Caribbean Beach

Do you find it hard to take a break?

A few more hours, I’ll be leaving on a plane to my holiday destination, USA. My friends and I have this talk of going to the US for like more than 6 months and it’s finally here! This is my first time leaving Asia and I never left home for a month, so it’s going to be quite an experience.

When I tell others that I’ll be away for a month, people are like “Are you kidding? No way! I’m so envious etc.”

Their reactions are totally reasonable. Going to a holiday for such a long period is costly. Taking so much leaves from work is insane. Coming back from a long holiday with a pile of work on your desk is overwhelming.

Luckily for me, I have just resigned my job recently (see my previous posts: #1 and #2), so I’m not really concerned with the last two statements. But one thing I have learnt even before the holiday starts is to:

Give yourself permission to take a break. 

Feeling Uncomfortable to Take a Break

Last year, I was working as an accountant in the day and doing my animation assignment at night and the two weekends. By the time, I reached my Class 4 in September, I was exhausted! When my friends asks me to go to US at end April and for a month, I was in dilemma. I planned to complete my animation course in June this year and I’m unsure if I should I take a leave of absence.

I was thinking if I were to take a leave of absence, I would delay myself from finding a job and my income would be affected. It would be difficult for me to pick it up again if I took a break. I feel uncomfortable to take a break.

Who knew that working hard is easy,

but taking a break is so difficult for me.

Thankfully, the signs kept showing up to ask me to stop:

Sign #1 – My eyes are in pain

Your body can’t ask you to slow down verbally, but they can create pain to make you aware. If your body is in pain, it’s telling you something valuable. So don’t ignore them. Understand why they are in pain. In my case, I’d been sitting in front of the computer 7 days a week from 6am to 12am and it’s really bad for the eyes.

Sign #2 – Grades are dropping 

External feedback like my worsen grades are good indicators that something needs to be changed. I completed my assignment on time and I thought I have understood what I had learnt. Apparently not. I couldn’t agree more with my Class 1 mentor, Jon Collins, that you have to take proper break from animation or you would be burnout.

Sign #3 – Army reservist letter showed up at my door

When I first received the notification to go back to the army, I was feeling pretty annoyed. It disrupted my plans to complete my studies, but it eventually turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

With this reservist, I’m forced to take a break from my animation studies. I didn’t want to miss two weeks of lessons. I also don’t have the luxury of using the computer and it really gives me the opportunities to look at the sky and the trees and I’m happy to announce my eyes are not in pain anymore.

Give Yourself Permission to Be Happy

No matter what you are busy with currently, when there is a need to take a break, take it!

Give yourself permission to take a break and be happy. Don’t let your work dictate your life.