by Lisa Sledge
There were days when I was in high school that I would be so overwhelmed by everything that needed
to be done I would freeze up to the point I could do nothing at all. Being a perfectionist, if I couldn’t get
everything done the way I felt it should be, I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but cry if I fell behind.
My mom, however, was wonderful. On those occasions where I had four projects coming due, she could
feel the stress building in me and threatening to take over. Without fail, she would call the school and
tell them I was sick.
We called it an “emotional health” day.
I would sleep in extra late, then spend the day calmly getting caught up on to-do lists for each project.
And I would breathe.
Sometimes everyone needs to take a little guilt-free break. Give yourself a mini-vacation. Stay in bed all
day. Turn off your phone. Give yourself permission not to write a word for one day. Read something
trashy. Eat ice cream and brownies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Get caught up on a project, but only
if you feel like it. Nurture a relationship that needs tending.
And don’t feel bad. Schedule time to work on that manuscript the next day and stick to it.
You’ll write better when your mind is clear and you feel rested.