Ten Reasons Why You Should Consider A Life Hiatus
*For those who haven’t followed my blog: in December of 2016 I hit a personal emotional rock bottom and had to make a change. I convinced my husband to move to Mexico, pulled the kids from their schools, rented our house out and we are now nearly four months into our six-month hiatus. As much as my Instagram feed may portray it, it hasn’t been all sunshine and pineapples, but the experience has been and continues to be life altering.
1. You are stressed out and don’t even realize it (or maybe you do).
Seriously though, nearly everyone I know is maxed out and burnt out on life. Life is stressful and it’s nearly impossible to remove all of your stress, but taking a hiatus will remove you from your regular stresses and offer you new (more fun) ones! My hiatus has brought me stress about when and if we have enough water stored, whether or not it is too windy to hang the laundry and if we can get a ride to the beach so that we have a long board to surf. Additional stress is leaving the beach in time to make dinner at a decent hour. Okay, fine, confession…there are other less fun stresses; like parenting, family dynamics, travel for my husband, school, etc…but my hiatus provided me with time to breathe through it. (In the future, I will write a blog post about some of the real tribulations we have faced with our break and what I have learned from them!).
2. Everyone around you is stressed out too.
The recent political climate, coupled with life and routine doesn’t only have you stressed out; it has everyone else in your life stressed out too. Add all the media and branding being shoved down your throat and we find the answer to the infamous paraphrased words of Rodney King, "can't we all just get along?" The answer is no. The world is too complicated and we all see things differently. What we can do, is destress so that we communicate and respects our prospective differences. At times it can be nearly impossible to guard yourself against other people’s stress and their reaction to it. It's not just you, but don't blame others. Change your tune, dare to try something different. Take a hiatus.
3. The monotony of your life has left you uninspired (or bored even).
Are you living in your own version of the movie Groundhogs Day? Are you constantly wishing you had more inspiration, but are so busy going through the motions that you continually put things for yourself off? Well, a life hiatus is for you! A hiatus is just a pause or an interlude from your current life. It is more of an extended experience and less of a vacation. It takes letting go, determination and creativity to make it happen. But try it, take a hiatus.
4. You are too focused on the micro.
Western culture is one of introspection upon introspection, upon introspection. It’s meta to the 10th degree. Navel-gazing can be frustrating and confusing. Life becomes about reading labels and freaking out about how to stay healthy and sane in an otherwise toxic world. The problem? All that labeling and information just makes us crazy!!! You are allowed to change your mind. You are allowed to worry less. You are allowed to relax and do less. You are allowed to just be. Breathe it in, you are allowed to step away. You are what you think. If you want to make a change, try a hiatus. This will look like something different to each of you. But, if you spend too much time worrying about stuff, you won’t get anywhere. Stop focusing on the details and live a little! Take a hiatus.
5. The first thing you look at and the last thing you look at before bed is your phone.
Take a hiatus. No further words needed.
6. You are over-committed.
Do you suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)? Yeah, me too. Someone once told me that not everyone has to like you, and this is kind of like that…you don’t have to do everything. Sometimes trying something completely different means slowing down and it can be the best thing you can do for yourself. It's okay! You don't need to go to every party and festival and so on and so forth, In my humble opinion, slowing down is actually the cure to FOMO. You begin to enjoy other people telling you about what you missed.
7. You don’t have the money.
As my favorite lyricist once said, “money rolls and flows through the pockets of your clothes.” If you want to take a hiatus, don’t use money as an excuse, use it as your reason. Money comes and goes, we spend it on crap all day long. It’s just money. Paper and coins. Figure it out. Minimize, spend less, go out less, think smaller so that you can live bigger in the end. You won’t ever remember being broke off your booty, you will remember how your hiatus shifted your entire life for the better. Take a hiatus.
8. You need a change in perspective (and scenery).
When we live in our world of routine, we begin to lack perspective. The way we look at the world is the way we really are. Truth and beauty are in the eye of the beholder, but the beholder is constantly changing. Taking a hiatus is a choice to fast track change. When we move out of our life routine and attempt to live life in someone else’s shoes, we begin to learn compassion and empathy. Take a hiatus and make that a hiatus someplace where you may have to see the world, yourself and the people around you from a completely different advantage.
9. You're worried and scared about everything.
Fear and worry do nothing for you. Don’t let fear eat away at your hope. I know what that fear inside feels like and the closer you come to actually taking a hiatus, the more the fear will eat at you and try to scare you out of actually taking the plunge. Don’t let it. Don’t be afraid of what might happen or what might not. Don’t be afraid of what might occur while on your hiatus or what will take place once you return. Jobs are jobs. Friends are friends. Family is family. And so on and so forth. It will all be there when you get back. You can do it! Take a hiatus.
10. You used to have a dream of who you would be and now you don’t know who that person was or who they could have been.
You lay in bed at night or find yourself staring off into space and you aren’t quite sure how you got to where you are and you don’t quite remember who you once wanted to be when you were full of youth and dreams. A life hiatus is just what you need. You won’t ever be the person that you thought you might be because you grow into who you currently are. But by taking a hiatus and choosing to take a risk, you will intrinsically create space to personally grow with reflection on your life, your future and your happiness.
**Caveat: Your life hiatus is your own. It can be whatever you want it to be. Just remember that the key is taking a break from your normal routine. It takes creativity, determination, and letting go of fears and doubts. It may take multiple attempts if you have a family with whom you have to consider and involve. If you commit to a life hiatus, you will have daily freak-outs and that is okay, because guarantee, you won't regret the choice!
Hasta entonces, mas tarde.