Take a break: We are humans, not machines | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The author doing different tasks. “I sometimes wish there were several of me so I could do many things all at once.” —MIGUEL OLFINDO
The author doing different tasks. “I sometimes wish there were several of me so I could do many things all at once.” —MIGUEL OLFINDO


I have always been an overachiever as well as a perfectionist. My mind is constantly on the go, coming up with new ideas and things to do. I can’t rest without a voice in my head listing the “more productive” things I could be doing, whether that be writing, improving my skills on an instrument or working out.

There’s always something “better” I could be focusing on, rather than resting. The problem is sometimes my mind runs too fast for me to catch up. I need to remember that it’s okay to take a pit stop and refuel. Humans need it!

I’ve been dealing with writer’s block since the beginning of my summer break, which began around late May. I’ve been telling myself to sit down and write yet every time I do, I feel blank. It feels as though there’s a cloud of ideas floating right above my head, but too high up for me to reach. I’ve been searching for words but instead I’ve been met with a cluster of blurry ideas. It has been extremely frustrating, and I feel like I’m wasting my time.

Keep in mind, I’m a 15-year-old on summer break. I went through several tough exams, and my brain deserves a rest. People my age during this time of year should be swimming, not worrying about the lack of newspaper articles they’ve been able to write down.

Taking a break

I’m learning that being productive does not mean attempting to one-up myself after every accomplishment.

Whenever I accomplished something, whether that be editing for a company or having my article in the newspaper, I felt the need to do more. In a way, this mindset helped because I pushed myself further. But it shouldn’t reach the point where I begin doubting myself when my mind tells me I need a break.

It feels like I’m constantly competing with myself. Which version of me will show up today? The one who writes nonstop, or the one who can’t even decide on a topic to write about?

I realized that several people I’m close to deal with this problem as well. We feel as though taking a break means wasting our time.

Since the pandemic began, many people have found it difficult to adjust to working at home and staying as productive as they used to be. We need to remind each other that the sleep we get at night is as important as the work we do in the day. The amount of time you need to recharge does not take away from the time you already spent working.

We are humans, not machines. Though it’s important to stay productive and adjust to the circumstances, I continue to remind myself that it’s normal to feel drained. It’s normal to take a break. The time you take to recharge is not a waste of time. It’s like slowing your steps to drink water during a run. We need it. Give yourself a pat on the back, you’re doing a great job! —CONTRIBUTED