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When You Don’t Have Time To Take A Break

Amy Palmer September 2023

Blueprint Breaker: Amy Palmer

September can be a challenging time for women due to chaotic transitions and post-summer-vacation blues.

Whether you are a mom managing the change in family routine yet again, an empty nester facing an array of new emotions, or a single woman already dreading the upcoming holiday season – this back-to-school time can be tough! Let’s explore this together.

How Do You Know If You Need To Take A Break? 

There are a number of signs:

  • Feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed.
  • Having trouble sleeping or concentrating.
  • Feeling tired or fatigued all the time.
  • Having headaches or other physical symptoms.
  • Feeling irritable or angry.
  • Having difficulty making decisions.
  • Feeling isolated or disconnected from others.
  • Losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy.
  • Feeling like you’re not good enough.

Prioritizing Own Well-Being:

Taking breaks and prioritizing your own well-being is an act of self-love and self-respect.

No matter what you have on your plate, it is imperative that you carve out some space for yourself to recharge and replenish your energy. This doesn’t come easily or naturally for many women, as we continuously prioritize others.

“Excuses are often signs of inner work we need to address.”

We’ve all heard the airplane analogy where passengers on an airplane need to put on their own oxygen masks before helping others. We can look at it from a different perspective: a battery needs to be recharged in order to work, and a woman needs to recharge her energy levels in order to be productive and happy. When a woman takes time for herself, she is essentially recharging her battery.

Taking A Break Comes Up:

Excuses are often signs of inner work we need to address.

For the past year, I have been on a mission to encourage women to prioritize their mental and emotional well-being. Whether that is a months or weeks-long sabbatical, or a one-hour break every Saturday, there is a healing power in slowing down and taking time. As I’ve shared my story with others, I have noticed a pattern of excuses (disguised as reasons) that women give when the subject of taking a break comes up.  

Here are the most common things I hear, with my own thoughts and ideas on how to bust each excuse for your own good.

Excuses And Solutions:

Excuse Solution
I don’t have the time

This is the most common excuse, and it’s understandable. Women are often juggling multiple roles, including work, family, and household responsibilities. It can be hard to find time for anything else. But it’s important to remember that self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. If you don’t take time for yourself, you’re more likely to burn out, get sick, and make poor decisions.

  • Be realistic about your time. Don’t try to do too much in one day. Instead, focus on setting small, achievable goals for yourself.
  • Delegate tasks. If you can, delegate some of your responsibilities to others. This will free up some of your time so you can focus on self-care.
  • Learn to say no. It’s okay to say no to requests that will take up too much of your time.
  • Schedule time for yourself. Just like you would schedule any other important appointment, schedule time for self-care in your calendar.
  • Make self-care a priority. Just like you would prioritize work or family commitments, prioritize self-care. This means making sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly.
I don’t deserve it

This excuse is often rooted in feelings of guilt or inadequacy. Women may feel like they don’t deserve to take time for themselves because they have so much to do or because they’re not good enough. But everyone deserves to take care of themselves, regardless of their circumstances.

  • Challenge your negative thoughts. When you start to think that you don’t deserve self-care, challenge those thoughts. Remind yourself that everyone deserves to take care of themselves, no matter what.
  • Focus on your positive qualities. Make a list of all the things you’re good at and all the things you’ve accomplished. This will help you to see that you are worthy of self-care.
  • Visualize yourself taking care of yourself. Close your eyes and imagine yourself taking a bubble bath, reading a book, or going for a walk. This will help you to feel more deserving of self-care.
I’m too tired.

This excuse is often valid. Women are often exhausted, both physically and mentally. But it’s important to remember that self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. Even a few minutes of relaxation can make a big difference.

  • Take a power nap. Even a 20-minute nap can help you to feel refreshed and recharged.
  • Go for a walk. Getting some fresh air and exercise can help to improve your energy levels.
  • Listen to calming music. Listening to calming music can help to relax your mind and body.
  • Meditate. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
  • Take a hot bath. A hot bath can help to soothe your muscles and relax your mind.
I don’t know what to do

This excuse can be a sign of feeling overwhelmed or uninspired. It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to self-care. But there are plenty of resources available to help you get started.

  • Talk to a friend or therapist. Talking to someone you trust can help you to brainstorm ideas for self-care activities.
  • Read books or articles about self-care. There are many resources available that can teach you about the importance of self-care and offer tips on how to get started.
  • Take an online self-care course. There are many online courses that can teach you about the importance of self-care and offer tips on how to get started.
  • Experiment with different activities. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to self-care. The best way to find what works for you is to experiment with different activities.
I’m afraid of judgment

This excuse is often rooted in fear of what others will think. Women may worry that they’ll be judged for taking time for themselves, especially if they have young children or other caregiving responsibilities. But it’s important to remember that self-care is not selfish.

It’s essential for your health.

  • Feel the fear and do it anyway. As you share your plans with loved ones, you may be surprised to find more people who can relate to your experience
  • Look inward. How do you judge other women and how they choose to spend their time? Judgment we fear is sometimes the result of judgment we give to others.
  • Remember, making your health and well-being a priority is one of the most loving things you can do for those you love.


I invite you to journal on this topic. When you think about prioritize time and attention, what comes up for you? Do any of the above excuses resonate? What can you add to the list of potential solutions? Drop me a line and let me know what observations you’ve had.

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About the Author:

As host and facilitator for the Blueprint Breaker podcast, Amy A. Palmer is dedicated to expanding and amplifying the voices of women over 45 who are living a “non-traditional” lifestyle.

After a lifelong struggle with feeling “outside” the societal norm and longing to live up to perceived expectations, Amy has found peace, acceptance, and joy as she embarks on the next era of her life. Amy was formerly a senior corporate executive, a nationally recognized sales and operations expert, an award-winning actress, a resident of 13 different US cities, and a prize-winning DC blogger.

Amy has a vast network of friends and colleagues with whom she enjoys travel and adventures and a close family including six niblings (nieces & nephews), the loves of her life!