A Necessary Holiday

Published in Career / Personal / Wellbeing / Mental Health - 3 mins to read

This week I took Monday through Wednesday off work, not because I had anything in particular to do, but because I hadn’t taken any holiday since starting my new job on January 18th. Admittedly before then I was basically on a 2 month career break, but still, almost 6 months of work with no days off seems unlikely to be healthy. I don’t especially want to take the days off - I was pretty absorbed in what I’m working on, felt like I had a lot of momentum and wanted to maintain that going into the end of Q2. But I’m trying to be a sensible grown up adult person who makes good decisions for their mental health, so holiday it was.

And I needed it a lot more than I thought. I asked a tonne of people for suggestions with what to do with my time off, planning on checking out London’s plethora of tourist attractions on a weekday when I hoped they wouldn’t be so busy, and I haven’t done anything anybody suggested to me. In fact, I’ve mostly done nothing - I’ve read a book and a half while lying in the sun, eaten out for almost every meal, and spent a lot of time watching Netflix in bed, so much so I did briefly have to seriously ask myself yesterday if I as depressed again and wasn’t admitting it to myself. Fortunately, I don’t think I am, I’m just tired, having spread myself very thin since arriving in the big city. While floating gives me some time and space to think, it’s still only for an hour at a time, and isn’t quite the same as enjoying five relatively responsibility-free in which to really ponder where I’m at, what I want, what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next. None of these questions necessarily have good answers, but some things are obvious - I need to focus on sleeping better, and making time to cook for myself in the evenings. Other things, for example dating apps, can take a back seat for a while.

As always, the trick will be to go back to work and not immediately fall back into previous rhythms and instead keep focus on the basics. The time off has been great, I feel more and more like a solar powered human being these days so I’ve loved being able to work on my tan, and realised quite how much I’d missed reading, but equally I am keen to get back to work already, perhaps a sign that where I work is a good place to be, but also of how important structure in my routine is. I’m definitely not planning on leaving it this long without taking a break again, especially as I’ve now had my first vaccine, and live music will hopefully be a thing again soon, but these few days have been really great, and they’re not over yet.