There was a point in my life where I worked myself ragged simply just because I could. I was working a full-time job, doing freelance graphic design, working out regularly with a personal trainer, and trying to complete a 130 page thesis for a Masters degree that I was only half-heartedly interested in (see: free degree). I would hardly sleep, drink gallons of coffee, and spend nearly every waking hour diligently working on something (with an occasional break one night a weekend). Part of me loved it because I felt so productive, but your body can only take so much before you collapse under the pressure of it all.

It took me a few years to realize how important it is to give yourself time to recharge (away from a computer screen) after a particularly productive week.  Like great artists who seek residency in new places, I always find myself invigorated by one of two things:

  1. Exploring new places (whether that be a new town or even an unfamiliar coffee shop or watering hole)
  2. Catching up with people who I don’t see nearly as often as I should.

Having just finished several great freelance projects this past week, I knew that a spontaneous trip to Milwaukee and it’s surrounding suburbs was in order. I got to spend time with all of my best friends in Wisconsin (which can be hard to do with so many conflicting schedules and a last minute arrival on my part).

I even visited my (older & wiser) friend and artist Sandee who always inspires me to be the most genuine version of myself. This is a woman who I once watched stick her arm on the end of shelf at Walgreens and swipe 10+ boxes of Peeps into her cart. Her response: “I’m going to eat all of these Peeps tonight and I don’t give a shit! You’ve got to treat yourself when you deserve it. No one else knows when you need a pick-me-up  more than yourself! Look out for yourself!“ Now there is a woman who knows something about self care!

So to all of my hardworking, midnight-oil-burning, hustling workaholics, remember to take time to look out for yourself. Be your own best friend. Remember that taking breaks is important to not only your productivity, but your well-being. So call up a good friend, go on a long bike ride, or eat 10 boxes of peeps if you must. Do whatever it takes to refresh and recharge so you can keep being awesome at whatever it is you do best!