Our lives get so busy and we’re constantly on the go that we forget that some time out is actually needed and is the best thing we can do for ourselves.
Two months ago, I did the unexpected and asked my boss for leave – two months unpaid leave. Two months is a long time to go without earning a salary but I knew something had to give. I was either going to suffer being broke for a while or work myself to a mental breakdown – the former seemed more attractive than the latter.
I work about 11 to 12 hours every day, drive 120kms (Stellenbosch to Cape Town and back) in a day and on the weekend, I try to devote my time to the blog and a few social events/spending time with friends/resting/admin etc. I never get the balance right and beat myself up ALL the time. I started to feel sorry for myself and would always think “nobody really knows or cares what I’m going through”. The thing is everyone wants something from you and you don’t want to complain so even though you’re barely keeping it together, you have to put whatever little energy you have left into pretending like you’re okay when you really aren’t.
Taking two months unpaid leave was going to be tough, it is tough, but being around my family – my mum, brother and grandmother who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years has been cathartic for my soul. My time in Nigeria has not been one of pure indulgence, I don’t wake up every morning to breakfast in bed with a cup of tea, quite the contrary. I have been the one to serve my family breakfast in bed, make sure everyone is fed and the house is clean but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The joy I get from being in their presence, sharing laughs, life tips, eating together and such makes up for any chores I have to do.
I have realised that by not taking time for yourself, you become unhappy. Focus on yourself, treat yourself, because if you do not, your unhappiness will pervade your work life, family and it will have dire consequences on your relationships and social interactions.
You don’t have to take two months unpaid leave to take some time for yourself, there are other things you can do like:
- If being around your family relaxes you, take a distraction free weekend (not answering cellphone calls or work emails) and devote that time to being in the moment with your family.
- Set aside an hour every day, before or after work to do something you love that makes you feel happy to be alive. It could be dancing, reading or running – anything to make you feel grateful to be alive and that will set a positive tone for your day.
- Don’t overstretch yourself by committing to more things than you can actually handle on the weekend. There is nothing wrong with doing nothing on the weekend, not if you don’t make a habit of it.
Remember your happiness matters and if you don’t take care of yourself, no one will. Get your nails done, your hair, go shopping! Prioritise yourself, avoid unproductive time or overworking yourself. Do something that makes your heart smile because you’re worth it. 😉
Off-shoulder top: Legit
Sunglasses: Cotton On
Heels: The Fix
High waist pants: Thrift purchase