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Why taking a break from working could be a necessity rather than a luxury.
If the pandemic has taught me anything, it's that resting is non-negotiable. It's not a nice-to-do that you can occasionally indulge in. Here's how to take a break even before you need to.
When was the last time you actually enjoyed [insert beverage of choice]? With a society that has normalized sacrificing mental and physical health to climb higher on the socio-economic ladder, it’s no wonder rest is a concept foreign to many.
Womxn in business often have to juggle so many different roles as entrepreneurs and in their personal lives as well, making it sometimes impossible to schedule a break in between meetings, chores, having a social life or even a consistent sleeping pattern. As a freelancer, at the end of a hectic week, I often wonder where has the time gone? After a busy weekday and a fleetingly enjoyable weekend, it always appears that I never have time to just be alone and rest. I’ve begun asking myself: to what am I giving my time?
Being busy has become somewhat of a badge of honour in our constantly changing society, where the refresh button can deliver a wealth of unsolicited information. We constantly seek distraction from the busyness that pollutes our lives with noise, through 'connecting with others on social media platforms to avoid questioning the real meaning behind the hustles we devote most of our waking hours to.
Being part of the ‘rise and grind’ culture is fast becoming a global norm for Millenials. In South Africa, side-hustle culture has grown to become a prominent feature in our economy, meaning now more than ever, more people are giving more of their time to making ends meet. While there may be a plethora of reasons why we subscribe to 'hustle culture', we do forget that we have a choice. A choice to say NO to certain projects, clients, or a chat over coffee that you really don't have time for. I know, living in a pandemic may make it seem like we don’t really have options but to take anything we are given. And for most this may be true. This culture so promoted today has made most of us impulsive decisions that leave us stretched too thin and burnt out. I invite you, if you have the privilege, to really disconnect and rest.
Re-aligning our priorities really doesn't require meditative introspection. It takes asking the right questions about where we are spending our time and allowing that level of discernment to become second nature.
For freelancers whose hustle can often define their priorities, exercising choice is essential. Take a moment to question the amount of time you have spent dedicated to your 'hustle' this week. Here are a few questions to help you realign those priorities:
What am I searching for in this task/job/gig and will I be fulfilled once I find it?
How are my fears, doubts and insecurities are holding me back from being truthful about whether my current situation serves to bring me closer to fulfilment?
How can I courageously say no to situations that do not serve my fulfilment to cultivate quality yeses?
Of course, it is understandable why people make the choices they do. However, taking time to really enjoy one’s favourite (and necessary) activities outside of the “hustle” can be a choice that we can also seek to normalize.