Know When to Stop


“Leisure is only possible when we are at one with ourselves” – Josef Piper

Photo by Lilly Rum on Unsplash

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by work or felt too creatively burnout to the point that no more ideas come to mind? I have. In the midst of work, when creativity is needed, I sometimes run out of ideas. No matter how hard I try.

 As youth, we’re so proud of being busy and having no time for fun. We are so proud of being ‘workaholics’ and living our day, hours by hours staring in front of the screen, scrolling whatsoever is the newest thing as if we eat media. Indeed we do need some part of the news, and our body does need information, but we no longer experience living in the present moment. The world goes by really fast, and another memory passes just like so.

Living in this kind of society is exhausting. It feels like the social pressure made our life to make an impression. No matter who we are, we were born to perform. 24/7. To survive the social pressure, we sacrifice our lives to follow what benefits us the most instead of following our hearts. And when the world seems too cruel, we blame the universe, but we forgot that our sight is the only way we see things. The rain feels like a blessing and a curse. You decide.

New studies show that workers around the world are putting in an average of 9.2 hours of unpaid overtime per week – up from 7.3 hours just a year ago. Co-working spaces are filled with posters urging us to “rise and grind” or “hustle harder”. Billionaire tech entrepreneurs advocate sacrificing sleep so that people can “change the world”. And since the pandemic hit, our work weeks have gotten longer; we send emails and Slack messages at midnight as boundaries between our personal and professional lives dissolve. This is the thing that we want to avoid as our mindset will grow too complicated.

Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

One time, four of my lecturers integrated their class into one session with the Indonesia Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the same time, I needed to create Instagram feeds for one of the accounts I curated. Feeling too burnt out, I took a break. The whole day I didn’t hold my phone too long. I sat on my balcony, noticed how much my environment has changed. My front yard has so many trees now as my mom and uncles plant so much of them. The front gate has changed, I don’t know when. The skies became so much cleaner, thanks to our government that made it happen. I spent the whole day reading my heart-warming book. I really enjoyed that moment.

When we feel just like this, the first thing to do is we need to take a break. Spend a day with nothing but yourself. Grab an excellent book, sit back and listen. From wanders to wanders, you might realize that the trees that your uncle plants have grown enormously without you noticing. Or have you seen the sky? Does it get brighter these days? Without you noticing, you just rest your mind. To terribly know this world and live in the present. Joining every sense of yourself and feel the peace that is so close to you.

The second thing to know when to stop is to listen to your body. All the back pain and aches might be the first warning to contain. Moreover, flu, fever, and when your stomach acid rises is the last warning for you to listen, or else it could be way more harmful. Try to live a healthy life. Try to eat veggies and fruit, develop a great sleep cycle to regain your strength and endurance to start your day. Thus, your body will be ready to create new and insightful ideas.

The last thing to do is meet your number 1 supporter. Our supporters could be anyone we love. It could be our parents, our partners or our friends. Meeting them is not only will engage your mood, but you can also exchange ideas with them. Seeing them from your day one until now will make you realize how much you have become. A person is a part of your memoir, and hopefully, after a fruitful discussion with them, you will see why you start and why you shouldn’t stop.

Published: Sept. 13, 2021

This blog was written by Fellycia Simanjuntak, a WYA Asia Pacific intern from Indonesia.

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