The Counterintuitive Idea of Taking a Break From the Things You Love

Hello, all!

It’s Spring Break here in Texas and unlike the majority of Spring Breakers packing their bags for a week of debauchery and sunburns, I’m lounging in my PJ’s and preparing for a week of working with PMS-y teens, lots of dirt, and hours of swimming at camp.

I don’t know about you but spring time always infects me with MAJOR spring fever. Although this restlessness was significantly worse when I lived in the northern states – with the snow melting and nature blooming – that antsy feeling always seems to creep in around Spring Break time.

Like most folks, spring makes me want to do everything! I want to clean. I want to take on new hobbies. I want to fill up my free time doing all of my favorite things. This has sparked about 5,000 conversations between my boyfriend and I about our hopes, our goals, and our new endeavors we want to take on as the season changes.

Until one day, he suggested the completely ludicrous idea of taking a break from the things we love. 

I was totally thrown for a loop.

Here we were, talking for weeks about all of these things we loved to do and wanted to try and he was suggesting we take a break from them?

Naturally, I realized he was right after I thought about this idea a little further. (Don’t you hate it when your SO is right all the time?) But seriously, taking breaks from our passions and the things we love can be SO GOOD!

Let me share with you a few reasons why:

The Counterintuitive Idea of Taking a Break From the Things You Love

You can gain some clarity.

Taking a break from your callings can help you to get a clearer perspective on your goals and how you want to continue pursuing them. For me, an example of this is my blog – taking some time away from posting allows me the space to identify what want to get out of writing and where I’m trying to get to.

More specifically, it can challenge you to consider what your definition of success is. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – am I successful when I start posting every week? Or when I reach a certain number of followers? Or when I start promoting?

The most important thing to consider with this is what YOUR definition of success is. Like I’ve preached in almost all of my posts, everyone’s definition is going to vary, so make sure this one is about you!

New ideas and inspiration will come to you.

Not only will time away from your #things give you clarity, it will also bring new ideas and inspiration. If you’re into writing, a new plot development could find its way into your mind. Or if you’re into fitness, you could find yourself inspired by a different kind of workout that you hadn’t considered before.

These new ideas and bursts of inspiration will allow your passions to develop and transform into something they couldn’t have without taking a step back.

A break can help you to fall back in love with what you do.

Just as taking space can bring your clarity and novel inspiration, it can also help you to remember why you started and what you love about it. I saw this most clearly when I took a couple weeks off from bouldering and rock climbing. I eventually reached a point where I was SO excited to get back on the wall that I was literally bursting with joy when I laced up my shoes again.

This is an especially important reason to consider taking a break from your hobbies if you’ve been finding it challenging to do your thing. Instead of forcing it, take a break or focus on something else for awhile – you might find yourself itching with excitement to get back into it again.

It’s healthy.

The simplest and perhaps most important reason to take a break is that it’s good for you. If you’re into fitness, your body more than likely could use a little rest. If you’re into art, your hands could probably use a break from gripping those brushes and utensils. And whatever else you’re into, your mind could use a break from intense focus and stimulation.

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So if you’re not jet-setting off to a dream vacation this Spring Break, consider a staycation and taking a break from your hobbies and passions. Get in some R&R and heck, why not engage in some self-care?

Take care of yourselves and give yourself a break when you need it.

You’ll thank me later.

XO, Lain

Why I’m De-Cluttering My Closet, Deleting Facebook, and Drinking Green Smoothies

Hellooooo, internet world!

I’ve been off the map for a few days for a number of reasons. I’ll list them in the order of most to least boring:

  1. Believe it or not, grad school takes up a lot of my free time.
  2. I found out I have gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Weren’t expecting that one, were ya?

Long story short, I’ve been hella busy with school and my stomach has decided to throw a temper tantrum every time I eat something. Jokes aside, it got to a point where I literally couldn’t eat anything and I became so fatigued that I didn’t do much more than drag myself to class and sleep. However, my boyfriend finally forced me to go to the doctor – and thank goodness he did because now I have a variety of stomach meds to take for a few weeks and a lighter dietary plan with foods that my stomach can tolerate. (Also big shout of to my doc! She was super nice, answered my endless list of questions, and commiserated with me about how much it sucks that I can’t eat sriracha and chocolate anymore).

So what the hell does my TMI stomach issues have to do with this post?

I’m so glad you asked.

The other day, I was sitting on the bus on my way to class and for the first time, I wasn’t reading or scrolling on my phone. I was just sitting, looking out the window, and people watching the other bus-goers, when I had a moment of clarity – like one 32a7752596e098da3bd2aaeeb617ae77of those ones you see in the movies – where I recognized that I was so overwhelmed with how content I felt. It had been so long since I let myself sit without my eyes being glued to something, in no hurry, just soaking in the moment. It was liberating.

This got me thinking more about minimalism, a topic that sparked my interest towards the end of last year. Coincidentally (or maybe not so much), one of my goals for 2017 was to turn all of my hangers around in my closet to see which clothes I actually wear in a month. Have I done that yet? Nope. My closet is still overstocked with clothes that I say I’ll wear eventually but never do.

And all of THAT got me thinking about social media and how we’re always plugged in and how our feeds are so clogged and cluttered with everyone else’s bullshit and I began wondering: Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we buy so many trendy clothes that we know we’re not going to wear in 2 months because by then they’ll be out of style? Why do we scroll through feeds of posts from people who are our ‘friends’ online but we don’t sustain a connection with outside of the digital realm? Why do we always need stimulation and want more, more, more? I could go down the rabbit hole trying to answer any of these questions but I’ll leave that to the minimalist experts over at TheMinimalists.com (seriously, check them out, they have a great podcast and a very informative documentary on Netflix).

Now, I’d be lying if I said I’m going to delete all of my apps, throw out all of my stuff, move into a tiny house, and live life with the bare necessities.

I’m a baby steps kinda’ girl.

decluttering

I started with deleting Facebook. Lately, my feed has been feeling like Austin traffic at 5pm on I-35: frustratingly clogged, usually purposeless, with lots of angry people who don’t give a shit about anyone around them. (If you do choose to delete FB, remember to unlink all of your other apps from it first! I figured that out the hard way).

And I’m not trying to say that there’s anything wrong with wanting to keep your Facebook. Like I’ve mantra’ed in most of my posts, making lifestyle changes are all about YOU. Maybe you’re more into the idea of a week-long social media cleanse. Or combing through your email subscriptions to de-clutter your inbox. There are endless ways to revitalize your feeds!

Next, I tackled my closet and turned all of my hangers the opposite way. In one month, I’m going to see what I actually wore by seeing which hangers are turned back around and donate the rest. From what I’ve read, there’s some awesome benefits to de-cluttering your wardrobe: you eliminate stress, save time from having less to choose from, and become a more conscious consumer. Nice, right?

And as I mentioned earlier, I’m ‘de-cluttering’ my diet. This one isn’t really by choice but deciding to spread this theme to other parts of my life has made it easier to digest (ha, food puns)! Adopting a conscious, healthful diet has so many benefits I can’t even begin to list them here – don’t believe me? Read this.

Again, don’t feel compelled to make a drastic change and commit to a vegan lifestyle or go on a crash diet. You could try a Whole30 challenge or opt for a smoothie instead of chips as a snack. Remember, it’s all about YOU and what works for you and the lifestyle you want to lead. Feel free to peruse my food board if you’re looking for some foodspiration!

I know this is a long-winded post but if you made it this far, thanks for reading! Stay healthy, stay mindful, and stay positive, friends.

XO, Lain

Have you tried ascribing to the minimalist lifestyle? How do you like to de-clutter your life?