Well… a sheepish welcome back from me!
As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve had a bit of a hiatus lately. For a number of reasons, but mostly because I’ve been growing a human and as a result have vomited solidly for months. Literally months on end. Balancing the vomit, full-time work, exercise, personal relationships, my garden and a blog became unfeasible so I stepped back.
I’ve taken the last months to listen to myself because I was burning out, stressed and unhappy. And that’s not a way to live. And it certainly was doing no favours to my relationships.
Now, after the past turbulent months, I feel like I’ve finally got some balance back. Although I still have all of the above listed responsibilities, I’ve taken the time to rest and am feeling really positive about getting back into them. I have a new lease on life and am looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring.
As such, I implore you all to consider the importance of balancing your life and making time for yourself where you can. I implore you to consider the importance of your own personal hiatus whenever you need one.
Here are my tips on how to successfully take a hiatus:
- Understand why you need a hiatus: are you tired? are you stressed? do you just feel unbalanced? Get clarity on what it is that you are searching for, because it is difficult to find a thing that you don’t know you are looking for.
- Figure out what your responsibilities are. They may be work, kids, friends, exercise, volunteering, etc… List them in order of responsibility, i.e. in order of what can get by without you and what can’t. Your kids, for example, can’t really get by without you whereas, your local charity that you volunteer at may.
- Make a separate list of things that make YOU happy. Simply happy. Be it reading a book on the beach, going for a bush walk, spending time in the garden, sleeping in, cooking a meal and having a dinner party. Whatever it is, write it out.
- Compare the two above lists and look for balance. Try to balance things that make you happy with things you must do. Anything that doesn’t hit either list but takes up your time is probably going to be the thing you’re going to need to take a hiatus from.
- Understand your boundaries with your responsibilities and time. Your kids are dependant on you, so there’s not much room to move there. Perhaps you could combine them with exercise to free up some spare time – take a family hike or some chasy and climbing on equipment at the park.
- Communicate with those around you. Talk to your friends and family and let them know that you’re still here but you just need to take some time for yourself at the moment. They’ll understand and if they don’t perhaps it’s high-maintenance friendships like these that are fatiguing you? I recently had to miss a very, very close friend’s 30th because I was terribly unwell with morning sickness. My health in that case came before socialising, but I promised myself I would make it up to her. She was SO beautifully graceful and accepting about the whole thing and our friendship hasn’t suffered a bit as a result. Basically, look to where you can find time and give yourself time.
- Use your time wisely. Taking time off work to lie in bed and eat chocolate might seem like fun at the time but probably won’t make you feel great long term. Make sure every day of your hiatus is spent doing something that makes you happy (refer to the above list you made) and yet still balances your responsibilities. You want to look back and feel refreshed and proud as to how you spent your time.
- Return with vigour. There were a few months at work I kept pace but didn’t kill myself to impress my boss. But after cutting back on other things, I was able to become positive and ready to take more on. So too, with my friends. Now, when I’m with them, I’m really present. I’m really there. I’m a much better friend now than I would have been three months ago.
I see a hiatus as a time of reflection and rest. Whether it be for a day, a week or a couple of months. While it would be great to go to a retreat and meditate for three weeks, I just haven’t had that opportunity. The last months were my way of re-learning my priorities and re-balancing the things in my life that make me happy.
I feel that I can move forward with more confidence, health, happiness and compassion and THAT dear readers, is the importance of the occasional hiatus!
Tiny Change for the Day: Take time to consider whether you need a hiatus. Even if it’s for a couple of days. Nothing is more important than being kind to yourself.