Take a break to prevent yourself breaking


Do you ever feel like that?


Like a balloon deflating.

There’s a billion things to do but instead I do nothing.

Feel useless, hopeless. No cause for celebration. There’s a puncture and I’m taking myself down.

Bah. Pppffft. I am useless and hopeless.

See how these feelings run away, spiral out of control?

You are not hopeless or useless. You may be a little tired, but it’s no reason to catapult yourself towards self-assassination.

It’s hard to see the reality when the emotional storm is raging around you, inside you.

You should know by now that working flat out, running a household, exercising hard, seeing friends and family, tending to the administration of life and a couple late nights will inevitably blunt your razor-sharp vibe.

Invasive thoughts of uselessness serve us as a warning klaxon.

What you need to do is to give yourself a break.

From my own experience I know if I am up at 5.30am for a gym session then going out that same night is a no-no.

I know intense work projects mean redoubling of efforts to plan time productively.

I know if I don’t see my family for a few weeks I will suddenly be hit by a child-like need for familial love that still defies rationality.

I know if I say yes to going out when really I mean no; I’ll go, be annoyed with myself, and spend most the night silently encouraging the ground to swallow me up.

I know that putting pressure on myself to ‘do it all’ triggers frustration, self-doubt and creates a muddled paralysis where… nothing happens.

Except: oh, hello – it’s my old foes hopeless and useless! Looking not unlike the Ugly Sisters I should say (generously).

I should know by now this is what happens when I am doing too much. My husband knows it. My sister knows it. They are the ones who tell me when I’m overreacting and when I am being reasonable.

When hopeless and useless pay you a visit here’s my advice.

STOP: You’re overdoing it. You’re like a Formula One car whizzing around the tracks and wilfully ignoring the calls for a pitstop. Pull in and refuel. You’re worn-out, not worthless.

LOOK: At your priorities. Will the world end if you don’t go to those weekday drinks when you know you’ve got a big meeting the following day? Will you really contract dysentery if you don’t bleach the bathroom to within an inch of its life today?

Make adjustments by casting a critical eye over your plans. If you’re up against a tough deadline, try booking something into your diary so you can look forward. Equally, examine what can realistically be removed and provide valuable space.

LISTEN: Hear what your mind and body are saying. Then talk to people you trust. You will try to push on – that’s just the person you are: you like getting things done and don’t like letting people down – but others will tell you truthfully whether you’re being balanced or not, realistic or not, overly emotional or not.

When you’re tired, they’re most likely to be right and you wrong.

Take a break to prevent yourself breaking. You know it makes sense.

Posted by

I'm a writer, journalist and communications officer based in the South West of England. I write about wellbeing, the outdoors and life in a rural playground.

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