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Are you the person who puts others’ needs in front of your own? Do you wear yourself down so much that you feel you can’t handle any more, but you don’t think you deserve a break? Well, this post is for you.
I wrote most of this in response to a heartfelt comment on the post about self-invalidation. She brought up a good point—what are you supposed to do when you don’t feel you deserve a break? I’d like to say it’s as simple as just doing it, but that’d be a lie. It takes a big mindset shift and willingly showing vulnerability to those you’re trying to not let down.
Rest is Essential
Zero people on earth can go-go-go forever without taking a break. None. It’s just not possible. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture! You absolutely HAVE to rest to perform at your best.
If you’re always running ragged, at some point you won’t be able to keep going. Then you’ll really be in trouble!
Think about how you feel after a fantastic night’s sleep. You’re refreshed, your mind is clear, and you’re ready to take on the challenges of the day.
None of that happens if you stay up late, get up early, burning the candle at both ends to meet someone else’s needs.
Rest is essential. Scientists know that sleep and recovery is part of becoming better—it’s not just part of getting through life.
Have you heard this saying?
I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
If you believe this… You might deserve a break.
No One is Perfect
The only perfect person in the world was Jesus Christ, and even he needed sleep, rest, and recovery. He took breaks from the press of the crowds to pray, sometimes even leaving his disciples behind so he could be alone.
You are not perfect. You can’t expect that you’ll meet every need, never make mistakes, and always be on top of things.
If anyone deserves a break, it’s you when you’re so overwhelmed you just want to burst into tears.
Most people will understand when you tell them you need to take a break. Everyone’s been at the point where they just can’t handle any additional tasks or responsibilities.
Learn how to say “no.” It’s a complete sentence, and people will respect you more if you say “no” to the things you truly can’t handle to take care of yourself and handle everything else better later.[mailerlite_form form_id=7]
Avoiding Overwhelm & Burnout
Overwhelm and burnout are two different things according to Brooke Castillo. Overwhelm comes from too much thinking about what’s going on, and burnout happens when you work too much on things that don’t excite you and you get to the point you want to give up.
You need to learn to manage around both of them—by avoiding them in the first place!
Some people stack their plates high with responsibilities they enjoy—it empowers them, energizes them! Those people don’t get burnt out.
Similarly, if avoiding overwhelm is as simple as not thinking too much about what’s going on, then you’ve got it made! Just kidding. Overthinking and overwhelm are difficult to avoid. But there are ways to deal with overwhelm.
The simplest is to just do something. Do something different. Set your plate down and claim a weekend to decompress and recharge. Talk to the people you love, the people who you’re trying to help with all the things you’ve picked up and tell them where you’re at.
You deserve a break. If they really love you, they’ll understand and even help you take that break.
The term “obliger” comes from Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies framework. It’s based on how people respond to expectations. The four tendencies are obliger, upholder, questioner, and rebel.
- Obligers meet outer expectations and resist inner expectations.
- Upholders meet both inner and outer expectations.
- Questioners meet inner expectations but resist outer expectations.
- Rebels resist both inner and outer expectations.
Obliger rebellion happens when an obliger just can’t handle the outer expectations anymore. All it takes is one more thing on the plate and they rebel, sometimes catastrophically.
At its core, obliger rebellion is a safety mechanism to protect an obliger from increasingly high expectations—expectations they don’t feel they can meet.
For obligers at the point of obliger rebellion, they definitely deserve a break—and if they tip over into the rebellion, they’re taking that break whether anyone likes it.
You Deserve a Break—So Take One
Seriously, if you’re on the edge of overwhelm and burnout, and maybe obliger rebellion, please take a break. You deserve it now more than you ever have before.
This is basic self-care and self-love.
You cannot take care of others or meet others’ expectations without first taking care of yourself. It just ain’t gonna happen. You’ll eventually circle the drain and fall in, risking your mental health at the same time.
So please, take a break.