How Do You Know When It’s Time To Take A Break As A Freelancer?

If you’re reading this blog post hoping to find the answer to this question, you might want to look away now.

Unfortunately, it’s a question I don’t have the answer to yet. 

I haven’t had a week off work since Christmas, and the last couple of weeks have been a struggle as a result. 

Perhaps it was knowing I had my first week off looming. Or maybe it was because I had reached my mental and physical limits.

In my old 9-5 job (it’s funny how people call it the 9-5 when in reality it looked more like 9-9!), I used to be super strict with my annual leave and would book a week off around every three months. I always felt close to burnout in my 9-5. Having a week off every three months seemed to be the only way to stop burnout from actually happening.

If you were to ask me why I haven’t taken a week off so far this year, I’m not sure I could tell you. 

Navigating Leave As A Freelancer

It could be that I’m still finding my way as a freelancer. Or perhaps it’s because I have been fearful of how I would manage my workload whilst taking a proper break. Or maybe I just felt as though I could get through the year with a few long weekends thrown in instead.

I also think the pandemic has had a lot to do with it. I never really feel as though I’ve had a week off if I’m sitting at home. Travel has been off-limits for so much of the last year, even within the UK. It seems that with foreign travel still all over the place, people have been choosing to take holidays in the UK instead, resulting in more people fighting over accommodation, making it harder to find somewhere to stay. Fingers crossed, as we get closer to 2022, the easier it will be to travel abroad, making it easier to travel within the UK as well. 

Fact: I may no longer be in my old 9-5 job, but I still need regular breaks.

A colourful wooden sign on a beach in Portugal. The sign gives the options to go towards Albufeira, surf, adventure, #falesiabeach or fun
Which way next?

Alien Territory

Despite being in alien territory, I do feel relatively prepared for my time off. I’ve worked my size eight cotton socks off this week to ensure everything is up-to-date. Newsletters have been drafted and social media posts scheduled. By the time you’ll be reading this, I may even have all my invoicing done for the month!

I notified all of my clients weeks ago that I would be taking this coming week off, which gave us plenty of time to work together to ensure we scheduled everything around my leave. 

Social Media Break

Not only am I going to be taking a break from work during the next week, but I’m also considering taking a much needed social media break. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a break from scrolling before. I spend so much of my week staring at a screen that my eyes and my brain feel like they need a damn good rest.

Whilst I take my much-needed break next week, I’m hoping it will give me some time to reflect on the year so far and where I can make adjustments moving into the new year. This reflection time will include how to manage my annual leave better next year!

I’ll Be Back

I’ll be back later this month with a new blog post, hopefully feeling rested and relaxed after some time off 🙂

Going back to my title question, I’d love to know from any freelancers out there, how do you know when it’s time to take a break?

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