This weekend I hit a little point of burnout. I was feeling tense, tired and snapping at everyone. I hadn’t had the best night’s sleep the night before and I had been giving a lot. I finally just laid down on my bed exhausted and staring blankly at the wall. Luckily, after years of practicing at my career as a mother I knew what I needed to do. I needed a break. And soon. So, I told my husband and – bless his kind heart – he immediately kicked into gear. He took the kids and the new puppy for a little outing and left me to recuperate in peace. I fixed myself a healthy lunch, took a nap and took a warm bath. By the time he came home I was feeling ready to face the rest of the weekend.
Now what you do for your breaks may be different than me. But I feel that everyone needs breaks. Especially, if you run most of the day in high gear. Indeed, I feel that women who take breaks are kinder, more effective mothers than those who do not. This goes across the board for working moms as well.
As a younger mom, I always napped. I scheduled time for myself to rest. My children ran me thin and I needed time to recuperate. And the breaks that I took were naps. I remained close to my children who either napped or had quiet time. The naps were usually not long – 30 minutes or so but I woke up feeling refreshed. I also alternated running every other morning – my husband ran on my off days. Usually I ran for only about twenty minutes but it was enough to get my engine kicked into gear. And eventually, one evening a week on the advice of two bishops I started taking an evening off. It felt selfish at first but when you are constantly doing service in your home you need a chance to do your own thing. Would an employer deny an employee breaks? So, why do we women feel so guilty about doing it ourselves.
Now, my life looks a little different. My day is basically like a hurricane with a quiet eye in the middle. I am very busy in the mornings and also after my children come home from school. And I am learning not to clutter the middle of my day too much. I do the basic housework, prepare dinner, and then I also take time for things I enjoy – I write, I read, I talk on the phone, sometimes I still even take a nap. These are things I enjoy.
What rejuvenates you? It may be exercise. It may be a healthy snack. It may be music or napping or hobbies or even a lunch with friends. Figure it out and take some time for it. You’ll be glad that you did.