Taking a break and not feeling selfish about it

This morning, Niall Breslin on his podcast Wake Up, Wind Down talked about taking a break and not feeling selfish about it. From Ireland, he has been in the U.S. this week, in Los Angeles today, and in his case, he was feeling jetlagged still, so canceled some appointments to take care of himself, including catching up on sleep. He said he was honest with those he had appointments as to why he was cancelling, that it’s better not to “bullshit people,” as he put it.

That concept of taking a break is what I attempt to do each and every Sunday as much as possible with what I’ve been calling “My Own Personal Sabbath.” Sometimes I fail, even though it’s usually in small ways, not that I’m interrupted by anyone, but that I interrupt myself by checking an email or text, going online on the computer even though I am not using browsers on my phone. In my case, it’s more about not keeping to the boundaries that I set for myself than others not respecting those boundaries. Often I’ve assumed people care if I don’t respond right away, then after talking to them (for example, my sister), I learn they know what I am doing, that I take a mostly digital break on Sundays and they respect that. They don’t expect an immediate response.

All that said, once again this weekend I’m taking a mostly digital break, from 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, after I’m done with work, until 1:30 p.m. on Monday morning, when I return to work. I say “mostly digital break” because I still use my phone for listening to music and podcasts like Niall’s and others’. However, I will have browsers, texts and social media (mainly Instagram, but also Google Chat) blocked from Saturday to Monday so that I can focus on my physical, mental, and spiritual health. This weekend, I have lots of choices to help towards that end, including:

  • continuing to take painkillers and muscle relaxants for my back (a pulled muscle a couple of weeks ago)
  • meditating, using podcasts from Niall and apps, such as Headspace and Shine, and journaling
  • listening to chill music
  • watching a couple of Rifftrax movies with my wife Sunday night
  • reading devotionals I’ve been using for Lent and a book or two yet to be determined. I’ll report back after the weekend on what I’ve read.

Do you ever take a break for yourself? How do you communicate it to others? What do you do when you’re “on a break”?