Don't Break Yourself!
Stepping away from music and then coming back has been SO valuable. I notice I have a better ear for harmony than I did previously; everything is fresh, and it seems as if I've never heard it before.
(After taking a step back) I find I'm more willing to go back over the basics and learn more - start at the beginning - so that my future creation can benefit.
One recent example is I had a weird urge to check out the psychedelic band Mars Volta. I knew they rocked hard, but taking the time to start at the start, and listen to their entire album has given me new appreciation for them and for sounds.