Firstly, let me just admit that life is hard, and as you grow older it gets harder. If you are not pressured from work, school, family, friends, relationships, politics, literally whatever makes you tick will eventually stress you out in one way or the other. For me, Career/professional development ticks the most in my life, and so it stresses me the most. By tick am saying; what is most important in one´s life.
Anyway, about two months ago, late March to be precise. I was almost burned out; my stress levels were so high that I couldn´t recognise myself. I was changing jobs, just launched my businesses and started this blog. So I knew where all the stress was coming from, but I had no idea how I could adequately deal with it. Because of this, I decided to just drop everything, at least for a while. I have seen what being burned out can do to people and I didn´t want to find myself on that path. So I took a break, and that is why I have been MIA.
I needed the break and didn´t know how long I would be away that is why I didn´t say anything before leaving. Well, #drumrollplease, I am officially back! And will be having a new blog post every Saturday. One thing that I heard continuously during my break was, “do you really need a break?” my response was affirmative.
Initially, I was going to take a break from social media only, because I figured that was what was taking a chunk of my time and beginning to stress me a lot. In my head, I thought that if I could invest that time into my businesses and blog, I would be good. But it wasn´t true, so eventually, I had to take a break from everything because just cutting out social media did not help with my mental health. Besides, only taking a social media break would have been far too easy for me because it would not be the first time that I take a break from social media.
In 2016 I dropped Facebook for a year, at that time it´s simply because I wasn´t where I thought I would be in my career. As I said, what makes you tick, stresses you the most. Therefore seeing all the progress that my peers were making online, especially on Facebook brought out a bad feeling in me. To be honest, I was feeling the thing called jealousy (facepalm) it´s funny to think of it now, but at that time, I would easily feel depressed every time I was on Facebook. I then decided to cut out Facebook from my life because no matter how harsh life gets, I still love me more and I needed to take out that which caused me hurt and sometimes pain.
It´s no wonder, am still not very active on Facebook today. Forgive me for all the unanswered posts sometimes and not seen tags, I will surely do better this year. Now do not get me wrong, I love Facebook, and I still use it for many things including my work and business. However, I do not spend time on Facebook catching up with friends lives; you know what I mean? The truth is, many are the times that people have been depressed due to their social media consumption and so I try to avoid that as much as I can. I believe a lot of academic research has also been conducted on the relationship between Facebook and depression. I can share information on that research if you are interested send me an email, and I will be happy to share.
I know that other people have also thought about taking a break, but maybe not sure if they really need to. If figuring out the answer to this is what you are struggling with, I have three questions for you;
- How much time do you productively spend on whatever makes you tick?
- How do you feel at the end of the day? Is it a good or bad feeling?
- How about going a day without that thing that makes you tick?
Take a few minutes to think about these questions, and if you truthfully answer them without consideration of the outcome, you will know what to do next.
In case you are wondering what I got up to while I was on a break, I will tell you, lol. In April and early May, I was home, in Zambia with my family and friends, my ultimate happy place. It was so good to just indulge in all the love, laughter, and everything else that the motherland has to offer. When I got back, I was back to work, settling into my new cool apartment and pretty much building up inspiration and motivation to do everything else.
Now I am full of energy, happy, planning my wedding or at least trying to, lol. Let´s just say I am where I need to be mentally and emotionally. Plus it´s so sunny in Sweden I love it. I am thinking of doing a type of lifestyle series, taking pictures around my city/region to show yáll some of my favourite spots here, share Swedish culture with you from my eyes and basically do this thing called life with you.
If you have made it this far, thank you so much for taking part in my random update. If you happened to just stumble upon this part, the takeaway message is this, and I quote me; “next time you feel something close to depression or burnout, without a doubt I recommend an immediate break, you deserve it.”
As always, I care about you :*