The former Hazlewick and Pound Hill Juniors pupil lead England to Sunday's UEFA Euro 2020 final against Italy - the Three Lions' first appearance in a major tournament final in 55 years.
But their fairytale run came to a heartbreaking end as England were beaten 3-2 on penalties by the Italians after decisive misses from Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
Spot-kicks followed a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra-time The Three Lions had taken an early lead through Luke Shaw but couldn't hold onto their advantage, as Leonardo Bonucci scrambled home an equaliser in the second half.
England now turn their attentions to next year's World Cup in Qatar The Three Lions top their World Cup qualifying group with a maximum nine points from three games.
Southgate said: "We have to qualify for Qatar. I need time to go away and reflect on Euro 2020.
"I need a rest. It’s an amazing experience, but to lead your country in these tournaments takes its toll, and I need a break now.
"It’s great to have that internal support, but also there’s a lot to think through. it’s not about finance or commitment.
"I don’t want to commit to anything longer than I should, and I don’t want to outstay my welcome.
"But as I sit here today I would want to be taking the team to Qatar. I feel we’ve made progress, we’ve had a fourth place, a second place and a third place.
"The consistency is right up there. A lot of things we’ve done right, and we know this team isn’t at its peak yet."
Despite England's shootout heartbreak, Southgate was delighted with the team spirit within the Three Lions' camp, and praised the impact of the team's young guns throughout the tournament.
The England manager added: "We’ve waited for a long time to make playing for England fun, to make it enjoyable. I think our players now have that.
"When they come away with England. I think they’ve had a fabulous experienced, they’ve loved the adventure. They’ve got a fabulous spirit, it really is a club-type spirit.
"All this team can go again, but the young ones are still years from peaking. We’ve got 18, 19, 20-year-olds who’ve done an incredible job and had a great insight into tournament football.
"There are a huge number of positives from that, and those players will be far better for going through so many important wins, so many landmarks.
"In the main, they performed under the huge pressure of being at home for the majority of the tournament, being among the favourites, and they dealt with that so well.
"For a large part of the final, certainly the first half, they dealt with that.
"We were against a team that had gone 30 games unbeaten, a team that’s probably a little bit ahead of us in their development and their progress."