My Sabbatical Story


'Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Hebrew: shabbat (שבת) (i.e., Sabbath), in Latin: sabbaticus, in Greek: sabbatikos (σαββατικός), literally a "ceasing") is a rest from work, or a break, often lasting from one month to a year.' - Wikipedia

In July 2017, two months after I experienced a severe burnout crisis in a hotel room, far from home, I decided to go on a one-year sabbatical. It was the only thing that I craved to do: after 11 years of daily work I didn't want to enter my atelier for a minute, I didn't want to meet anyone familiar, I couldn't communicate in any form; my mind and body were rejecting everything but having my mother and husband besides. The break implementation took until September, as I had and wanted to finish all the open projects. It was excruciating.

Today, one year later, I can openly and honestly say that the sabbatical was the best decision that I took in the last decade. I am financially broke, but so rich, I can't express enough my joy and gratitude!

At first, I didn't know that the time-off will take the "shape" of a sabbatical. I often heard the term and when I saw David Bach's interview on Marie Forleo's channel, I couldn't believe that he was expressing exactly what I wanted to do! Here, you can see more about the topic:

As soon as I announced my break on my social media channels, I received desperate messages from some people, refusing to accept my need for solitude and rest, to them it felt like I was about to go on the Moon and they wanted to grasp bits of unimportant matters that were nevertheless harming up into my core. So, I decided to close my Facebook account for a year, as well. It was absolutely liberating and refreshing!

Starting with September, I slowly began to have a reality check and realized that I didn't know who I was anymore, I felt like I morphed into a stranger, obsessed with her creative & practical work - everything about the atelier. I was the definition of a workaholic, as soon as a project or more were done, my body was quivering to get into the next and next one(s). For months to come I just slept, slept and slept. The only moments when I was awake I was scouting for our future home (as close to nature as possible, without distancing ourselves too much from Vienna). It took until May this year to put my head out through the door of the world. I'm very shy and careful but in the same time delighted, happy, at peace and simply comforted.

During my sabbatical I re-discovered myself, my old self and after the "veil" fell off, I became more categorical in choosing and picking what and who's right for me. I learned to say "let me think about it" or simply "no". I took time to visit and reconnect with my childhood’s places and I saw friends that I haven't met in 10-20 years, it was soo grounding as I feel their love towards the real me, not "the fashion designer".... I joined classes, read books, saw documentaries that I never had time for, as cliché as it might sound: yoga, clean foods, massages, walks in the nature are my necessary routine. I still love to spend as much time as possible with myself, I love the silence & privacy and I often go out on my own, have a lemonade and read a book anywhere I feel comfortable. Without God I wouldn't be here and I thank Him from the bottom of my heart for all the experiences He gifted me with.

I recently began designing and equally important, began sharing some of my focus and heart on renovating our corner of paradise - our new home close to the woods :)

If you read this and feel yourselves overwhelmed and suffocated by your day to day life, I am fully encouraging you to simply switch off. Everything good will wait for you! Don't worry about money, you can still keep a few customers that you know they are good in all regards, if you are a freelancer, or your company might cover it, if you are an employee, or your family might be of great support. You will spend 1/3 of what you did while you were crazy working!  Here, some articles:

Until soon!