I’m a firm believer in balance and finding a middle way. It has always been the right answer for me when it comes to dealing with day-to-day challenges.

When I wanted to lose weight, I would balance my food choices but never go on a diet.

When raising children with two religions, balancing a spiritual life with rituals and ethics has been crucial.

Wanting my kids to speak Spanish when living in an English-speaking country has involved balancing learning 2 languages by teaching Spanish at home and English at school.

When I need to understand others, I make a point to balance listening and talking.

As a lover and sharer of self-improvement, I believe that the best way to keep improving and maintaining the energy to achieve our own personal goals is to step away from those goals from time to time. To balance the daily steps we take to become better human beings, we need to embrace the pauses that let us relax, look back and take stock.

I know it sounds counter intuitive, but self-development takes a lot of effort and determination, and sometimes those personal resources can be depleted. If you know these breaks are natural and necessary, you are more likely to return to your path after your pause is over, rather than leaving that path altogether. Plus, the benefits of a mini break can be very valuable to your growth.

Taking a break from self-improvement:

1. Creates space for new learning.

2. Allows you to take in what you just learned and gives you a chance to adjust.

3. Allows spontaneity, a break from overthinking our choices and decisions, letting you go with the flow as your body and mind guide you through it.

4. Invites you to take yourself less seriously. Self-development requires courage and determination and sometimes it can turn frustrating. A break shows self-compassion.

5. Allows you to savor your victories of change and improvement.

6. Creates confidence. You know you’ll be back at it, and you are already creating a habit of looking for ways to be a better, improved version of yourself. You know this is only a break.

Give yourself permission to take this downtime with no guilt or regret.

Pauses between a continuous path of growth are where improvement happens. And you will be back to your path with recharged energy as soon as you are ready. 

Written by Monica Kerik