You don’t want to agree to too many favors at once. You don’t want your to-do list to run a mile long. You don’t want to be overloaded by your responsibilities. You don’t want to burn yourself out.
Give yourself permission to rest. You shouldn’t feel like you always need to be on the go or you’re failing somehow. Not every single day is meant to be a productive day. Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is give yourself a break. If you keep going, then you’re going to wear yourself down and then you aren’t going to be able to get anything done.
Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about having a good time. Don’t let anyone convince you it’s irresponsible to take a day off when you’ve been working nonstop for weeks, months, years. Your whole life isn’t supposed to revolve around work. You’re supposed to have fun too. You’re supposed to have a life outside of the office.
Don’t go too long without giving yourself a break — and don’t be too hard on yourself when you need to take that break. Don’t believe the lie that you are going to be unsuccessful because you aren’t working 24/7. You’re not lazy for spending an extra hour in bed. You’re not lazy for using your vacation days or your sick days. You’re not lazy for taking care of yourself.
Set boundaries. Create a strict separation between your home life and your work life. Don’t allow yourself to think about your to-do list during certain points of the day, whether that’s when you’re eating dinner with your family or when you’re getting drinks with your friends. Make sure when you’re around your loved ones, you’re present with them and actually paying attention to them. Make sure your mind is not wandering back to work.
Make sure you treat your mental health as a priority because it’s way too easy to let it slide. It’s way too easy to push your own needs to the background in order to focus on the things you feel are more important. It’s way too easy to neglect yourself when you should be pampering yourself.
Try not to think of downtime as a bad thing. Try to enjoy the moments when you aren’t doing anything except enjoying the silence. Try to retrain the way you think about doing nothing because it’s not actually a bad thing. It’s healthy to relax. It’s healthy to forget about your work for a while.
Give yourself permission to rest. Give yourself permission to pause. Give yourself permission to actually enjoy your life instead of spending every waking moment working.
Yes, you need money to pay the bills and yes, you need to put in a lot of effort if you want to succeed with your passions, but you also need to take breaks. You also need to make sure your mind stays sharp. You also need to prevent yourself from burning out.