I’ve been a bit under the weather for the last week, recovering from an unpleasant bout of stomach flu. Now that I’m back up to 98% again, I was thinking about the value of taking a break from the intensity and stress.
One of the nice things about getting sick – if you permit me to say something might be “nice” here – is that it gave me a great excuse to let things slide a little bit. I had a great reason to blow off some the less important meetings and to reset expectations. After all, everyone has first-hand experience with being ill.
Here’s the lesson to be learned: Breaks are necessary for rejuvenation and rebuilding. I know that life seems extremely complex and stressful at the moment, with no end in sight. It feels as if there’s no room at all to let up, to get some rest, to take a break.
That’s a mirage. If you’re in this life for the long term, you need to make your decisions around having the best overall life, long term.
That’s one of the great things about having a holiday season every year, whatever you might celebrate. Many use the time as an opportunity to take a break from the intensity of work, and reconnect with family and other priorities. The result is often a new focus and energy for the coming year.
When I coach, it’s not uncommon for me to give the client my “permission” to push concerns aside for a moment. The word is used partially for its shock value, because it’s rather strange phrase to use when I have no particular authority to give permission for anything. But this also helps the client to realize that taking a break is under his or her control, a conscious choice. That creates a new sense of freedom, the possibility to move into a fresh way of thinking.
Here’s my gift to you today, even though I have no authority to do this: I give you permission to take a short break. Or better yet, just recognize that you’re already taking a break by spending a few moments reading this.
What are you going to do with the rest of this break? Perhaps have a little fun, build a little energy?