So today I had a hit of some kind of fatigue, mental fatigue, flagging morale, some kind of a hit where I just felt like I was tired of doing this work that I’ve been doing everyday.
I just wanted a break. […]
What does it mean to take a break? We all need to have some kind of break.
No matter how much we care about the work we’re doing, how meaningful it is, how much we enjoy it even, there’s just- there’s always a need to take a break and a rest.
Now, of course, the most basic pattern of rest is our daily sleep.
At the end of hard day’s work, we should get a good night’s sleep, and that is our basic break.
Have that time in the evening, we’re just relaxing before bed, and then have a nice full sleep, and that is a break that we need to keep coming back to.
And we often need to take breaks of some kind during the work day, just for our concentration.
We can’t remain concentrated on one thing for hours and hours.
We need that break to rest our mind.
Or if it’s physical labour, of course, to rest our bodies as well.
We need to stop to eat, and there’s a built-in break, as we stop to eat something.
I mean, it is sometimes possible to work right through meals, but seems like a meal makes a good natural break.
But sometimes it seems like there’s just this craving for a break from the overall pattern of work.
Even with the sleeping, the eating, all the regular pauses, just a feeling of being saturated with this work, being numb to it, like listening to the same song too many times, or trying to move the same muscle too many times. […]
And there’s just this desire for a break from the whole mentality of working.
Just completely break out of it.
I want to stop working.
I want to do something completely different all day.
So what can we do to have this break? As the old saying goes, a change is as good as a rest.
So doing anything different: that’s the first thing.
Whatever we do in the break has to be something different from this work that we need a break from.
Just going to something completely different. […]
But then the question is: what do we do with that time? And I know there’s a part of me that wants to dive into a computer game.
And for anybody who’s had any kind of addiction, that’s where the addiction calls like a beautiful song calling you.
Wouldn’t it be nice to just dive into this escape? But here’s the important point that was able to stop me, that I was able to stop myself from going into this.
Any break that we have, anything we do with this break, has to be something that can deliver us back to work in a better condition.
That’s the basic idea of going to sleep: we wake up in the morning in a stronger position.
It should be something that helps us to unwind and relax and recover our strength.
But if we do something as a break time activity that actually makes us in a worse state when we’re done, then this is a very unsuitable break activity.
This is where it becomes an unhealthy escape.
I know that going into a game like this, I will spend hours and hours, and I will be occupied and entertained, and it will be pleasant, but I will never get satisfaction.
I’ll always be looking for more.
And it takes so many hours just to get anything going, and it just sucks away all my time.
Similar thing with drugs, that it just takes away energy and concentration and mind state, provides a break, but then by the time the break’s over, I’m in a weaker position than I was when I started the break.
Seems like a good break should be some kind of combination of rest and inspiration, either letting us restore our strength or giving us some new insight, some new change in perspective, a fresh perspective.
Maybe something like watching a movie, if it’s the right movie for you at that time, that can provide that burst of inspiration and a fresh new perspective.
And yes, even playing a game can do that.
But my problem with the game is that it just takes so many hours of time away.
I’m getting some kind of inspiration, but it’s divided among all that time.
And as I delay other things, delay doing work, undone work piles up, I get behind, anxiety builds up, I become less refreshed, and have to somehow dig myself out of that hole again.
So besides the idea of good night’s sleep, dinner and a movie, maybe I’ll add going for a walk can be a wonderful break, I don’t really have full answers on what makes good breaks.
I’d be curious to hear any comments: what makes a good break from work? What is a way that we can take a break from the work we’re doing without it setting us back? Being able to pause, refresh, restore, and then return to the good work.
#needabreak #tiredofwork #escapism