When Self-Care Means Taking a Break

You may have noticed that this space has been quiet for a while, and I didn’t do that because I was too busy or off creating content – I gave myself a break from this blog intentionally, to provide myself with the self-care that I was missing in my life. When self-care means taking a break from something, people sometimes get the idea that you’ve given up. Stepping back from something in your life doesn’t mean you’re giving up, it means you’re taking some time to perceive the value it adds to your life.

For instance, I spent much time writing blog posts and saving them, but never pressing publish. I would get blog post ideas and keep them saved in my phone for a rainy day. I would take pictures for blog posts and social media, but would never finish editing them.

As time went on, I realised two things:

  1. This blog, for whatever reason, had no longer become a priority in my life.
  2. The need for perfection was holding me back from sharing on the blog, which added to my anxiety.

I’m known to stop and start a lot of things. I’m impulsive and can get really excited about an idea that I fall in love with, but then due to lack of time, effort, or it not feeling perfect, I stop pursuing it. I tell myself that I’ll get back to it and once it’s PERFECT then I will press PUBLISH!… but that moment never seems to come. Instead, all of these unfinished projects added to my anxiety and I simply froze.

Not accomplishing things perfectly was better than accomplishing things poorly, at least in my mind.

I also noticed that although I toyed with the idea of shutting this blog down, it never really felt right to me. These were my words, my thoughts, my processes – sometimes I read old posts like a journal or a time capsule, and am taken back to different moments of my life. It feels nice to look back on the past, see where I’ve grown and how much has changed in my world. So when I stared some truth in the face and told myself, this is no longer a priority, let’s shut it down instead of continuing to allow it to take up precious mind space – I fought it.
At first, I fought it quietly. Noticing the drop in visitors, but still continuing to pay for monthly hosting plans, I fought it. I talked to so many friends, mostly bloggers, who all had their own bits of advice that I fully embraced. I wasn’t prioritizing this blog because I didn’t want to prioritize the anxiety that came along with it, and so, instead of shutting down for good (an option that I was sure to regret!) I stepped back. No announcement. No sad blog post.

I quietly stepped back from this blog, allowing myself to feel all the feels – no pressure, no anxiety, no time limit. And then I went onto the task of taking care of myself.

I had anticipated that this summer would be absolutely crazy with work, yet I hadn’t quite comprehended how much it would weigh both my husband and I down. We went to task to add exercise to our lives, limit alcohol and eat well (and at home!), and try to schedule as much as we can, to at least provide our kids with some sense of normalcy in our insane lives.

All of this so-called “self care” has been helping us function and find some joy in our lives once again. And stepping away from the blogging world has helped me regain focus and some balance in my life.

Sometimes self-care means you need to step back from things when they aren’t working. Stepping back will provide you with the hindsight you need to find the direction you’re willing and able to go towards. I think I’ve found my direction, and I’m happy to be back here blogging!

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