How to take a break, while working?
November 22, 2020 9:23 AM   Subscribe

A few months ago I asked whether I should take a "break" from working after my current position ends. Well, that scenario isn't going to happen as I have a new (sort of) position. How can I still slow-down and take a "break" while working and job searching?

Long story short, the school board I took a leave of absence from was able to find a position for me in a school. I was so shocked. For a variety of reasons, I had (wrongly) assumed that they wouldn't be able to find me a position and I'd be working as a sub sporadically. I had all types of fantasies about taking a "break" from working and just relaxing after the past few stressful years I've had.

Well, that isn't going to happen! I'm secretly disappointed my fantasy scenario won't be playing out, but it's probably for the best. I'll still be job searching, because I want a better position. Working in a school that I don't really want to work in is probably going to be the best motivation for me to apply for jobs, as well. Until I got the call about the position, I was filled with so much lethargy and ennui with regards to job searching. Now I am pumped up and ready to shoot of my resume.

I still want to figure out a way to take "a break" while I am in this position. I will be working part-time in the mornings, which is great because I fantasize about a) relaxing in the afternoons and b) job searching (interviewing, cover letter writing).

Until I find my next job, how can I find balance and still "relax" and, honestly, recuperate from the last few years? I get very stressed out by job searching and I really, really want to maintain balance for the foreseeable future. I don't want to get depressed or mopey about being only part-time, either. In this situation, I think being part-time is a blessing... as I'm ready to move on from this position in general and it will give me more time for myself, etc. How can I best use this time to really rejuvenate myself?
posted by VirginiaPlain to Human Relations (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A place to start might be to make a list of soothing, relaxing activities and do something off the list each day. My list includes:
- watch TV or a movie
- meditate
- stretch or do a yoga video
- outdoor exercise, could be as simple as taking a walk
- read something fun in a cozy nest
- take a bubble bath
- listen to mellow music
- play music, work on a craft or art
- call a friend
- write a card or letter to a friend (or mefite)

A way to approach it mentally might be to ask yourself "How can I be kind to myself now?" and do what feels good.
posted by medusa at 9:37 AM on November 22, 2020

I find it much better to actively create an agenda for my rest/recharge time rather than just let it all hang out because I just end up surfing the internet endlessly or reading books that aren't very good and I don't actually use the time productively. It forces me to think about what will actually make me feel better rather than just filling up the time with whatever comes to hand.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 10:58 AM on November 22, 2020

I agree with the above answers... commit to drawing a strict boundary between work time and your personal time. I’ve found that knowing my workday is over at X time, and work isn’t going to steal my evenings or weekends on a regular basis, is critical for preventing burnout. It’s even better to know you get afternoons off.

Schedule your job hunting time too. Maybe that will be your “afternoon job.” I’m a big believer in bullet journaling. List out your goals for each afternoon, it could be anything from “research Y and Z companies” to “draft a cover letter for X company” to “Call with Friend to get resume and cover letter feedback.” And once you’ve checked off your tasks for the day, that’s it, you’re done! Free! You can enjoy the rest of the day without guilt or anxiety, because you’ve earned it.
posted by keep it under cover at 12:17 PM on November 22, 2020

You could try the 'just do one thing' approach to your job search where you commit to doing just one thing every day, whether that's big or small. Or, you could commit to doing 1 hour relating to your job search each day, and then choosing not to feel guilty about relaxing the rest of the day.
posted by plonkee at 5:59 AM on November 23, 2020

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