All of that came to a head about two weeks ago when I got sick. Really sick. As unpleasant as it was, I took the illness as a sign that something needed to give.
So, for the past two weeks, I gave myself permission to take a break from Jonna Michelle Photography. I actually postponed some client meetings, relaxed my responses to emails, and didn't think about this blog or photography work for nearly 10 full days. In addition, I limited my screen time, staying away from both the TV and the computer.
Doing all of this was much easier said than done. I'm a very goal-oriented person and an exceptionally hard worker. I always have been. So withdrawing from my labor of love felt strange, but I also learned a few valuable lessons along the way:
- The world didn't end and my business didn't crumble because I took some time off. This may have been the most important lesson I learned. It's proof that a little me time never hurt anyone.
- My physical and mental health are most important. I always knew this to be true, but it wasn't until these last two weeks that I fully grasped what it means to be well. Physical, mental, and spiritual health are all equally important. Taking time out for myself is just as important as getting a physical or eating a balanced diet.
- I like running? Never in a million years did I think I'd say or type that sentence, but here I am. During my down time, I did some research into wellness practices and learned about the benefits of running. On a whim, I gave it a shot. Spoiler alert: I am not a runner. I cringe at the thought of how I must look jogging along Sligo Creek Parkway, but, I kinda don't care. Running, or the little of it that I am able to do, actually makes me feel really good! As far as I can tell, the research is proving true. I'm sleeping better, laughing more, and my overall mood has greatly improved.
Now that my hiatus is over, I'm ready to jump back into my groove. This time, though, I'm bringing a different outlook to the table: From here on out, I will focus on keeping a steady work-life balance. As the saying goes, balance is not something you find. It is something you create.