You either clicked on this title because deep down you desperately need a break or because you don’t know yet that you really do need a break and clicked it because the thought of a break made you laugh. Either way, here you are, looking for reasons to take a break.
Honestly, do you really need someone to tell you that everyone needs breaks? From independent contractors to CEO’s to students to parents, we all need breaks. We need them to recharge, to recoup, to organize our thoughts, to de-stress, to calm down and to well energize our body and mind. Those are the common reasons we need breaks.
Why you should take breaks?
To meet friends
Yes, to meet friends or even family members. Sometimes we work so much, we forget the importance of friends and family, the importance of connectivity. We network sure but that’s not the same as meeting a long time friend for lunch. You need to eat lunch anyway, so schedule regular lunch dates with someone who is NOT part of your work group. Chat away, enjoy the time and forget about work for just an hour. Best part – good food to nourish your body and brain. See Also (15 Things We Need To Stop Doing In Order To Be Happier)
To watch nature
Yep, watching nature has a tranquil effect on most people. You miss out on the beauty of nature if you are cooped up in the office or if you work as a freelancer running from appointment to appointment. Have you really explored the area around your job? Have you been to the city park during your break and soaked in the sun and marveled in the beauty of spring flowers? Is work stressing you? Take a break and go for a walk around the block, look for the beauty and breathe.
Yes, to yoga. Or to Pilates, or to stretch. If you work a lot like I do you may not realize right away that your body is absolutely tense and that the posture you have isn’t good for you either. For example, for my main job, I work virtually full-time at an online marketing agency (and a great one at that – I get to work in my jammies if I want) and I believe in keeping a schedule just like I would at a regular job.
So I sit at my desk from 9-6 writing, working, teaching, learning, etc. I also have my own photography business where I have to hold and carry my equipment and stand still/tense most of the time. What I used to forget is the importance of moving. After a while my body started hurting and I HAD to stretch. I did some research and learned that tense and stress isn’t good for your body or soul and that corporations send teams to corporate yoga retreats to de-stress and energize. That’s awesome!
But since I don’t have that I started to yoga in the morning ( not sure if I do it right, but I do basic poses and it helps!) and I go for daily walks. Sometimes only for a quick 10 min walk but it’s amazing how different it makes me feel and it actually increased my productivity. I feel lighter and ready to take on more.
There is a reason the Google Complex offers “Nap Pods” for its employees. A quick and short nap, if you can squeeze it in, can make all the difference. Relax and sleep. Be honest, we all NEED a NAP.
It doesn’t matter what you play. A game on your phone, a quick game of B-Ball, or even a game of cards with co-workers (if you have them and they are willing), can relax you in no time and help you re-focus. Granted, the more physical games take longer and require showers and another set of clothes but if you work extended hours in a high stress job – it can release tension and pent up energy and help you regain your focus. For me, as a professed gamer, nothing helps me faster than playing a game on the PS4. Find out what works for you.
I understand that work is important and so is a career. I also understand that you can get lost in work because you love your job. But I also have learned to understand the importance of breaks not just for productivities sake, but for the sake of your health and your mind and soul. There is a reason that doctors have been diagnosing “Burnout Syndrome” in a lot of employees and business owners.
We don’t take care of ourselves anymore. We are too busy making excuses why we don’t have time for breaks, why we will just finish one, two, three more things and then we will take the break that we end up talking ourselves out of again. Yes, long and wordy sentence but I had to say it. You need to take care of yourself, it doesn’t matter if it’s with small breaks throughout the day or with de-stress programs that teach you relaxation.
When was the last time you took consistent, planned or unplanned breaks and recharged? Did they help? Share your thoughts, I’d love to discuss because learning to break is important.
Photo source: Luciano Brito via flickr