What does a break mean to you?

I am, what’s popularly known as, a type-A personality. I’m organised, anxious, impatient, high-energy etc. For me, taking a break from emdash is working on The Whole Works. Taking a break from my desk work means re-arranging the wardrobe. I hate being out-of-touch — I check my email and social media constantly. It is often overwhelming and regularly exhausting. But I can’t help it.

When it got really out of hand a couple of weeks ago, I forced myself into a lockdown within a lockdown.

The first thing I did was turn off the fan — can you imagine that I was at a state where a whirring fan was too much noise in my head? I lit a candle and left it in the middle of the room.

Put my laptop, phone etc. out of my sight — inside closed bookshelves. I could no longer absent-mindedly scroll through Twitter, if it was out of reach, no?

I needed something to do, of course. Sitting simply would have meant that I involuntarily start planning for work. So, I decided to watch something on TV, but needed nothing that could evoke any strong emotion. No murder (my favourite genre), no action, no comedy (I didn’t even want laughter to interrupt the silence), no documentary, no drama. I needed something calming, if you will.

I had the perfect thing: Good Witch.

This Netflix show is about a modern-day witch who uses her power to do good for those around her. It happens in a small town in America, everyone is nice-ish, children are all sweet and, in the end, it always works out for everyone. What I like about the show is that nothing bad ever happens. If you can look past the lack of diversity and can cherish status quo, this show is just the thing!

Lastly, I told the husband to not speak to me. I needed nothing to think about and told him clearly that I’m not up for conversation. I allowed him in my vicinity only if he can stay utterly silent. (I threw him out when he started typing frantically on his laptop at one point.)

I got myself two tall bottles of water. Poured in a glass and kept sipping throughout the day. Threw in lassi and orange juice once in between.

At the end of the day, the change was tangible. I couldn’t hear my heartbeat that I am so used to hearing on a regular day — it had calmed down. I had lost the buzz on my fingertips that being on high alert gives me. The back of my head had cooled down a bit, it was no longer warm to touch. My skin felt markedly better, but that could have been the sheet mask.

I’d spent so many years being high-energy that I’d muddied up what normal was. That day was a welcome break from my own self. It lasted only a day, but I now know where I want to be and how to get there. Win some, lose some, I guess.