Yes, you need to take a break
Sometimes when working on a draft, I’ll randomly get up from the computer and lie down on my bed. While lying down on my bed, I’ll either finish a draft using my Google Docs app or I’ll just play an app.
My boyfriend gave me a gorgeous brown leather chair. It’s classy and comfortable. But after a while, I need to move around. So, I’ll walk to pick up lunch or lie down on the bed for a bit, continuing to write if I’m on deadline or completely disconnecting if not.
When I began freelancing, taking breaks was fine, because I was working part-time. If I was up late writing the night before, a quick nap in the middle of the day gave me the much-needed energy to keep going. But when I started freelancing full-time, napping was a rare treat reserved for slow work days when my coffers were full.
Lately, I’ve realized how important breaks are. I’ve slowly had to give myself permission to rest. Taking breaks, at one point, was anxiety-inducing because it felt like wasted time. It took me a minute to appreciate that my body is not a machine. My mind needs rest. My body needs rest. I have to be at my best in order for my business to function well.
I get enough sleep every day, but I get into a slump in the late afternoon. It's not just my business that's worried about this. Companies like Facebook and Google have adopted recharging rooms for employees to nap in. And apparently sleep deficiency-related costs in the U.S. were estimated to exceed $410 billion in 2015, according to Inc.
Take a nap. Go for a walk. Play a quick game on your mobile device. Read a chapter book. Call a friend, significant other or family member. Text someone you’ve been meaning to get back to and ask them how they’re doing. Sit in the park. Save for a cool vacation.
You really can’t do anything for your clients if you’re burned out. You’ll make mistakes, some of which may cause you to lose clients. You won’t be at your most creative. You can’t take care of anything or anyone else until you take care of yourself.
How do you decompress? Tell me in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.