Taking a Break Part 1 by Carol Harrison

At the beginning of this year, I felt physically exhausted, mentally unfocused, emotionally drained, and spiritually walking in a desert place. How could I write? I didn’t know what to write, how to edit previous pieces, or how to finish the few I’d started. Did I even want to write anymore? The negative monkey voices in my mind taunted me, trying to have me believe I shouldn’t keep writing because I wasn’t good enough.

I needed to take a break and practice some healthy self-care. I struggled with figuring out the difference between procrastinating, being lazy, and taking a needed break. I looked at definitions, thoughts others had on this subject, and reviewed for myself what they meant to me.

When I procrastinate (and I have done that many times in the past) I delay or postpone doing something that needs to be done or that I know I should work on. It implies that I never started working on it to this point and am not really sure when or if I will get around to it. Being lazy suggests not only inactivity, but apathy and an unwillingness to even work on a project. I didn’t want this time away from lots of writing to be either of those. That left taking a break which suggests that writing projects had begun and I planned to return to them after a period of time, whether a few minutes, hours, or even weeks.

I read this quote by Catherine Pulsifer. “Sometimes when we take a break, we might find solutions present themselves.” Finding the solution for how stuck I felt appealed to me. Taking a break offered a change of pace, doing other things, and resting. I could wait and see where God led next.

Instead of flitting like a butterfly from idea to idea, unable to settle on one to write about, I needed to pause, allow God’s still small voice to replace those taunting negative thoughts, and then move forward in His timing.

Have you ever felt like this? By taking some time away from writing we can gain a new perspective. A break is actually essential to having a healthy mind, able to focus on completing necessary tasks.

Taking a break means you’ll return to the task of writing afterwards. It provides an opportunity to rest, to recharge, to be refreshed, to clear the cobwebs from you mind, and allows you to reassess and prioritize those ideas running through your mind.

It’s easy to bandy the words, take a break, about but what should it look like? I believe those breaks are as unique as each one of us. What refreshes you may look different than what I need. But there are several things that we all need. One is taking that quiet time with God, spending time in the Bible so we hear God’s voice and see where He is leading. Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. “The only way to combat the desert-like feeling I had was to fill myself with God’s words and worship music too.

Taking a break doesn’t mean inactivity. There are productive and practical things to do during this time off from writing that will help in our self-care and our writing as well. In the next blog post, I want to look at some of those ideas.

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