Need a Break? There is No Shame in Getting One!

February 21, 2019

Around Christmas time, I repatriated to the Philippines after living overseas for 13 years.

The old part of me wanted to do a gazillion things at once – move into a new place, publish a number of articles, increase my client base, socialize, pitch my services, start a new exercise routine, go on dates…pretty much everything I envision for myself.

I couldn’t help it. I was wired that way since birth and it was only the last few years that I decide to focus on BEING MORE vs. DOING MORE

Going back home brought back old habits and old programmingwork hard, work more, do more, think hard, be less

Ten days in the country, I suffered from serious acid reflux – the type where my throat was burning up, no voice came out. For the first time in five years, I saw a conventional doctor and went on antibiotics.

Because of the lack of sleep, my immune system weakened. I then caught the flu. Imagine 5 years of being relatively healthy and not catching the flu, then one day you did and all you could do was cough and cough.

I wanted to prove I was not sick and I could get better overnight. I’d be up one day working on 30% battery and the next would be drained to being lifeless.

I decided after a few days of being on energy yo-yo to re-apply what I’ve been teaching and what I’ve learned in the last year: do less, be more

Being more, for me, meant to simply do nothing and fully charge up to 100% before doing anything.

I did pretty much nothing but binge watch on historical drama and read my favorite fiction writers Nora Robert and Sophie Kinsella.

The old me would have shamed this me who’s being “lazy” and “irresponsible”. I moved into my new place early January and I chose a pretty trendy place to live in so the cost of living is quite high. I had bills to pay – and though I had relatively good passive income, the thought of not bringing in more money was daunting…

Until I stopped criticizing myself for needing the down time, unplugging and being “irresponsible”.

I asked myself the following hard questions:

1. What is being responsible? Is it working or trying to make things work when you don’t feel okay?

My answer: Being responsible is being well – mind, body, spirit. If an aspect of me isn’t well, the only thing I needed to do was to be better. So no, it’s not okay to try to push for things when there is almost nothing to push from.

2. Is it right to take a break when everyone else is working hard? Is it okay to still be making money when I’m doing almost nothing?

My answer: I’m not sure if it’s right. But I’m pretty sure it’s not wrong.

The thing with growing up being guilted and shamed into doing things is that simply existing was considered shameful. There was so much programming to want change or be changed. And I, for one, WANT MORE from life and NOT give more to life!

3. What was I scared of?

My answer: Nothing really. I have security. And the only person I owe is myself. That self wanted rest.

When I faced my answers, I realized there was really no point in feeling bad about not feeling so great.

Feeling bad because I didn’t feel great only added more anxiety and burden to me. I decided to give myself time and work slowly into doing little by little until I’m sure my battery is 100%

After all, one can never pour from an empty cup! Never feel ashamed of wanting or needing to take care of you.

Maria Tan

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