Hello and welcome to my spring break, where I have loads of fun and do nothing productive.
For example, I practiced my hobbies. I practiced my calligraphy.
I spent most of the week with friends and attended 3 parties! I met new people. I drove to the gym whenever I wanted without having to structure it around class. And, I only did the work I absolutely had to do (which wasn’t much).
Finally, yesterday, after 2 weeks of loafing, I decided that I was ready to go back to my normal and productive self. But it was a while before I could view the break as a good thing. I thought back to this time last year, when I was doing 6 reports a day, searching for scholarships, and working simultaneously. “How was I able to do that much?” I thought to myself. The thought of doing that now, or at least doing that before I took my long break, sounded exhausting. School made me feel burnt out.
And then I realized. You know that super productive phase I mentioned? I realized that this productive phase happened after a nearly month long break. I know this isn’t revolutionary, but I realized that breaks are crucial. There’s a specific kind of break that I am taking.
Here’s a clue:
In case the words “digital detox” were not blunt enough, I’ve decided not to be online as much. For a month, I will only access the apps on my “whitelist” that you see here. Ps: I downloaded Facetune to fix a picture with a stray lock of hair flying across my nose (I must look like a female, not a mustachioed man). Mustaches aside, I don’t condone editing one’s body online.
So far, this detox thing has been going swimmingly. The detox app informed me that I may be experiencing irritability, depression, anxiety, etc. as a result of my withdrawal from the internet. While the DSM 5 doesn’t recognize internet addiction as a type of addiction, I believe it’s about time that it was. Anyway, I suppose you’re all dying to know what I’ve been doing now that I’m not wasting hours on the internet.
While on my second walk of the day (I’ve become a walker), my family and I stumbled upon a garage sale. We made two purchases. First, my mom spotted a Hungarian crystal vase. She ALSO examined a stroller, which I immediately pulled her away from (“we will not be needing this any time soon!”). Instead, I found an office chair that is in a whole different league from the torn and weathered chair that lives in my room. I waited while my mom explained to the owners that we keep the Sabbath and therefore can’t buy the chair until evening. Then, at exactly 8:25 pm, I threw on a coat, keys already in hand. My sister and mom piled into the car in quick succession (the more hands available to carry this chair, the better). It is currently in my room after being washed.
Oh, also! During my break, I filed my own taxes for the first time ever. Before that, I’ve been using an accountant because “I hate math and I hate numbers and would rather have someone else to do it”. But guess who was a self-reliant taxpayer this year?
I also read two books today. The first is called He’s Always Been My Son, and it’s a book about a mom’s journey raising a transgender (ftm) son. After finishing this book, I feel genuinely ready to have transgender clients, and I am more aware of both options and resources for them. That definitely wasn’t the case before. Picking up this book was an on-the-fly decision, but I couldn’t be happier that I did. I am also currently reading a book called The Fragile Alliance, which is about therapy for adolescents. One of the main takeaways is that most adolescent issues stem from either trauma or self esteem issues (or both).
I could go on, but I think not all of you are future psychologists, so let’s switch gears to the main takeaways that I have so far from my break.
1. I feel twice as well-rested when I’m not on social media.
2. If you like your job, you can read books about it without it feeling like work (case in point: The Fragile Alliance).
3. Taking a break isn’t a bad thing, and you should be proud of your breaks, because they make you re-inspired to work when you’re ready to get back to it.