why "me" days are key to avoiding burnout

originally published on the Wear Your Label community blog

we’re all familiar with the concept of stress. the concept of a million responsibilities piling on, one by one, until you feel like you can’t breathe. it’s a constant gogogo and life is moving by too fast and you can’t breathe and you can’t stop because if you stop everything will come crashing down at once.

and the adrenaline fuels you, sure, but it’s also a source of anxiety. you feel unsettled, unnerved, on edge. sometimes you actually can’t breathe, or you feel like you’re going to throw up, or both.

maybe you don’t sleep enough. maybe you sleep too much.maybe you’re shutting yourself away from your friends. maybe you’re constantly saying things you normally wouldn’t say to them because your mental filter is eroded by stress.

whatever it is, it’s life telling you to stop and slow down. if you’ve ever wished life could just pause for a second, for a minute, for an hour, for a day, so you can just breathe, this is life telling you that you need to do that yourself.

life may stop for no one, but you can control what you make of your life.

society tells us that no, to be constantly on-the-go is a sign of ambition, of success, of drive. anything else is laziness. if you’re Type A like me, you tell yourself that being on the go is who you are. and it is; you get a kick out of having a packed schedule, but sometimes you need to take time for yourself.

it’s not lazy to take a “me” day. it’s not selfish. it’s not weak, or useless, or a waste of time, or anything else you or anyone else may tell you.

a “me” day, or a mental health day, is the same concept as taking a rest day in fitness. you give yourself time to recover so you can come back stronger and better. it’s essential to improving and staying healthy.

so shut off your phone.

it’s ok to ignore any and all texts, emails, and social media notifications. it’s ok to lay in bed all day and stare at the ceiling. it’s ok to go for a walk, to breathe in the fresh air and think all the thoughts that you never have time to really think deeply about. it’s ok to go to that yoga class you’ve always wanted to try but never have time for. it’s ok to work through your to do list and all those little but necessary things like laundry, clipping your nails, grocery shopping, paying bills, picking up packages, returning library books, etc. it’s ok to just do you, to do whatever you need to do, whatever that may be.

the world may not stop for you, but on that day, in that moment, you create a safe haven of peace for yourself. the texts, emails, and responsibilities won’t go away, but you don’t need to deal with them now. close your planner; stop planning for the future. close your eyes and breathe. breathe. breathe.

it’s not selfish to take a me day. it’s not selfish to take care of yourself.

you’ll find that afterward, you come back more motivated, ready to take on the world again.