A friend of mine posted a Facebook status recently – a revelation that a constant state of “doing” and little time for “being” left her fatigued. I’m reminded that time for “being” won’t just happen for me; I need to be mindful in carving out and protecting this time.
The past 6 months have been a season of steady “doing” for me. I took on a new full-time job with ever-expanding responsibilities. I’ve always taken my obligations seriously and am sometimes not good at recognizing when it’s time to press pause. I’ve been very task-oriented and have had little reflection or creative time.
How do you know when it’s time to let go, take a step back, and reset? There are a few signs for me:
- The things I enjoy doing start feeling like “have-tos” instead of “want-tos”
- I fall off the wagon with my workout routine (something I usually look forward to)
- I start craving more escapism such as mindless television
- I get distracted easily
The signals may be different for you. Perhaps you start to isolate or withdraw from your family or support system. Maybe your sleeping and eating habits change. Whatever the warning signs are for you, be willing to recognize them and respond.
I’ve written a lot in the past year about self-care, and it’s time for me to take my own advice. I’ve been expending a lot of energy but not doing enough to replenish it. It’s time for me to take a break. This was a hard decision for me, because I love writing.
There is so much more I want to do in order to impact mental health and wellness in the community. For now, I am letting go of something I love, in order to renew and restore my energy, and to make room for writing and other projects in the future.
So while I take a break from blogging, I hope that you readers will continue to engage in dialogue with the other writers and each other. I hope that the 30+ posts I’ve written over the last 12 months have touched, inspired and helped you in some way.
Which topics have been the most helpful to you? How are you protecting your quiet, reflective, and creative time? What are you doing to renew your energy on a consistent basis? If you need to make a significant change, what are some realistic solutions?
Elicia McIntyre, a licensed clinical social worker, and graduate of Smith College School for Social Work, has 15 years’ experience providing counseling to adults, children and families in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. She has helped clients navigate life transitions, depression, anxiety and relationship difficulties. She has spent the past 3 years traveling nationally and overseas, providing education and intervention to military service members and their families.
This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please call The Stone Foundation at 410-296-2004.