If you’re anything like me, you find it hard to take a break.
You’re constantly in ‘doing mode’ with a list of tasks a mile long and no end in sight!
I was so highly strung that I just couldn’t unwind.
I was constantly trying to plan out each day of our holiday, always thinking of what I had to do next and not being present at all.
So I gave myself permission to ‘take a break.’
And do you know what? As soon as I gave myself permission to chill out, I got sick!
I had a terrible cold (I never get colds) and I spent the last three days in Phuket feeling really ill.
I took this as a sign that running on overdrive and falling ill was my body’s way of telling me that my lifestyle isn’t sustainable and I need to take MORE breaks, MORE often.
As we head into the festive season there’s no doubt that you will be rushing around, doing too much and life will be full of stressors.
But I’ve now realised that in order to recharge and rejuvenate, plus gain complete clarity around your goals, you need to practice self-love and self-care and take regular breaks.
Below I share the three levels of ‘Taking A Break’ that I would love for you to implement into your life, so you can feel refreshed more often and gain complete clarity around what it is your working towards.
Three Important Ways to Take a Break from Work and Life
1. Daily Breaks
If you’re feeling overwhelmed on a daily basis and you just don’t have enough time to get everything done, then you will definitely benefit from taking time out throughout the day.
Your brain isn’t built for the extended focus that you demand of it every single day.
Research by the University of Illinois suggests that brief mental breaks help you stay laser focused on the task you are working on.
Do a time audit of your day and look for where can you take a small break, even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
Also, it’s important to take a break doing something that you enjoy.
You could get up from your desk and walk outside to breathe in fresh air, do a super short meditation, go for a walk on your lunch break, have a coffee at a nearby café and just relax.
I like to take daily breaks by watching 30 minutes of a TV show I enjoy whilst eating my lunch (rather than eating at my desk). I also enjoy finding pockets of time in the morning and evening to write in my journal and reflect and organise my thoughts.
Taking purposeful time out each day will help keep your mind clear from one day to the next and minimise overwhelm.
If you are constantly in ‘work mode’ every day of the week, you will definitely burn out!
It’s important to take a break from work (and life) every single week, and again this time should be spent doing activities that you love.
You could spend the day at the beach, catch up on your book, go for a hike or have brunch with your girlfriends. Just do anything that is unrelated to work and activities where you’re in constant ‘doing mode.’
Having one day off a week is an action I give my clients and they find it really helps them to reset their mind, breaks up the routine of the week and gives them something nice to look forward to.
The bonus is that it gives you time to refocus on your goals and often provides you with fresh insights and motivation for the week ahead.
3. Extended Breaks
Most people tend to just focus on giving themselves an extended break, which is usually a yearly holiday.
A longer break, such as a vacation helps you to recharge after you’ve been grinding away week in, week out and again gives you something exciting to look forward to.
Try and take a longer break in a new location as this will help to stimulate your mind and your senses, plus it will help to break up rigid behaviours and thought patterns that accumulate over time.
Since living in Hong Kong I’ve been lucky enough to take a number of short holidays that have helped to put things into perspective and provide clarity around my goals and what I want to achieve in the months and years ahead.
If anything, I’ve learned that extended breaks are great, but I really need to focus on taking breaks daily and weekly to relieve the constant pressure I place on my body and to function with crystal clear clarity.
Now it’s your turn!
Tell me in the comments below, do you regularly give yourself a break and if so, what do you like to do?
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