Benefits of Taking a Break (& how to do so Effectively)

Hey y’all! Whether you’re in the midst of or just finished one and preparing to move on to the next, let me break down the benefits of taking a break from your creative projects and how to effectively do so.

But first – an update! Because I know you all miss me and I miss you too.

Happy New Year & happy February! I have been making my way through the DRIVE sequel and pandemic time has been getting away from me. I am aiming for a spring 2021 release and the way time has been simultaneously flying and dragging it’ll be spring before we know it, but I am so excited to finish this story and send it into the world to be shared and read and loved! LOL

There are still big plans in the works for all that will be offered on my platform for both book-lovers & creatives. The DRIVE sequel has become first-priority, so come summer 2021 all the other projects I am ready to put out there will be set in motion. I cannot wait for all the wonderful changes to come and for y’all to get into all of ittt.

Okay, so boom. We mentioned the importance of taking a break when working on your novel’s first draft, so I feel compelled to get into the benefits of taking a break for not only novels & first drafts but any creative projects. Lately, I’ve been actively making sure I slow myself down with all the sh*t I have going on and wanting to get started! So this post is for all of us. We get sh*t done! But, we also need to know when to chillax. Let’s talk benefits of taking a break and how to do so effectively.

Related Posts: Foolproof Process: Writing the First Draft of Your Book

Taking a break from creative projects and how to do so effectively.
Benefits of Taking a Break and How To Do So Effectively.

3 Benefits of Taking Breaks from Your Creative Projects

  1. AVOID BURNOUT

Taking time away from that script you’re writing keeps the stress away. We don’t want stress. We don’t like her. Stress negatively affects your mind which affects your body. Leaving your essence suffocating in a negative, demanding state rather than a natural, open one will show in what you create. Personally, when my mood is sh*t, my art ain’t at its best.

So when I ignore the need to take a step back, I not only end up with results I’ll likely need to re-do but also a drained mind and exhausted body that will ultimately force my a*s to sit down anyway. Avoid burnout by scheduling breaks & sticking to them.

2. KEEP YOUR MIND FRESH

We want a fresh imagination and the fresh ideas that come with it. Overworking kills creativity, my love. It’s legitimately a thing. According to this article on Harvard Business Review, the Whitehall II study that was started back in 1985 showed participants that worked more than 55 hours a week had a larger decline in their fluid intelligence (abstract thinking, creativity, etc.) scores than those that worked 40 hours a week or less.

Now, studies have a range of factors involved and may not always be good, supportive evidence for cause and effect – but, they can show a correlation. When you overwork your mind, much like overworking your body, it needs time to recoup. You may be dope at editing films but when your mind is tired your editing skills will suffer from that weakened fluid intelligence. Take time away to keep your abstract thinking on par and your creativity sharp and refreshed.

3. REMOVE THE PRESSURE

Breaks remind us that we are human. We may dish out hella prolific content, but we are not machines. We may be passionate and determined, but we need to sit back and remember that our true purpose is to simply live.

Even with deadlines involved, whether self-imposed or not, what we need to do is breathe. Relax our shoulders, remove the weight from them, even if only for a moment. Walking away from that painting you need to finish will bring you back to why you’re doing it in the first place. It will bring you back to the joy creating brings you.

Taking breaks removes the pressure and reminds us that all we do is about more than deadlines and responsibilities.

Lighting candles and reading may aid in providing benefits of taking a break.
Benefits of taking a break come from setting the right mood to ease your spirit. Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

How to Effectively Take a Break from Your Creative Projects

This part is going to take some personal reflection. I want you to list three of your favorite feelings. I’ll do it with you:

  1. Enamored
  2. Peaceful
  3. Intrigued

I love to admire, I love being in harmony, and I love being engaged by some interesting sh*t.

Now, for each feeling, I want you to list 2-3 things you can do to evoke the feeling. Try to avoid the creative action you regularly partake in, even if it would be a good action – remember, the point is to give yourself a little breaky break from it.

  1. Enamored – look at the ocean, browse an art museum, hike in nature
  2. Peaceful – meditate, listen to jazz music, sit at a park
  3. Intrigued- Watch a movie, read a book

Now, tie it all together. Pick any of the actions you listed and do them. Mix and match them as you see fit. Read a book at the park. Put on a jazz playlist while you stare at the ocean. Recite positive affirmations while you hike – that can be meditative.

Examples of taking a break may include reading by a lake at the park.
Reading at a park can evoke positive feelings, filling your time away from projects with intention. Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels.com

The key to making this practice effective is to fill the time away from your projects with intention. You are to intentionally make yourself feel good. Intentionally refresh your mind & body, cut away the stress, and allow yourself to just be. Comfort your spirit.

By the end of your break, you want to return to projects rejuvenated. You don’t take a break and fill it with work or other sh*t that’s gonna stress you out. You take a break that will make your mind, body, and art thank you. And that’s on period.

Do you actively take time away from projects? What are some things you do in your breaks? Do you notice an influence on your art because of them? Let me know! Let’s make 2021 a year of extending grace to ourselves & in turn, creating some of our best work yet. xo

-aew

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