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Does Taking A Break Make You A Quitter?

As life came to a halt, when a health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced, nobody realised the emotional and mental toll it would take over.

Take out time for yourself to unwind.

All of us were used to doing something or the other on an everyday basis hence, never understanding the gravity of time. A person attending a 9-5 job would wake up at a certain hour and go on about their day. When that pattern changed, it was a jolt to many. As pleasing as work from home may sound, there are downsides to it as well. Sitting in pajamas, at home logged into to work does not have the same effect as sitting in your cubicle and brainstorming in a professional setting. As the lockdown progressed, the concept of weekends was lost in a manner. On a weekend, one would unwind by ways which might be material in nature but would provide satisfaction. However, everyday seemed like a weekend/holiday because of the mundane routine that followed without any ‘break’.

Now the perception that has followed, that this lockdown is a ‘break’ in itself. Well, it’s not a ‘break’ but a global health emergency which follows uncertainty and anxiety. One might treat it like a break, but it shouldn’t be looked at like a break. The work from home and online class process is more burdensome than relaxing. In case of online classes, sitting in front of a laptop screen for more than 6 hours is straining physically and mentally. For a regular student who’d attend college would get the opportunity to roam around their college to break through the monotony. However, online classes and distance learning do not have this privilege.

The idea of perceiving this lockdown as a break is a very elitist statement. In the sense that, social media has only propagated people who are doing ‘more’ than usual to stay ‘productive’ to keep themselves up and happy. The elaborate works out routines, banana breads and internship opportunities have clogged our feeds making some feel guilty for not ‘doing enough’. A sense of guilt is also associated with the idea of a break. The guilt feeds us with the notion of not doing enough. Now, who decides how much is enough? Every individual is wired in a different manner. They possess different capacities and capabilities to fulfill. The comparison drawn between two people in terms of productivity actually leads to counter-productivity. For example, if Person A has completed reading a book in a certain number of days and Person B takes more days than Person B to complete the same book. Whilst this, if a comparison is drawn between the two individuals, Person B might feel pressured to do the same as Person A leading to no individualistic growth. Amidst propagating a very rosy lockdown picture over the web, we forget personal struggles of persons on an everyday basis.

You might have questioned yourself, ‘if I ask my boss for a day off, will it be okay?’ The point here is why should there be a need to hesitate in asking for a day off in case of a personal emergency, be it bad headspace or physical illness. We have internalised the idea of being productive and working to meet the goals and once that’s done another set of goals pops up and the cycle continues. The ‘so-called corporate life’ is a marathon against others as well as one self. Asking for a break and focussing on yourself does not make one a loser or a quitter.

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