This week I am encouraging all of us to take breaks when we need them. Today I slept until one pm – I mean I woke up around nine and then I went the fuck back to bed, because it’s Sunday, and I don’t have to work myself into an early grave just so I can say that I spent my life creating.

So this week I give you permission, and when anyone questions why you’re taking a ten-minute break when you should be working, you can tell them “The Loud Mouth Brown Girl told me to.”

Delyse Gimani is an award-winning plus size, fashion, and body positivity blogger from Zimbabwe. She’s also a friend, ally, and I swear, I’m a little in love with her too, (I’m in love with many people, she’s def. on the list) and she told me recently she was feeling burned out because of the holiday fatigue that hadn’t worn off yet.

I mentioned it because last year I felt like that so deeply, but this year, the holiday fatigue hasn’t seemed to click in, (thank the Gods and Goddesses), because it’s a draining feeling and it just feels like you’re being weighed down, and nothing you do seems to make it go away.

Last year I stressed out about the fact that I didn’t seem to be keeping up with anything, and that in January I didn’t give a flip about the website, or about writing anything, because I was too tired to care.

This year, I’m still tired, but I’m not so drained that I don’t feel like I can function. I’m one of the lucky few because some people never get out from under the cloud, but I always seem to, at least eventually.

So this year, if we re-train our brains to take ten minutes, then maybe we can relax a little more and stress a little less.

I’ve written about this before, but in the Muslim faith, followers are expected to pray 5 times a day, and I think that’s the most beautiful notion I’ve ever heard of.

To take five times a day to connect with your faith, your heart, your mind, and just decompress from the world is absolutely beautiful, and I believe it’s also why so many Muslim people are so kind, and warm, and inviting. I think it’s because they understand that people get stressed, and the ones that I have met have always been willing to give me space to make mistakes.

In contrast, white or even Black westerners are so wound tightly, and yes we have a lot of stress, but it’s often because we have so few places to channel that negative energy into something positive.

Another friend naked Roco once suggested that I do five minutes a day, five minutes of cleaning, or breathing, or creating, and honestly, that helps sometimes. I don’t clean as much as I should (obviously,) but I do try to do five minutes a day of something that takes me away from Loud Mouth Brown Girl if I’m lucky it’s a two-hour nap.

Today it’s taking breaks in between writing paragraphs for this blog post, and it’s taking time to thank a friend – at least mentally – for protecting me on the worst night of my life.

It’s little moments of “how are you, Devon?” that help me feel more connected to my Ohana, my family, my friends, and all the people who read this blog because then I can write more clearly and feel less tired and weighed down.

Taking a few minutes, even one or two can totally change your entire perspective for the day, we all know this but because we get so overwhelmed we turn off the “walk away” switch and then forget to turn it back on.

Sometimes it’s watching the Originals while imagining that Rebecca and Elijah are out there slaying my enemies because everyone needs a decent Vampire on their side right?

Whatever it is that pulls you away from the negative and reminds you to find something to smile about, give yourself permission to look for it. Consider it a treasure hunt if you must.

It is not about being selfish, or sometimes even about being overwhelmed, it’s really about survival. No one, including you, can suffer all day every single day, feeling under incredible amounts of pressure from everyone around you, and expect that you’re going to be in a good mood.

Drinking and yeah even cannabis can exasperate the issues that we have to deal with when we’re overwhelmed, they often don’t help, although I’ll say cannabis helps more than drinking does.

This time isn’t just imperative to our own health, it’s helpful for the health of those around us too so that we’re not passing our bad moods and feelings of being overwhelmed onto those we care about.

Taking that time is actually an act of conscious rebellion, the kind that could, in theory, change the world if enough people do it, so by taking this time you are not just healing yourself, you are behaving as an activist, and they are some of the most powerful people on the planet.

So be a rebel, take the five minutes every day this week and on Sunday see how you feel. And don’t take it when you’re already feeling calm, take it when you NEED it, that’s the only way this works.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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