Why do you need a downtime/ timeout ?

What is a downtime

A time when one is not working or active.

What is a timeout ? 

Time for rest or recreation away from one’s usual work or studies.

I hit a mental saturation 2 months ago. Having a timeout wasn’t really an option then because I was having my exams in a month. I kept pushing myself. I hadn’t gone out in a while. My routine consisted of going to college..coming back home..work and work and some more work. I took a week’s gap after my exams to compensate for the lack of sleep but it didn’t help. Even beginning my day undaunted, getting through my ever growing list of work and things to memorize in school seemed as futile as scaling a mountain that continuously thrusts a new stone skyward. It was then my brain told me to stop. It’s full. It needs a downtime.
How did I know it was time for a timeout/ downtime ?

1. Things I genuinely loved doing, started to seem burdensome.

2. Fatigued. Tired. Stressed. Drained. Zapped. Stressed. I felt like a Zombie.

3. Poor quality sleep. I could wake up at the drop of a pin. And even waking up after a 10 hours sleep, I would feel lethargic and tired all the time. All I could think- there was so much to do. So much to accomplish. My brain didn’t sleep.

4. I started eating the wrong proportions at the wrong times.

5. I am someone who is always excited about the next day. I keep planning stuffs to make my day as productive as possible. I felt this desire leaving me.

6. I started having mood swings. Obviously I wasn’t happy with my performance. And this started reflecting on my behaviour with everything and everyone. 

7. Lack of concentration. We think the best way to succeed is do as many things as possible. But it is the quality that matters, and not the quantity.

8. I didn’t want to have any human interactions. Only cocooning.

9. I started becoming more forgetful, made more mistakes and couldn’t think straight.

10. There is always a lot of mental stress, tension  and accumulated concerns. It was like, I wasn’t the 100% me !

How  does a timeout/downtime  help ?

Downtime is not a luxury that is taking away your productivity. The opposite is, however, true.

1. Downtime/ timeout helps you to think more creatively and plan more effectively.

2. It helps to expand and solidify thoughts. Encourages productivity.

3. Investing time in a timeout can help you construct meaning out of your life.

4. It will help you to recharge, revitalize and rejuvenate.

5. More satisfaction and contentment with self and work. Helps achieve highest levels of performance.

6. Restores motivation and concentration.

How I coped up with a mental saturation? 

1. I started doing things I loved but have been neglecting for too long. I love to dance. Everytime I hear a song, I can’t stop but dance. And you should try that out too! Dance can change your entire mood. Dance can make anyone happy! You don’t have to be Shakira to dance. Do your own kind of dance ! 

Also listening to songs is my salvation! Unforgettable By French Montana is my Jam. 

2. Watch a movie or a t.v. series. Read a good book. Both of these work if you are looking for something lazy as a timeout. Your brain will tell you that you are wasting your time by doing this. But just tell it to SHUT UP ! You need some YOU TIME.

I would suggest F.R.I.E.N.D.S. It is evergreen!

Also I’m reading a book by Preeti Shenoy. It’s very inspiring!

3. Pursue an old hobby. I am terrible at painting. But recently, I bought a pack of glass paints and started pursuing my old, lost hobby. Glass painting.

4. Get a good quality sound sleep. It is a requirement. Do not set alarms for the next day. Wake up only when your mind has had enough rest. Also, daydream. Works for me 😁

5. Mend relationships. There is no denial in the fact that our loved ones will always understand and care for us despite our shortcomings. But if not mended in time, they will lead to fractured relations. I went shopping with dad after ages. I also had a sleepover at my best friend’s house last night. Life is good !

6. Go on a vacation. I didn’t try this one out. But I strongly recommend you to do this. It is a great way to revitalize. A chance to look at your life with a different perspective.

7. I increased my intake of fresh fruits and juices. I have recently started practising yoga. It is a great way to de-stress your body and mind.

8.  Invest some time in non demanding tasks, like re-arranging your room, changing furniture, clean and painting your house.etc. When you are idle, your brain might think it is bored. But these non demanding tasks, helps the brain refresh itself and battle restlessness.

9. Avoid social gatherings and social media. It is a killer of downtime. The perfection in people’s life, upsetting news in your news feed and sometimes, negative people will make you even more stressed out.

10. Go for a walk everyday. Sit in a park. Observe things around you. Relate it to your life. Feel the beauty of your existence. Enjoy the positive emotions that come out of things you love.

Tip- If you are someone who constantly battles sinusitis and frequent headaches, I suggest you to try the essential oil therapy. I mix 5-6 drops in my vaporizer and inhale it. Alternatively, you can also mix it in your bath. It helps soothe my mind and temporarily calms my headache. I have been trying tea tree oil and rose oil for quite sometime.

It doesn’t really matter how much time you might need to get back to the old you. But you have to. Once in a while, a timeout becomes a necessity. Mental saturation can take a toll on your mental health. And it will also affect your overall performance. It may take a week, or two weeks or a month or maybe two months. But when you come back, be the best you !  

You can follow me on my Facebook page for more updates and upcoming events, by clicking on the link here- OFFICIAL PAGE OF lifeaswehaveneverknownit

Also to know about my little world that consists of med school, dance, make-up, writing and motivation, follow me on Instagram by clicking on the link here- Tajwar Fatma 


  1. Your downtime still sounds a bit strenuous! But of course it’s whatever works for you. I love the way you write about dance as downtime. I wish I was a better dancer!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much ma’am ♡
      And ma’am you don’t need to be a great dancer to dance. Dance is the cheapest and easiest therapy. All you need is some moves, not great moves, just moves. And you’ll be absolutely fine !
      And I m really looking forward to the day when you tell me that you have danced like there’s no Tommorow 😂
      Have a great week ma’am ♡

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good consolation. You can do anything that helps to take rest. Rest is not just sleeping or idle time, it is blissful time. Then it helps. So as you said, do what you love and relax… Be blissful! Meditation is another very effective way to get Rest. Nice post Tajwa.
    Btb, i would not call it as ‘down time’ 😉 it is actually this is where you are close to God…. Cannot be down😇😇😇
    Keep Smiling and Keep Shining!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What great tips, Taj! I never thought about the essential oil in a vaporizer! That’s great! I get seasonal allergies that can lead to a sinus infection. Take all the time you need! You are doing some great things to get you back to homeostasis! ❤️😘

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Phew, went through that list going “Tick, tick, tick…” – I guess another way to cope with mental saturation is simply talking to people going through the same thing. Helps to know you’re not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

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