Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

Blank PageGiven that today is the last day of June, I intended to have a “month in review” post today. I also intended to work on before this morning, but for a variety of reasons I just didn’t get to it. So when I got up today, the post was my number one priority.

However, it wasn’t coming together. I’ve been tired for the past few days, and I’m feeling a little sluggish. I just wasn’t getting “in the zone”. So after about an hour of drafting and redrafting, I decided to delay the June post until later this week, or maybe until next Sunday. Instead, I would finish one of the posts I outlined a few weeks back, one that I thought would be a little easier to write.

It wasn’t. I spent about half an hour trying to finish the post, but wasn’t feeling this one any more than I was feeling the month in review. At this point, I started getting frustrated, because normally I’m able to push through difficulties and get the job done. On the other hand, I wasn’t happy with what I was writing, and didn’t want to publish a post that I didn’t think was my best work. So I decided to give it one more try.

Road ClosedMy third attempt at today’s post was a partially drafted discussion of the importance of examining our motivation. Since I started the post several weeks ago, I first skimmed what I already had. One lined jumped out at me: “Sometimes you need to ask yourself if you’re doing this because you want to, or because you have to, or because you think you have to”.

There’s something very odd about feeling nailed by my own words. I like working, I like being productive, and I pride myself on taking care of business. I’m also proud of this blog and of the content I post. On the other hand, I’m an advocate of self care and balance, and I’m usually pretty good about those things. This morning, though, I forgot about that for a while.

Coffee and BooksToday, I don’t want to struggle with writing a post that isn’t coming naturally. I don’t want to spend hours treating my blog like a chore instead of something that I love doing. I don’t want to spend hours working on it, period. I’m not feeling it today, and that’s ok. I’m in the mood to read posts rather than write them. I want to keep binge watching The Good Wife, and listening to A Trick of Light. In other words, I want to give myself a break.

And suddenly, writing today’s post became easy, because I realized that all I want to do is share a message that’s very simple, but bears repeating: Give yourself a break. Manage your own expectations. Don’t be your own worst critic, and don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself and doing what’s right for you. There will be many, many days when it’s hard to find time to decompress, so take advantage of the chances you get. And it’s completely ok to create them. You’re doing great, so don’t let anyone (including yourself) tell you otherwise.

Relax

How do you avoid putting pressure on yourself? What are your favorite ways to unwind?

39 thoughts on “Worth Trying: Give Yourself a Break

  1. Angela Jelf says:

    Hi Amanda, yep, completely get this! You gotta be good to yourself and recharge the batteries sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I felt better as soon as I decided to write about not writing. Lol

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Alex Raizman says:

    Breaks are a vital part of the creative process. So glad you’re taking the time to recuperate mentally, and thank you for the reminder it’s an okay thing to do from time to time. Hope you get the rest you need!

    To answer the questions – favorite ways to unwind are a good book or good show on Netflix. To avoid putting pressure on myself, I remind myself that everything takes time, including improvement. Athletes need to take breaks to let their muscles heal, and the brain needs breaks to recover before you dive into the next thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Absolutely. You make a good point about the creative process. There’s a difference between writing and other tasks, so it makes sense that sometimes pushing through in writing won’t be as easy as it is at work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alex Raizman says:

        That is an excellent way to define it. I can push through at work no problem. With writing…I have to think twice about why I’m struggling.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Posting for the sake of posting can be an exercise in futility. We write because we have something to say. When we don’t have something to say or if we know what we want to say but all we have available to us in the moment is ineffective and the creative equivalent of blah blah blah, then we disrespect ourselves and our readers. Kudos to you for understanding this, taking the required break and sharing your thoughts on the process. The break made possible this revelatory piece where all of us can see ourselves. It helps to know we’re not alone when we experience these blocks.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thank you so much. I’m very glad I decided to be honest about what was going on.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. kagould17 says:

    Good message. We tend to be hardest on ourselves and do indeed need to give ourselves a break. Posts will come when they come. Enjoy your Sunday Amanda. Allan

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      You, too. I hope you’re having a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    I guess I’m not taking enough breaks lol!! Plus I usually take everything I do seriously… I need to back off a bit..

    Normally I unwind playing guitar or working out.. but my workout routine isn’t consistent lol…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I wish I could see working out as unwinding. I see it as a necessary evil. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        I actually really enjoy it… when I’m in shape….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amanda Cade says:

        I just never have. Not my thing. I do it anyway, but I hate every freaking minute of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        Lol!!!! I understand… especially running. When I’m in shape running is awesome!! But otherwise, I’d rather scrub my toilets…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. More power to you !
    And thanks for the remimder that blogging should always be fun and never a chore

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I have too many chores already. None of which I’m doing today. Lol.

      Like

  7. I’m 100% with you there. I’ve felt like that recently when I’ve wanted to write my.monthly favourites, the post just hasn’t sparked me any joy, and felt like the products weren’t actually monthly favourites… just products that I quite liked over a period of time… I may try another monthly favourites for July, if I feel the passion. I’m glad you got the zest back for your post 🙂 x
    Oh and where are you up to on The Good Wife? One of the best series I’ve ever watched x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Season four. I’m really enjoying it.

      Like

  8. Hi Amanda,
    I enjoy video games. Also, I think about running and working out. Does that count as exercise ?
    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      We’ll call it mental exercise. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for this, Amanda. And well done for giving yourself a break!
    This year I planned to write and post an article a week but I’m three behind already. And now my kids are off school for two months and I want to be present for them so the next weeks for blogging are not looking great. I’m going to try and follow your (and my) advice and not be too rigid with my goals.
    Your post came just at the right time 🌞 Thank you 🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m glad the timing was right for you. 🙂 Have fun with your kids!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Paul says:

    Breaks are important. It’s always tempting to try and stay productive but we all need some downtime occasionally, otherwise we end up burning out, which doesn’t do anyone any favours.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Shell Vera says:

    Great message, Amanda. I have been struggling with feeling like I haven’t been showing up enough but what I realize is that I haven’t had anything to say or show related to my blog so why would I post? I’d rather be absent than post just to post. Thanks for reminding me to go easy on myself.

    My favorite way to unwind is to be by the water.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Carol Anne says:

    Binge watching a tv show and reading sounds like my kinda self care day! I also listen to music to unwind! Taking a break is always a positive, we all need them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It was a really good day. And I’ve done some writing this evening. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carol Anne says:

        Yay. Good for you 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your bitmoji I have to say. 😁 I’ve felt the exact same lately. It’s hard to just relax sometimes and having to force yourself to take time out isn’t always way but it’s always recommended.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Bitmoji is awesome. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Simon says:

    Make sure you enjoy your break 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lara/Trace says:

    Amanda – I tried to keep track of how many drafts it took me to write a post. I think the max was 40. (posts take time.) You do good!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Love to read and drink a coffee! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m SO with you! 💖☕

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Nice post. 🌸❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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