1. You aren’t feeling well — physically or mentally. If you’re having trouble rolling out of bed, either because you feel sick to your stomach or because your mental health has hit a low point, you shouldn’t force yourself to go about your usual day. As much as it pains you to skip work or your chores or your exercise routine, you can get back to it tomorrow. You deserve a chance to relax, to get yourself back into fighting shape. There’s no reason to overwork yourself. Tomorrow you can accomplish everything you’ve wanted to get done today.
2. Your entire life has started to revolve around work. If the only times you’re taking a break are to eat and sleep, then something is wrong. You should try to create a healthy work/life balance so you don’t end up going MIA on your friends and family members. They deserve to hear from you. They deserve a phone call or a text or a Facetime call. You can’t be so focused on reaching success that you forget to put any effort into reaching happiness.
3. You’r mood swings are getting out of control. If you’re working yourself too hard, there are going to be consequences. Maybe you’re so stressed that you randomly snap without meaning to do it. Or maybe you get frustrated easily and burst into tears at the first sing of trouble Either way, you need to take some time to work on your mental health. If you ignore the signs you need to slow down, then eventually, you’re going to completely self-destruct.
4. You can barely keep your eyes open without caffeine. Sleeping for eight hours per day isn’t lazy. It’s healthy. Setting aside time for yourself to practice self-care isn’t indulgent. It’s important. You have to stop thinking of the basics as unnecessary. You need to eat. You need to sleep. You need totake care of yourself. You’re not a robot built to work twenty-four hours out of the day. You’re a human being.
5. You’ve started equating your worth with how much you’re able to get done in a day. It’s dangerous to allow your work to define you. It can be important to you. It can mean the world to you. But you should know that you would still be valuable, even if you did nothing all day long. You shouldn’t think of taking a break as letting yourself down. If anything, you should be proud of yourself for learning to recognize when you need a rest. You don’t want to wait until you burn out to finally realize something needs to change.
6. You’re secretly miserable. Yes, you need to work in order to make money in order to keep a roof over your head and food on the table. However, there’s a difference between working hard and burning yourself out. There’s a difference between being worn out and completely exhausted. You don’t want to push yourself too hard. You don’t want to end up miserable with your life. If you need to take a break, don’t talk yourself out of the idea. Let yourself relax for a change. Give yourself a chance to unwind. You need it.