Over the course of my twenty plus year career in college and work, I have found that taking a break from college and work has really helped my mental health. Some of you may be think why in the world would I want to slow down, not work or not go to school?
Well for someone like me who in the past has struggled with poor mental health I have found that there have been times when I was not completely focused on school or work and needed a break. Sometimes my breaks came naturally such as if I was not in school or if I was not work due to being let go or in between jobs.
We live in society that is go go go at all times when many will tell you taking a break is nothing something you want to do. I personally would not follow that advise, because it depends on you, your perspective, your life and if you are able too.
Now when you are young, meaning in college, no major responsibilities like mortgage, major bills like a car note or loans than taking a break may be naturally simpler for you. For those like myself that may not be so easy just to pick up and leave but may be necessarily under certain circumstances.
As a example in November I was laid off from my employer which in itself was a major stress due to having an apartment, a car note, bills and a family so of course I was forced to take time off. The silver lining to this time off is I had the opportunity to spend time with my family especially since at times I felt I neglected them due to working so much.
I have been working two jobs for many years close to about eight years as a full-time employee and a teacher at time sometimes four to five days a week leaving my family at home while I worked. Some may say well that’s ok because you were taking care of your family and your financially supporting them, but by working so much I grew tired, my mental health wavered at times and I honestly started treating my family poorly because I had no energy to spend time with them.
Along with always seeming to fight with life over finding work at times, hardships, really just trying to make it. Personally I wish I would have take more time when I was younger to just enjoy life, travel , spend more time with those I love like family and friends, but I always felt I have to be working all the time and not slow down not realizing at that point I was young and could slow down because I would be ok if I did.
Someone who is now forty its more difficulty to up and leave a job when you have a family, maybe if I was single and lived at home I would naturally like to spend time travel the great states or abroad and see the world. But the flip side of that is I am older, and it may be difficult to re-enter the workforce after too much time away which is a realistic possibility.
For those who can step away for a moment and just leave work, school or both for some time to unwind and do some of things you love without fear of slowing down life would you do that? Think about what you would love to do, would you like to travel, learn a hobby or just lounge around.
I think in todays world we move at such a fast pace the years melt away and I know this personally because it feels like I left college yesterday but in reality it was over seventeen years ago and I graduate high school over twenty years ago. Where did those years ago, many of them lost in working, going to school and not living the life I wanted to but lived the life many say you should be living.
Early in my career I felt the need to work work work and really, I thought I was making a difference, but in reality I was not, my companies didn’t care about me. Again, some of you may say well that is not me, my company, co-workers love me, I love my job I would never want to just walk away.
The truth is that walking away at times for you teaches you all new life lessons you can’t learn unless you experience those situations. Like leaving a job and feel that sense of dread at first like what am I going to do, how am I going to make money and then the tough questions start coming, why am I putting my self-worth in a job, I am more valuable then that.
As of today I am not working but looking after the layoff from last employer, at first I was a mess, my mind was wreaked with worries over the finances, how I would provide for my family, pay the bills. This is the first time not by choice that I was not working, so I really had to change my perspective on who I was , my worth and evaluate how I want others to view me since my attitude would be carried over into new jobs, how could I grow and change.
Taking a break changes you, if you if you don’t see it, It changes your perspective on the world and how you see yourself. If you have ever taken a break from work and school you know what it does to you.
Some may be asking what the purpose of this article was, well its about you of course, taking care of you, taking time for you and knowing your worth the time to self reflect, slow down and remember what is important.
We are all in the search of having balance in our life from work, school, family and responsibilities, and it can be overwhelming over just how much we need to worry about on a daily basis putting ourselves last. Let’s make a habit of remember ourselves because in the end we will be left with ourselves at the end of the day, might as well make the best of it.
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