The Workaholics Guide To Getting Some R&R

how to take a break without feeling guilty


I’ll admit it, I’m the obsessive type. Once I get motivated to do something I tend to go full steam ahead and although this is a little too much of a train metaphor for my liking, I get tunnel vision and it becomes hard for me to see where and when I should brake. I’ll work and work and work and then all of a sudden I hit a wall and it’s called exhaustion.

This isn’t a ‘poor me’ rant but sometimes I really do have to force myself to take breaks and it wasn’t until my recent Hawaii trip (which you can read about here) that I actually rested a little and realised just how important those kinds of breaks are. If this all sounds familiar to you, here are some easy ways to incorporate a little R&R into your life-

Oahu, Hawaii.

Start with small breaks. 

Don’t jump from working every night till midnight to doing nothing at all because if you’re anything like me that will just make you feel stressed and like you’re ditching your responsibilities. Instead, schedule yourself little chunks of time throughout the day where you know all you’ll be doing is anything you want to do, whether that be watching TV/youtube, reading, listening to music, exercising, knitting, drawing or whatever else floats your boat.

Use others as an excuse. 
If you feel fine allocating a day or a few days for a solid break then by all means go ahead and do that for yourself, but if that would make you feel guilty or if that’s just not practical for you then a great way to get in a little breathing space is to make plans with friends or family. A coffee catch up, a brunch date or seeing a movie with someone- all of these things offer opportunities to take a mental break from everything and because all of these things involve another person, no matter how busy you are you can always use the excuse “they’re relying on me to not flake out on them…” to ensure you actually take that break and go!

Delegate things to the ‘future’ you and prioritise your current self.  
Whenever I’m feeling really stressed, something I like to do is to refer to myself in the third person (apparently that’s one of the first signs of being a psychopath?!). What I mean by that is if it’s a Friday night and I’m tired with a huge list of things I need to get done in the next few days, instead of worrying about everything to come I’ll prioritise the ‘current’ version of myself and just focus on the present moment by saying to myself “Saturday morning’s version of Julia can handle that.” I know this may sound like a weird tactic but it actually keeps me grounded in the moment and it’s really helpful in terms of making sure I don’t run myself into the ground. I’ll admit, sometimes I give ‘tomorrow’s version’ of me a little too much to handle but it’s all worth it if today’s version is well rested and happy. PS, please tell me I’m not starting to sound like a psycho…?

Go hard or go home. 
Book a holiday. It’s an indulgent, treat yo’self (Parks and Rec fans unite), sometimes impulsive decision but booking yourself a holiday is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself in my opinion. Book something across the world or an hour away from home, just go somewhere with the pure intention of relaxing and taking a vacation from your ‘real’ life. Your responsibilities will be there when you get home, so enjoy yourself.

Are you a workaholic? Do you have trouble with giving yourself breaks?
163 comments so far.

163 responses to “The Workaholics Guide To Getting Some R&R”

  1. OMG! Yes!! I am exactly the same way! When I fall in love with something new, I totally get addicted! I have to remind myself all the time…break!

    Mel |

  2. Charlotte says:

    I get carried away so much and forget about everything else that I may have to do or see, it's ridiculous! Taking breaks are essential!
    Charlotte //

  3. Absolutely love this hun, so so perfect for me and such fab points too (I always use coffee catch ups as an excuse to get out). Stunning photo too!


  4. I should always remind myself to take small breaks! Very useful post.
    Marilyn x

  5. I love the idea of referring to yourself as the 'future you'! I think I'll try it out 🙂 I love going to the cinema to relax, it's a good way to get me off my phone!
    Brigitte x |

    • So glad you understood what I meant by that, I was worried it would sound like I'd completely lost the plot! Let me know if that tactic works for you 🙂

      I love going to the movies as well, it's the perfect excuse to switch off from everything for a while.

  6. Natalie says:

    So useful; i am very much someone who is all or nothing so I go hard at something until i burn out

    Nat Dignifiable

  7. I am loving the first photo – what camera are you using, it's juts stunning and the way the sun hit the lens!! gorgeous hun!! Beautiful post and loving all your tips, it's great to make some time for yourself as it really does help you feel a lot less stressed!!

    Hope you're having a lovely week! 🙂

    Layla xx

    • So glad you liked the photo! I swap between using a Canon and an Olympus camera and this one was taken on the Olympus, just email me if you want any more details! 🙂

  8. I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm the same way and sometimes I forget to take care of myself and wind up getting sick or completely exhausted. I love treating myself to an adventure here and there =o)

  9. Beckie says:

    Definitely agree with these tips! So hard to break away from work sometimes but it gives you a chance to reboot and come back refreshed and better than ever!

    Giveaway over on 🙂

  10. As a workaholic… these tips are very helpful! Thank you! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  11. DiagonSally says:

    I'm a workaholic, when I'm having a break I freak out as I feel like I'm wasting my life away… sort of like right now haha even though I'm supposed to be on holidays!

    Sally – DiagonSally

  12. DiagonSally says:

    I'm a workaholic, when I'm having a break I freak out as I feel like I'm wasting my life away… sort of like right now haha even though I'm supposed to be on holidays!

    Sally – DiagonSally

  13. Mercy F says:

    These are helpful tips because sometimes I overdo things too. Thanks much.

  14. Gabrielle says:

    Starting with small breaks is a really great tip – it's a gentle way of reminding yourself how to relax 🙂 Though I've got to admit delegating things to 'future me' has never turned out too well haha. Have a lovely weekend gorgeous!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  15. A think a lot of us are guilty of taking on too much so this was a helpful read. Thanks for sharing and I'll be taking some of your tips on board!

    http://www.Barely There | British Beauty & Lifestyle blog


  16. Jenny says:

    Loving these tips girl!! I must admit I used to always work for hours then just stop everything completely! Now I've started to organise things more and find it much more productive x

    Jenny | Krystel Couture + Giveaway

  17. veebz boo says:

    I’m the same as you Julia, I literally only realise that I’ve been working all day when I start to feel starving. I’ve definitely got a little better at taking breaks though. I watch a few youtube videos at maybe one or two intervals a day. I definitely need to get better at putting plans in the future like you said though. I always seem to want to get ideas done as and when I think of them. That’s probably the thing I’d love to change about myself most. Again I love all of your 'tips' blog posts – I always find them so relaxing to read.:) – My Minimal Summer Make-up Look | Mostly Drugstore

    • I do the same with Youtube, I find it to be such a good relaxer for me to just sit down and watch a couple of videos (although let's be real sometimes you fall down the Youtube rabbit hole and end up watching for way longer…)

      I love that you're enjoying these kinds of blog posts, it makes me want to write more of them 🙂

  18. One of the hardest things for me right now is trying to take breaks and be away from technology. Great advice darling!

    Dakota D.
    Instagram/Snapchat: @missdsquared413

  19. Kay says:

    I can totally relate to you, hun! I do get stressed out really easily and sometimes it's difficult for me to just pause and relax. I think it's important to always take some time out just for yourself to clear your head, and do something relaxing. 🙂 Lazy pyjama Sundays are my favourite way to unwind! x


  20. Arianne says:

    I am a workaholic, though I like it that way because I get depressed when I'm bored. My "work" isn't all urgent so I'm able to put it aside when events or friend invites occur 🙂

  21. Sora Hwang says:

    This is such a great post and such a good reminder! Things have definitely been on the relaxing side for me lately, but when I'm busy, I forget to take breaks. It's good to remember to take time for yourself. Great tips!

    Via Sora || GIVEAWAY: Win a Pink Instax Mini 8!
    instagram · twitter · pinterest · bloglovin

  22. Great tips! I often get overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to get done. Small breaks or meeting friends, or even playing a game with my son, are welcome breaks. R&R is so important!

    Di from Max The Unicorn

    • I tend to get overwhelmed really easily as well which is why I sometimes have to force myself to step away and just take a break. Agreed, R&R is so important for all of us!

  23. Kynia says:

    You are definitely not a psycho 😉 I loved these tips! especially the delegate to future me. I really want to put that into practice! xX

  24. Isn't it funny that we have to tell ourselves that we should do things in small chunks? You would think it's such a simple thing, but I catch myself going overboard all the time!!

    Heba xx || The Heba

  25. These are such great tips! I totally agree with taking little breaks. I've even taken to "scheduling" in my breaks so it feels like it's a natural part of my workday. Since I work from home, it's so easy to just plop down at the computer and not get up until dinner time. So scheduling these breaks remind me to take care of myself (and eat)!

    Stephanie ● Sartorial Diner

  26. Oh, I can so relate to this! I'm the obsessive type as well to put it mildly. But I agree it's really important to give oneself a break now and then.
    Christina ♥

  27. Veronica says:

    We all work so much we forget that we need some loving and a good night's rest too. Great post!

  28. I think most people find it hard to relax and fully switch off, learning how to do it properly can take years! These tips are really great 🙂

  29. melis tugay says:

    I'm loving all these tips, exactly what I needed to read! you are so on point with the second tip, thanks for sharing! love the photos too

    xx Melis

  30. Great tips and photos. Thanks for sharing

  31. Some really great tips, I really needed this article.

  32. I was a workaholic when I was in my 20s but that changed as soon as I hit 30 and realized there were much more to life than slaving over work. Great tips here and I especially love the one about using others as your excuse, no harm with catching up with friends. xx

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Those are my thoughts exactly. I'm in my early 20s and I can already tell that if I keep working at the pace I am then I'm going to just continuously burn out.

  33. God, I can really relate to this article. I'm only 21 but feel as if I must be working my butt off every single day – end up feeling burned out so fast. These are amazing tips! x


  34. It's really important to take breaks from time to time. Our body and mind need it or else we are going to feel burnt out.

     Miriam ♥ A whole lot of serendipity

  35. Hannah Will says:

    This is a great post! I struggle so much with relaxing. I'm very organized and begin to get overwhelmed if I don't feel like I'm getting things done. I definitely need to start taking small breaks and doing relaxing things during that time 🙂

    Let's Talk Lattés

  36. Kim Alston says:

    I always priortize! It's a must each and every day. Because you just can't get to it all. LOL This was very good!

  37. Hale Saaw says:

    I'm the sort of person who works non-stop for days and then has a month of not feeling motivated which is why I try to give myself breaks between work so I can keep my motivation levels high!
    Aleeha xXx

  38. Phoebe says:

    Firstly, love,love,love that first photo of you looking into the sunset! Also, I think the tip about living in the present and letting future you handle /do whatever happens or needs to be done later instead of now is brilliant. I like the old saying "the past is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a present" – we should enjoy our presents 🙂

    • You always have the best phrases and sayings to share Phoebe 🙂

      I hope delegating things to the future you and staying more in the present works for you as well! I'm also so glad you liked the photo too 🙂

  39. I love your blog so much and great tips! This helps a lot 🙂

  40. I can't even tell you how much I needed to read this post, I struggle a lot with resting as I literally don't stop, but it is so important! Really trying to let myself relax a lot more, thanks for the tips!! x


  41. Nataliya O says: And I love it.

    You sound like me. Or I sound like you. It's incredibly hard for me to stop when I'm in the flow of a gigantic task list. I get into this intense swings where I'll just go on a working rampage. I'll spend 15 hours a day for a week just working nonstop, with the occasional dog-walk break (thank you, Walter, for giving me exercise).

    I really want to try that 3rd person trick because I have a feeling that might work for me. When I hit a wall, and I'm already exhausted, I refuse to stop and walk away to re-evaluate the situation. I just keep on going until I completely burn out. I think delegating to a more refreshed me might be my solution.

    Thanks for sharing these super useful tips!

    Style Tomes ||ST on IG

    • haha thank you Natalija, I'm glad you can relate (or we can relate?). Thank goodness for your dog so that you at least get a little break, it sounds like you're an extremely hard worker!

      I really hope that my 3rd person trick does work for you, especially because I know exactly what you're talking about when it comes to just working till you burn out. Doing my 3rd person trick is sometimes the only thing that works to get me to stop!

      sometimes doing that trick is literally the only thing that

  42. Adaleta says:

    I definitely have trouble giving myself a break, but that's because now when I'm commenting on blogs I'm technically "working" but it's not work to me. I do need to take more time away from computers for sure! xx Adaleta Avdic

  43. PutAllOnMe says:

    What a nice post – great tips I totally agree with you 🙂

  44. It's true. You really have to have some quiet time to treat yourself. Lately I feel like I have been struggling with that so this post came at the perfect time.

  45. Such a great post babe! I also find it hard to take breaks but it's always good to remind ourselves that we need to every now and then!

    Ashleigh x

  46. This was perfect! Sometimes I work myself so hard and get so stressed out!
    xx, Lavishingg

  47. I am always a worrier who loves to stress so this was such a helpful post for me. Yes to holidays, such a great thing for rest and recuperation!

    lots of love, Jane

  48. M says:

    We really need some R&R to be sane indeed! And lovely photos 😉

    The Flower Duet

  49. I also should remind myself to make break! Thanks for the tips!

  50. These are lovely tips, taking small breaks or having a trip booked is so good! Xx

  51. Fab tips girl! I've been working super hard the past few days and I feel super tired and stressed out right now. R&R is definitely needed ASAP! x


  52. I have to modes. 1. I work like crazy and take no breaks and 2. I DO NOT DO A THING!
    I am in the first mode at the moment!

  53. Fionna says:

    i think small breaks are super important. it's good to give yourself some time to just relax and detach

  54. This was so helpful, since I'm always the kind of person that keeps on going. I even feel like I have to 'detox' from working everytime I get an holiday. Loved the article and I have to say I like the style of your blog as well, beautiful pictures! x

  55. Such a fab post, I really feel you on the exhaustion front. Since blogging and writing my novel take most of my time outside of my 9-5 job I find it hard to switch off in my downtime. I often wind up trying to do everything and ending up doing nothing whilst getting late nights and then struggling through the next day, a vicious circle of feeling drained yet worrying and trying to draw through the fatigue with all the work I feel I'm behind on. These amazing pointers have totally given me the inspiration I needed The idea of small breaks is awesome, it's definitely important to take time to schedule little moments for doing things we love, so easily forgotten when our working whirlwinds take hold. Hell YES to prioritising something to the future you, such a good tactic! And booking a holiday is always a must too 😉

    Sophie | soinspo xo

    • I think switching off is so difficult as well, especially when you're juggling a lot of things at once. I completely know what you mean and getting into a viscous cycle of getting drained too, that's one of the main reasons why I feel like I regularly need to delegate things to the future me.

  56. This is very good advice, whenever i have to post a blog i spend hours in front of the computer and after a while I realize I must take at least a small rest. Thanks for sharing gorgeous!

    Have a wonderful day, xx

    My Vogue Style |

  57. These are great tips. I have a hard time shutting off

  58. Lovely post and great pointers!


    Tamara –

  59. I am the same as you – I tend to go full steam ahead until exhaustion..
    Thank you for sharing this lovely post with great tips!

  60. I am exactly the same. I have such a strict regime when it comes to blogging that when I went on holiday I would find myself worrying about it!
    I ended up locking my phone in the safe and trying my best to forget about it. I felt so much better after I took the break! x

    • The exact same thing happened to me when I went on a holiday recently! I wouldn't think to lock my phone in the safe but actually that's kind of a brilliant idea!!

  61. Amazing tips, especially taking small breaks and booking a vacation. Tough even on vacation I couldn't stop and worked a couple of hours per day.


  62. Thanks for the very helpful tips and I see you are really hard working …
    Many thanks for your kind comment on my blog. Do you want to follow each other?
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  63. Bianca says:

    Amazing pics and great post, loved!
    – Bianca Unhas

  64. Love this post I'm guilty of going crazy like a workaholic, burning out and then unable to do nothing – and yes totally agree that causes even more stress because it's when you relax that you realise how tired you are hence why my blogging has been sparse of late. I'm learning but me time is definitely important and nothing to feel guilty about but its all about the balance! xx

  65. Kavya Ede says:

    Great post! Love all your tips! Thank you for sharing!! <3

  66. Rina Doria says:

    Oh my goodness I feel like this blog post was written to me! I am such a workaholic. I really have to make a point to separate myself from work. Thanks for sharing this and writing it to all the workoholics, like me!

    xoxo Rina

  67. I am exactly the same way! I have a heard time knowing when to take a break, so this was awesome for me to read. We are headed to Hawaii this weekend too so I loved reading your post about that, such a great guide for a day in Oahu!! xxx

    Rachael |

  68. Jessika says:

    I absolutely feel the same!!! Just wrote a post myself about planning in breaks, too! It is necessary no matter how much fun working is!



  69. It is really important to take the break. It makes you feel so much better!!
    xx Jenelle

  70. Tania C says:

    I am exactly the same once I have something in my mind and I want it I will keep going till I achieve it. With a family to look after as well I am usually the last person I think about to take a time out as I call them. I am starting to learn how to take me time though and you are right it does make a difference to how you feel. Tanicici xx

  71. Impulse holidays are THE BEST! Loving all your tips; sometimes it's hard to turn off!

  72. Olivia says:

    I'm just like you! When I decide to do something I never take a break. It's so important to take those breaks those, but it can be so hard sometimes!

  73. Food & Baker says:

    Oh wow, love it when I read something so relateable to my current situation!
    I really need to take note of all of this, I'm either doing nothing or all at once and right now, I'm doing everything all at once because my brain tells me I need to get it all done in one moment! I do think to myself in third person actually and the whole planning for my future self! I say we're all crazy haha 😉

    Thanks for sharing!


  74. Vidya Gawas says:

    Awesome post. Really enjoyed reading this post.

  75. Ellie Boyce says:

    These are some fabulous suggestions!!

  76. francesca says:

    oh gosh I am such a workaholic!! This is def on my bookmark tab now . Thanks girl
    Frank Vinyl : A California Fashion Blog

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