This post is Day 27 of the 28 Day Blogging Breakthrough Challenge. You can chat about the challenge on social media using the hashtag #BloggingBreakthrough. Click here to view all of the challenge prompts.
“Taking a break” is one of those phrases you hear a lot. But for me (and I'm sure for many of you) – it's a struggle. I come from a hard-working and motivated family, so the concept of being dedicated and working for what you want has been instilled in me since I was young. Even now, I can’t come home from work and do nothing, even if I’ve had a really tough day. I’ll do things. I’ll be active. And if I'm poorly? I have to be doing at least something, even if it’s just reading on the sofa.
I know you’ll find all of this really familiar. I know you’ll have the same battle on an almost daily basis. Just this week I saw someone say they had loads of blog photos to shoot but they wanted a nap. And do you know what stops us from giving in?
We’re a generation with side projects. We’re a generation that doesn’t sleep. We’re a generation that always wants more and is always doing something. So it’s no wonder that taking a break is so difficult for us to do!
But this is a really unhealthy way to live.
If you’ve been joining in with the Blogging Breakthrough Challenge, you’ll know that I’ve been pushing you. I’ve been pushing you to try things outside of your comfort zone and I’ve been pushing you to work hard. So far, it’s been 26 days of pure graft. That’s what a challenge is all about, right?
Come Monday, it’s all about putting what you’ve learnt into action. So I think Day 27 in the challenge is best spent away from your blog altogether. You've got to let your mind rest, step back from the daily grind of blogging (and your full-time job if you’re like me), and enjoy other areas of your life. Because guess what?
Your blog doesn’t define your life.
So on Day 27, let’s talk about why it’s so important to take a break and how it can actually benefit your blog in a really good way.
If You Run Too Fast for Too Long, You'll Feel It
You've come across the term “burnout”, right? I thought so. I’d bet almost every blogger has suffered from it – and a lot of them write about it too. I could easily come home from work, exercise, shower, make tea and have my evening free. My blog means that can’t happen.
But I also know that if I do that every night of the week, it’ll hit me in a bad way. Until March, I'm working till about 7:30/8 two nights a week, meaning I'm doing almost 12 hour days. Could I get home and do blog work? Yep. Will I? No. Because I know I need that cut off point, or else it would start to affect my mind and body very negatively.
It’s like exercise – you don’t workout 7 days a week. You get the best results when you put rest days in between.
It’s the same with your mind.
Your mind can’t cope when it has to work all the time. Sometimes, you need to step back and allow it to switch off. Take things day by day. Come home and instead of forcing yourself to get a blog post done, just relax instead. You’ll find you’ll be motivated to do even more work tomorrow.
You Don't Want to Miss out on Life
Tom has always said to me that if it gets to the point when I say, “I can’t do X this weekend because I’ve got to do blog work” – it’s gone too far. And he’s right. My life and wellbeing comes before my blog. I don’t want to miss out on doing things because I’ve got a to-do list to keep to.
Keep your relationships at the forefront of your mind and cherish them. Arrange things with your friends, see your family often and have date nights with your other half. Plus, it might spark some blog post ideas too!
You Want Exercising to Matter
So here’s the thing. No matter how much you exercise, if you’re stressed or over-worked, it won’t make a bit of difference. What happens when you do too much work and don’t have time for anything else? Your health suffers. You stop working out and you stop cooking good, healthy meals. You just order in, thinking it won’t do you any harm – but it does if it becomes a habit.
There are far more benefits to exercising than it just coming down to our weight. For me, working out when I get home from my job gives me that release I need. Plus, it’s such an important part of your life. You need to move and be active, especially if you sit at your computer for most of the day. All movement counts – but it won’t count if you don’t take a break.
Ultimately, taking time away from your work is one of the MOST important things you can do for yourself and wellbeing.
We need regular breaks and time away if we want to keep coming up with new ideas, produce great content and perform at our full strength.
But I also believe that taking a break isn't just about resting. It’s about being active, productive and happy. Don’t spend your time indoors doing nothing. Have a long soak in the bath with some gorgeous products and a good book. Have a pampering session. Go for a walk. Go to your new local café. These are things that will let your body unwind and allow your mind to relax.
Don’t feel like you need to be doing something 24/7. Usually, you need that break to come back to something with a fresh mind, increased motivation and enhanced enthusiasm.
Take a break. It's that simple.
Schedule a day that you're going to have a break from your job, your business or your blog (or all three!)
Plan something to do, whether it's going for a long walk or having a film marathon.
Remember, if you’ve got any questions, reach out to me on Twitter at @abranchofholly or leave a comment. And if you take any pictures of your progress be sure to use the#BloggingBreakthrough hashtag!
TO GETTING A BREAKTHROUGH WITH YOUR BLOG
Remember - there's something exciting coming for the #BloggingBreakthrough challenge. It'll be launching in the second week of February & I can't wait to show you. Watch this space for more info!
Let's chat in the comments - do you need to take more breaks? What are you going to plan to do for your next one?