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  • Writer's pictureRachel Dubrow, LCSW

What does taking a break look like anyways?

When was the last time you had a break? If you're anything like me, I can tell you the last time I ate at a restaurant (early March 2020), the last time I had a package delivered (today), and the last time I went grocery shopping (Saturday). If you asked me the last time I had a break...well, that wouldn't be such an easy answer. When I think about how to answer that, defining it seems really hard. So does strategizing to make that happen. So, this post is dedicated to the parents, worker-bees, students and couples who need a little nudge in the right direction.

  1. Parents: Ride it out. As a parent, if you child is having a tantrum, we know that going with the flow sometimes means riding it out. We know there's that tipping point of when consoling your child isn't going to get anywhere so it's best to let the child tantrum it out and then reconvene.

  2. Worker-bees: Prepare to be (pleasantly) surprised. Clients tell me all the time about how deadlines for projects get pushed up or pushed back. They talk about grinding it out until midnight (or later) multiple nights in a row to finish a project only to come to work on that last day and be told that the client changed their minds about something. The lesson here is to try to find that silver lining. In the case above, it could mean that you now find yourself with a few days to breathe while your client works out a new plan. It also might mean that you get assigned a less intense project the next time to compensate. Better yet, a free PTO day is thrown your way.

  3. Students: Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself when you need a break. In one of the courses I teach, I decided to skip one of the week's discussions in favor of one that was much more lighthearted. Why? Because my students were working so hard that I felt like they needed a break! Going with the flow here is being able to pivot with changing expectations. It also might mean reaching out to professors to come up with a plan that would work better for you as long as the work gets done.

  4. Couples: Make space. Let's face it, relationships often need a reboot after a long winter. People start enjoying traveling, the weather, and all things spring and summer have to offer. Taking a break can mean just making space for each of you to be yourselves alone. Participate in a class or hobby. Have a scheduled time or day to walk. Whatever it takes so that you can be present and bring your best self to your relationship. Sometimes, just having that space to breathe can bring new life into a relationship - especially in light of the pandemic.

Most importantly, if you're setting a date to take a break, put it on the calendar, set a reminder, and hold yourself accountable. If that's a struggle, reach out to us and we can help get you on track.


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