Somehow we're another month further through the year, and I'm really not sure where the time went. Life's a bit funny like that, no? We get so busy doing a million and one things that time feels like it's just flown by in a haze of to-do lists and menial tasks. So seeing as it's now officially summer, I thought I'd write you a little post that encourages you to give yourself a break. Let yourself properly enjoy the time of year and how much more great stuff you can do when the sun shines for that little bit longer each day. For you, it might be taking a break from being super-healthy, going to the gym religiously or a time-consuming hobby. Maybe it's keeping your blog on schedule, like me. Treat them all the same. It's that thing you love doing, but the one that sometimes keeps you awake a little later at night than you'd choose.
For me, blogging has taken the hit. You may have noticed that I've been a little unpredictable with posting to you lately, and I'm really sorry if you've missed me. But see, life just got really busy. I went back to work, started travelling around again, threw myself back into going to the gym and made a big effort to catch up with friends. And there just wasn't time to do everything. So I decided I'd give myself a couple of weeks off from blogging and focus on other aspects of my life, the ones that occasionally end up getting a bit neglected when I'm always thinking ahead to my next post.
And you know what? It felt great. The world hasn't ended, you're all still here supporting me and I feel like I'm ready to come back and give you better-than-ever content. So here's what I've learned about why you should consider giving yourself a mental holiday.
1. You'll feel refreshed
Sometimes it all just gets a bit too much, doesn't it? When you're trying to stick to a schedule and constantly berating yourself for not achieving quite as much as you could, the thing you love doing for YOU can become a bit of a millstone hanging around your neck. And that isn't the point, is it? In one way or another, you do this thing to feel good. There's absolutely no shame in taking a step back every now and then and waiting until you feel energised enough to take it on again.
2. You'll have a million ideas when you're ready to come back
I cannot tell you how many fantastic ideas I've managed to come up with over the past few weeks without the pressure of actually writing the darn things up hanging over me. Creatively speaking, giving your mind time to be 'free' and do its thing without stress hanging over you is amazing. You realise there were so many great ideas just hiding away and waiting for the right moment to appear.
If your focus is on fitness, being a couch potato for a bit can be a great way to remind yourself that there are other things you could try rather than just sweating it out on the treadmill. You could try spinning, swimming or even, heaven help you, Insanity. It's always a good idea to mix things up and keep it feeling fresh, and it means you'll be less likely to get bored and have a massive brain fart in approximately two weeks time.
3. It's good to miss something
I blog because I love it. I'm not in it to try and get rich or famous, I do it because it's fun. And it's the same with the gym and trying not to eat ALL the cake in one go; I do that because it makes me feel like a better version of me. I don't care about being skinny, and I'm not trying to be an Olympian here. I just love how much more energy I have when I make a little effort to go and get my sweat on a couple of times a week, and how much happier I feel in myself.
If you do something all the time and never give yourself a break or time to step back, you can forget why it is you bother to do it. What used to be enjoyable becomes another thing to tick off a to-do list longer than War & Peace. So next time you find it's wearing you down, treat yo' self and have a holiday from what you love. Get ready to miss it and be chomping at the bit to throw yourself right back in there.
4. You can focus on other areas of your life
These things we love to do inevitably take up a lot of our time, and seeing as the science world is slacking off and hasn't invented a time machine yet the awful truth is this: something's gotta give. Personally I find that I end up sacrificing 'me time' (no, I can't believe I just said that either), or spending quality time with my friends and boyfriend. I'm lucky that they understand that and give me time to do my thing. But every so often, girl gotta readjust her priorities.
Have a break and make time to do the things you really want to do but normally don't let yourself. A well-rounded person is a happy person. Sounds like guff, but it's completely true, so go out with your friends, have a mini-break or a date night, or even just have an entire day wallowing in your duvet watching chick-flicks with a big pizza. It's all about balance.
5. Take ALL the photos
If you're a blogger then you'll understand that this is basically your 'get out of jail free' card. A stack of photos that'll see out your blog posts for the next couple of months is an excuse to do pretty much anything you want. And let's be honest, how much more fun is it taking random photos of all the great stuff you've done than always slaving over product photos and planning for that half-an-hour slot when the lighting won't make them look like utter crap? Yeah.
Even if your thing isn't blogging, these photos are your memories. They're the thing that you can look back on in 20 years time that remind you how great your life has been and how much fun you've had. And I don't just mean pimping your Insta. Take photos of EVERYTHING, especially the stuff you deem unworthy of clogging up your perfect social media feed. My favourite photos of me and my friends or my boyfriend are almost without exception the ones where I look like an utter, idiotic mess. You know why? Because it's obvious how happy I am, and reminds me how much of a ruddy great time we had.
If I'm totally honest with you, I wish I wasn't the kind of person who needed to have breaks. Some folk seem like they can constantly go at breakneck speed and never get flustered, never drop a ball. I have so much admiration for these people who, excuse my French, have their shit waaaay more together than I ever will. But I have to remind myself that there's no shame in not being like that. You are who you are, and what works for other people won't always be what works for you. To go all Glee on you, you've gotta be your number one cheerleader in life, because nobody else can do it quite as well as you.
I just did a little sick in my mouth.
And, God's honest truth, my blog is still getting pretty much the same number of page views. You're still here supporting me, and I love you for that. The world didn't end when I temporarily stopped shouting out into the void. So make sure you keep some perspective. There are plenty of things in life worth stressing over and getting wound up about, but hobbies and labours of love are not the one.
Please, please leave me a comment below and let me know I'm not the only one, huh? Loves xx