Being stubborn and a perfectionist isn’t always the best combination when it comes to keeping sane. For me, this dangerous cocktail of nature almost always leads to a breaking point, which I unfortunately had to experience recently.

I decided to enroll myself in a quick, three week course to help better my social skills and training for the workforce. It functioned like any other course, with schooling hours from 9am to 4pm. In order to be on time, get my morning duties under control and indulge my passion for working out, I had to get up at 5:45 every morning. I genuinely enjoy working out at least 5 times a week, so waking up before the sun did didn’t really bother me, at least not for a while.

Eventually, I noticed a change in my emotions and physical state. I found myself waking up to headaches and sore muscles (due to being overtired) and snapping at anyone in my firing line. Cracks started to appear throughout the course of the day, which led to me feeling miserable and defeated. I allowed myself a good cry and let out everything I had been holding in. During moments like these, we need to swallow our pride and take the next day off. And do what exactly?

Absolutely nothing.

You have your sanity’s permission to relax and do whatever you need to in order to make yourself feeling happy and back to your usual self. For me, it involved seeing a familiar face and spending the day laughing, eating pizza and sipping milkshakes. We both made the effort to talk about nothing work or uni related and discussed everything in between.

If I can give you any advice when it comes to taking the necessary day off to recharge, pretend that you have no commitments or duties whatsoever. Obviously don’t neglect compulsory ones, like picking your sister up from school, but the things that are making you feel run down. It’s also important to gauge their level of importance, for example, if I take tomorrow off, will I still have enough time to finish my assignment? If not, it’s best to postpone you designated ‘chill day until a later date. Basically, don’t dig yourself into more emotional debt.

We all get stressed and overwhelmed at times, as life can sometimes get the better of us. The way I like to think of it is that you are on a treadmill and you’re walking at a comfortable pace and while things are off to a steady start, suddenly the treadmill starts go a little faster, forcing you to jog and eventually run. Before you know it, the treadmill is running faster than you are and you find yourself slipping backwards. If or when you suddenly ‘fall off’, instead of immediately getting back on, imagine how much wiser you’d be if you took a break and came back ready to try again, faster and stronger than before.

If you are someone who stresses over taking days off, try to remember that it can only bring on good things. Temporarily walking away does not mean you are giving up, it means you are allowing yourself some well-deserved self-care. You are allowing yourself time to recharge in order to be the best you can be in the coming days.

When you do come back from a day off, I can guarantee you’ll notice a change in yourself, I know I did. You’ll be in a better mood, feel more up to challenges and tasks, but most importantly, you’ll have that drive to be that girl boss you know you already are.

So put your feet up, girl, you know you deserve it.