Unplug. Unwind. Unwork. Just Take a Break Girl!

Working is always glorified. Employed is ethos. Busy is bae. “Just being” is not even a thing. Resting is frowned upon. But it is time to turn the wheel and take a well-deserved break

Gunjan Pant Pande
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Right now, the world’s obsessed with the “70-hr-work” debate. Has always come to think of it. Working is always glorified. Employed is ethos. Busy is bae. “Just being” is not even a thing. If we were to try and look for synonyms of “just being” they’ll probably be lazy, worthless, sacked, crazy in other words -- “good-for-nothing.” Resting is frowned upon. Pausing is for pathetic losers. Stopping is slow death. 


You can’t “just be.” In this world you need to earn your stay woman.-Your every breath. Everyday. Non-stop. And the rule applies to each one of you – student, housewife, sister, mother, manager, GF, VP, granny, married, never married, teenager or just any “work-in-progress.”

Just like binge-watching Netflix dramas to overcome a breakup and move on, “busy-ness” is touted as a proven panacea for positivity in that it can sometimes numb feelings of loneliness, jealousy and overthinking simply because we “don’t have time to dwell on these negatives” when we fill each waking hour of ours with a truckload of to-dos till it’s time to activate zombie mode with maybe a “power nap” podcast through our smartwatches only to wake up “brain fuzzed” into yet another day of “work, work, work, work, work” a la Rihanna. Call it a distraction of the deadline. The ultimate defense mechanism of survival. 

Isn’t that kind of like applying the concealer on the surface when the malady is way deeper at the hormonal helm. Agree that it works wonders sometimes as a short-term quick fix, and that’s perfectly fine once in a while girl, but shouldn’t we ultimately aim at KOing feelings, things, circumstances, relationships and isms that hold us down. Have held us down for generations. 

Start at the start girl, ask yourself… 

What’s so bad about resting, taking a break, putting your feet up, relaxing aka just being? Why do you have to explain everything in life? Why can’t you just take a break when you feel like taking a break? What’s the deal about adulting when we aren’t even free to unplug on demand? It’s cliché but even the phone needs regular re-charge so why not “living breathing” we?

Saturday and Sunday are devised as rest days. Re-set days. Quite a nice plan no doubt. But just like every good plan, a whole lot soon gets lost in translation when it comes to implementation. So students started getting homework and Monday tests. The working needed to submit crucial project reports or travel to team-building weekend workshops. The married had to pitch permanent tents in the kitchen for cook-a-thons: masala chai, Saturday pakodas party, Sunday biryani, masala chai, chaat, alu paratha, chai, nimbu paani, cut fruit, chai… It started getting so bad that I remember looking forward to manic Monday, at least in office I had my homies to rant to and of course “work” to anasthetise any feeling of hopelessness. Felt like Stockholm Syndrome where you become a happy captive of an abusive system. 


Self-help is not my favourite genre, but when the book club delved into Robin Sharma’s “Who Will Cry When You Die” long ago, the thing that left a lasting impression on me was the concept of “intentional breaks” to re-energise your system so that it can handle challenges, achieve goals and chase dreams with renewed verve.  

Going back to motivational “how-to” tips let’s try and see what will happen if we just stop for a bit? The pros and cons of “taking a break” if you please to the sound of Madonna’s “Die Another Day.” 

The hardcore Stockholmers may feel a sense of restlessness to begin with. What “nothing” to do? Doesn’t feel right somehow. FOMO will kick in. The promotion? The gossip? My space in the social ladder? The security in herd movement? The safety of following set norms. Finally, that thing about “what will people say?” At this point, majority will buckle and go right back to business wiping their sweaty palms in relief. 

The real adventure begins now for those who trudge on to “savour the pause” even when they are nervous, unsure and beat. These are the people who will get to discover the real joy of just being. The joy of experiencing your own company.

PEACE! At a price though. 

Yes, there’s no denying it all comes at a cost. Everything comes at a cost. Not easy to bin the routine girl. Don’t kid yourself even for a second on that. The trick therefore lies in creating that peaceful balance in life right as you live it. On a daily basis.


“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from cares which will not withdraw from us,” wrote Maya Angelou once. Listen to the great dame of civil rights. Get on with it then. Not when you retire. Not when you finally have X amount of money in your account. Not when kids grow up. Not when you buy that house. Not when you get that promotion. But whenever you feel “like a break” small or big doesn’t matter for body-mind-soul synchronicity. Visit yourself, woman. Relax, nothing is under control anyway. 

That’s the bare minimum you owe yourself. It does not make you a loser or lunatic. You infact are a lover – self-love’s the new relationship high bruh. We are going to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first so that those who love us and those we love can count on us.

Turn the wheel. 

Make that deal.

Cut the spiel

Peel. Reveal. Get Real.

Time to H.E.A.L! 

Views expressed by the author are their own

Self-care and wellbeing self care