It wasn’t like my mind wasn’t still brimming with ideas and the need to keep pushing but it seemed the harder I tried to push through the more I felt like I just couldn’t do any of it. It wasn’t a depressed feeling because I know what that feels like.
I wasn’t sure what this was but then I attended the virtual writing retreat this weekend, Evergreen Writing Oasis, via YouTube and the first day of the event they talked about burnout (which is not the same as depression however one can feed into the other). I was beginning to feel burnout and that is not something that I can afford to have right now. In the event they spoke about ways to combat burnout, but also ways to maybe try and head the burnout off when you begin to recognize that’s what’s coming. This made me think of my own advice in one of my videos about filling the creative well and I had decided to go ahead and take the entire weekend and just enjoy the virtual writing retreat and just attend the panels, read, and watch TV.
I thought that would allow me to start this week off right and vibrant and refreshed and ready to hit the ground running. Yeah that’s not what happened because I’m still feeling a little blah and I still feel like I need to refill the well so to speak. So my initial thought was okay so this is going to be a week long thing and I’m just going to make this a mental health week and that may still be what it ends up being but for now I’m just going to play this by ear. So I did not make a schedule for this week (not yet anyway) and I have not yet written a to-do list (I plan on it though—I think) for the things that would need to be done this week. I have a novel outline to finish (for Camp NaNoWriMo) plus a novel and a motivational book to get prepped for release along with two poetry books but I don’t feel like I can produce my best work feeling like this.
All of this is to say that Mental Health breaks are very necessary and we (and by we I mean people in general) should not feel bad, or frustrated with ourselves for needing one. If we are not at our best mentally than how can we be the best version of ourselves that we need to be? I hope you guys don’t mind me working this out with you all and that I’m not rambling too much but I just felt like someone else out there needs to hear that it’s okay to take a break. It does not mean that you are lazy and it does not mean that you are unaware of the need to complete the task and accomplish the goal. It simply means that you are putting your mental health first for a few days, or however long you decide you need that mental break for. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Until next time #BeMindful #BeAware #BeGoodtoYourself