Today, I’d like to talk about the little hiatus I took in August, and how that did so much good for me. Now, I know, for the past few years, I’ve been on and off hiatuses for much longer periods, but that was because I was at a job that was stressful and many of my days there were simply unbearable. I couldn’t even concentrate on what I was writing, because I’d be so exhausted and depressed. Even my body reacted to it, and its cycle and routines were disturbed.
However, now that I’m out of that job, everything has found its equilibrium again. So, I shouldn’t have had to have that hiatus last month, right? Wrong. You see, what with the current situation, and the stress from a personal scare, and the stress of job hunting, I have had to calm back down again, recentre myself and let my energies return to normal. That’s why, I had to take that month-long break.
What Led Up To It?
Aright, so here’s my backstory. Sit down, buckle up, because it’s going to be a rough ride…well, ok maybe not that rough, compared to others, but it’s a bit bumpy. So, it started back in March. The news that COVID-19 hit the UK came out, and business at my job, at the time, was slowing down, to the point where there wasn’t much left for me to do but to sort out some old files and records that needed throwing away.
Around the last week or so, I was made redundant, before the whole furlough scheme started and the lockdown began. Naturally, I was devastated. I had just started the job in February, and I thought I’d be there for at least a year, before I started looking for another workplace, but apparently, things weren’t meant to be. So, I’m now unemployed, and living off the government, trying to find a job, and trying to set up the shop here on Feather’s Charm.
Let’s move along, to June, since things weren’t going anywhere fast, in April and May, and I was starting to get the hang of working on all my projects as a full-time thing…despite the fact that I had no income from it. June started out to be a good month, then sometime in the middle of it, my family had a scare, when my dad collapsed twice. We weren’t quite sure what caused it, and he seemed to be at death’s door, when he collapsed the second time, so we had a tense week, of waiting and wondering what happened to him. Turns out, it was an acute ulcer, thanks to all the lemon water he was drinking (it was a lot!).
So, the rest of that month, and July was spent watching my dad and making sure he wasn’t eating anything he wasn’t supposed to (he's fine now!). Add to that the fact that I was getting pressured to find a job, both by my work coach, from the government, and my parents, so the stress was starting to pile up. It was a hard month for me, because the pressure added to my own worry and anxiety, so I couldn’t do much. Not only that, no matter how many jobs I’d applied to, I didn’t get an answer from anyone, and the only time I managed to get an interview, it was unsuccessful, because they’d found someone more experienced!
Time To Take A Break
Enter me into a spiral of depression. Now, I knew I was getting into that state, because I’d been in it before. My worries were playing on my mind, and it wasn’t going to stop. Even writing for this blog was becoming a chore, because I wasn’t in the right state, or frame of mind to continue. I needed a break, if I was going to get over this emotional hurdle, and that’s when it began.
In the first week of August, I thought I would be able to get over it, since it was the summer, and the summer always reinvigorates me, but then the heatwave struck, and I was cranky. I was lazy. I didn’t have any energy whatsoever, and I knew it was partly due to my anxiety and depression. So, I put everything down, and stopped.
I told all my filmmaker friends that I wasn’t going to do any work in August, and that if I did, it would be very minimal. I had a communications blackout with pretty much everyone but my family, with whom I lived with, and I just spent the better part of the month, playing games on my phone, reading comics, cross stitching and lying in bed all day. You could say I took a very hard break, because I did absolutely nothing, I didn’t even work out, because I was so lazy.
But How Did You Get Back?
Now, here comes the hard part: getting out and doing some work. You’d think it would be easy to pick things back up again, because you’d feel fidgety and ready to get back on your feet, right? Well, after a month of not doing anything, you do start getting yourself into a routine of not doing anything, and that’s where the difficulty lies. Because you have that new routine, you won’t want to leave it.
I was afraid that once September came about, I wouldn’t want to open up my laptop and get back to work. I was afraid that I’d spend another month just idling away because I got comfortable. I was afraid that I’d make up another excuse to prolong that break and lose all the progress I’d made over the last 7 months, but something did bring me back, and with it, restored my energy.
Yes, I was afraid that I’d remain idle, but it is exactly that fear that brought me back. I wasn’t itching to get back to my projects, purely because I wanted to. In fact, I sometimes loathe the fact that I decided to even start up this blog in the first place, but I knew that without something like this, I’d be rather dull. Of course, I’d also be so anxious about my current situation, that I’d probably start having panic attacks every few minutes.
So, I picked myself back up, and forced myself to do the things I normally did, before August. I opened up my laptop and began writing again. I picked up my pens and my brushes, and began trying my hand at art, and creating my spreads for my bullet journal. I did all the things I told myself I would do, and it worked. My energy was back, and so with it, my motivation. I finished all my unfinished posts and documents, I managed to redo some of the chapters of my novel and progress at a pace that made feel like I was flying.
Aren’t You Going To Burn Out?
That’s the question I ask myself, every day. Whenever I start a new day, I ask myself, “is this the day when I burn out?”, or “will this be another August?” and when I do, I tell myself, “no, get something done, get at least one of your tasks done”, and once I do, I pick myself up and get started. Sometimes, I’m lazier than I would like, thanks to all my games, and habits, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get anything done. In fact, as soon as I sit down at my desk, and write, I am back in the zone.
The distractions on my phone are forgotten. The words begin to flow, like there’s no tomorrow, and I’m already caught in my own web of projects, I don’t have time to be distracted anymore. Of course, the lingering doubt is still there, but I use it to bolster me. I use it as a crutch to lean on, when I feel like I’m flagging or I’m starting to fall behind. It’s not so much a doubt or a worry, but the catalyst to get me into action.
Every time that thought hits me, I go back to the goals I’d set myself for the year and tell myself if I want to get them done, I have to get back to work. So, I do. I go back to my writing. I go back to my self-study and I improve myself, and sure enough, little by little, day by day, I am. Because with every minute spent on this blog, with every hour I actively study, I am improving my bank of knowledge and my skills as a writer, as a filmmaker, and as a person in general.
So, What’s The Lesson?
The lesson? I guess it’s to know when to stop everything and let the energy around you settle, before you continue working on what you’re working on. It’s to let all the past stresses of your life settle. I don’t mean run away from them, I’m saying let go of the anxiety and worry that overcome you , so that you can face it again, with a clear mind and a calm head.
So, when your emotions start to cloud your judgement, take a break, because one way or another, you’ll be able to go back and face whatever it is, head on.
Well, that’s it from me today, I’ll see you guys next time. For now, don’t forget to like, subscribe and follow for more updates and the latest posts here on Feather’s Charm and on my social media accounts. Oh, and share these posts with family and friends, those who you’d think might enjoy these topics and tips! I’ll see you later!