Our society is constantly on the go. We push ourselves from one project to the next and so rarely take time for a much needed break. When we do this, we are overloading our brains and our bodies.
We know that this kind of stress doesn’t feel good. However, it’s important to understand that the stress that you’re placing on yourself can negatively impact your health, your relationships, your overall happiness level, and even the quality of work that you’re doing. That’s why it’s so crucial to take a break. Here’s more about when, why, and how you should take a break.
Take a Break
Let’s say you’ve got a project that you want to complete. You’re working as fast as you can and, despite your best efforts, the project still isn’t completed. When you check the clock for the second time, take a break.
I’ve noticed that sometimes I get to a point where I will start wishing the project were already complete. Then, I start clock checking. At this point, my brain is not even remotely focused on the project that I’m working on, so there really is no point for me to continue in this way.
Instead, give yourself 10 minutes to do anything you want. You’ve been working for a while, and you deserve a break. By allowing yourself this time to take a break and do something that you really want to do, you let your brain and body reset. Get up and move around, talk to people, eat a healthy snack, whatever you’d like to do.
Then, after your 10 minutes is up, return to your project. Often, I find that even a short break from my project can help restore my enthusiasm or fluid thoughts. My best works is frequently done after I take a break.
Take Your Time
I have this tendency to go, go, go until I fall over. I push myself to complete my invisible to-do list at a rapid pace instead of taking my time. This leaves me feeling exhausted and drained, which is a terrible plan for my body and brain.
The better solution is to break up a large to-do list in to smaller, more manageable tasks that can be completed over time. Create a plan and list what small items you expect to do each day. This will make the whole project feel more manageable, and you’ll also save your mental health by taking it piece by piece.
As you work on completing the pieces of your large project, make sure to also take breaks. When we keep ourselves balanced and rested, we’re less likely to burn out.
Take a Vacation
Chicago said it best: “Everybody needs a little time away.” Of course, they weren’t talking about taking a break from work, but the quote still applies.
Figure out which vacations you prefer. Some people prefer long vacations to another city, state, or country where they go, see, and do. Other people prefer stay-cations where they sleep-in and eat at their favorite restaurants. Still others like quick weekend getaways.
Whatever your vacation style, start off your year by planning your vacations and breaks. Schedule the time early so that you’re guaranteed to have a break, and carefully consider what would bring you the most joy during this time.
When you take a vacation, you want to make sure that you return refreshed and relaxed. Avoid vacations with stressful activities. Or, if you have to do something stressful, make sure to follow it up with something relaxing.
Breaks are all about giving your mind and body the rest that they require. In order to reduce your stress, maintain good relationships with people around you, and have clearer thoughts; try to take a 10 minute break every couple of hours. Notice how you feel at the end of the day when you allow yourself some break time.
How often do you take breaks? What do you do in your break time? Let us know in the comments below.
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