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  • Daniel Pedley

Did You Miss Me?

Why taking a break is neither lazy nor unproductive.



Sometimes what you need is a slice of perspective.


Anecdotal evidence - What have I been doing?

For those who regularly have followed my numerous blog posts over the last year or so, you will have noticed that my posts have, at least more recently been sporadic at best. That is, I seem to have been crap at being consistent enough to post more often and offer any insight that I may have. However, whilst to you, the reader, I am guilty of the heinous crime of keeping my various musings about how to improve one's outlook or to work on oneself a secret, from my perspective, I have just been taking a bit of a break. "A bit?" you might ask, since I've been about as active as a sloth on a bottle of sleeping tablets. The reality of course, is that I have been taking several breaks for good reason, and having done so I have come to realise that it's worth sharing the benefits of breaks with you and explaining why it can sometimes be beneficial to put on the brakes, slow down, or indeed just tell everything to bugger off for a while.


Now, for those that do not speak to me on a regular basis, you will not know that I have been doing a fair share of travelling, going on holiday in December and starting the year afresh in January, planning out new ways to help clients and to connect with people in order to guide them on their journey of helping themselves. Somewhat unfortunately, I was hit with some family circumstances and personal dramas which did remind me a bit of the car being beaten with a stick in that particular episode of Fawlty Towers in which John Cleese as Basil Fawlty so infamously yells "I'm going to give you a damn good thrashing". In that particular scene, the stick is about as useful at relieving his stress as a kettle is at winning a 100m sprint. Hence, instead of funnelling my frustrations in an unhealthy manner, I decided to abscond for a bit, and spend some time 'taking a break' which includes but was not limited to ignoring writing blog posts, focusing on spending time with family, planning new holidays, exploring and understanding my more complex feelings and stresses, and trying a change of routine.



Taking breaks is vital to prevent burnout and stop feeling overwhelmed.


So why should you take breaks?

I would go as far as to say everyone reading this will be faced at some stage in life where something comes up that just seems like a wall. How large and dense this wall would be of course varies person to person, but the fact is the same in that a wall of that magnitude isn't just something that you can smash through, and instead you need to take some time to inspect that wall, get to know it, and figure out how you intend to either dismantle it brick by brick, find a way around it or indeed just climb it when you feel ready. What I am saying is that when you are faced with something overwhelming which is common in the modern world, sometimes your best bet is to understand it before you can tackle it - this underpins a lot of my focus as a therapist when I work with clients on many a challenge that they might have. The art of the break allows us to find the time to do this, without overloading ourselves by rushing into anything or driving ourselves into a state of 'burn out'.


I do want to emphasize that taking a break does also not mean ignoring the problem, which is very rarely effective and can often make the problem even more overwhelming. Instead, use that extra free time you have taken to do something that calms you, or indeed just something that is not overwhelming and use that extra time to focus on your current state physically, psychologically or otherwise. This will give you that extra headspace to get a better grip on anything that might be overwhelming you, to gain a deeper understanding on where you may be at and will give you more of an opportunity to think 'outside of the box' to find more constructive ways to tackle whatever may be bothering you, which may be as simple even as allowing yourself to feel something you have not been allowing yourself to feel, or even writing down how you are feeling and any thoughts you might have to help you come to terms with things.


Personally, my breaks have been lasting for weeks and weeks. During that period of time, I have been using my time to continue with clients but to also focus on my other job, start to test out a new exercise regime but most importantly to write down, explore and process any of the thoughts and emotions I have been feeling with the more challenging things that have been going on in my life. Thankfully, the decision to take a break has been the right one, and I feel more inspired and confident in both my abilities as a therapist to help others on their journey through life, but also in my own abilities to tackle challenging periods of time. Thankfully, the issues that arose have not only been emotionally dealt with by myself, leaving me feeling more fulfilled, calm and in touch with myself but also have resolved themselves in their entirety externally, and as such I can return to blogging with my usual enthusiasm, if not moreso than before with better emotional regulation and a deeper understanding of why I feel the way I do about certain things.


Breaks however do not need to last weeks, or years. Granted, they absolutely can and longer breaks can be beneficial whether you're travelling, shifting focus to another aspect of yourself or even just shutting off in a healthy manner, but breaks can also be a 5 minute period on your lunch at work where you visit your car and don't acknowledge the existence of another human being. Breaks can also be a mental health day off work, a weekend to yourself or with those who you want to spend your time with (remember, breaks down require you to be on your own!), they can be finally discussing your feelings with someone who you haven't opened up to yet, meditating or going to the gym, reading a book or discussing things with a therapist. A break can come in almost any form so long as you take the right mindset that you're doing something for you, and away from stressfull or overwhelming situations.


Please take this, then as an endorsement to take breaks more often. There is a misconception that taking breaks make you lazy but if you are overwhelmed or struggling, taking that time to process, understand and plan a strategy will not only give you a greater sense of self-control, it will also make you more productive and capable as a result.



Even write yourself reminders if you have to.


How can therapy help?

Well, as I have already mentioned, therapy can in itself be a form of break. For some people, that might be offloading to a therapist, to others it might be a collaborative process where both you and your therapist can help you to understand and develop a solution to something that may be causing you stress or overwhelming you. You may even see your therapist, specifically a hypnotherapist to uplift your mood and to provide some more positive, relaxing or energising experiences using hypnosis, or even a combination of all of the above. At Piper Therapy Services, we endeavour to offer a service that is as bespoke as we can make it to try to meet the needs of any clients that we take on. That means that because we are client led, we work around what works best for you. By contacting myself or our team, we can discuss exactly what you would like us to provide you so that you can help yourself, all whilst equipping you with a strong toolkit of strategies that you can use for a wide array of different situations in life. Since no two clients are the same, speaking to us means that we will develop a plan for you that is not simply a copy and paste of anyone who has come to us before - instead we will work to be as direct, effective and specific to you as we can when delivering any treatments. What are you waiting for? If you would benefit from our services, enquire or book today.




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