Hope :: Take a Break

I will be the first to say that I struggle with taking a break.

Growing up, I went to school no matter how sick I felt because I was afraid of missing something. That continued through college where I took off a single day when I got my wisdom teeth removed. I regretting going to classes two days after getting the teeth removed, but it was too late.

As a teacher, I only took off days that I was required to miss: music conference days and festival days where I took my students to be part of special choir and band ensembles. Even on migraine days, I would just dim the lights and ask my students to be respectful and quiet.

When I worked for the first church, I continued in that same way.

When I worked for the second church, I started learning about self-care. True self-care. I finally learned: it’s okay to take time for yourself. Vacation time is a great idea. And shifting your schedule around a bit to accommodate for a migraine isn’t going to wreck anything.

I’m still a perfectionist, though. I still want to do everything and never let anyone down. I drive myself to the point where I have no energy left to take care of myself anymore.

I’m sure some of you reading this right now can relate. If you do, I want to tell you right now: you matter too.

Sometimes it’s difficult to take a break because you feel like you’re letting other people down or leaving them in the lurch.

You’re not. They might feel like it a little bit. But really, who is hurt more? Them, because you chose to take a day off? Or you, because you were too worried about everyone else to take care of yourself?

Sometimes all it takes is a day to get things back where they should be. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer.

So, seriously, take a break. Find someone to babysit the kids. Put off a night of studying. Treat yourself to your favorite dessert. Find some way to show love to yourself.

You matter.

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