26 Sep Take Some Breaks for Better Work-Life Balance
It’s important to have a break now and then, whether that means a simple work break during the day or more extensive, personal time set aside for refreshment or entertainment.
Consider your break a specific time that you will spend doing something that you know is good for you and will relieve some stress. There isn’t just one way to take a “break”; some people may feel recharged after a nap or a session of quiet reflection, while others find those activities frustrating. The goal of your break is get inspired, re-energized, de-energized, calm…whatever it is that you know you need to do to get back on track.
Even if your day-to-day life typically includes the activities that make up your break, try to think of that time as special. People who are overstressed or depressed are less productive. Your efforts at keeping work, studies, and ambitions from taking over your life entirely may actually increase your chances for success. In turn, your social or individual life outside of work will be improved by greater success in your professional life.
Work-life balance isn’t always in our control. That is precisely why we strive to do our best to make it happen! Without making downtime a priority, we can easily become overwhelmed and burnt out.
Here are types of breaks that might work for you: exercise, entertainment, social activities, relaxation and thought.
If you aren’t one for playing sports, physical work, or exercise, you may not believe that these activities can actually increase your energy levels, but it’s true. Breaking a sweat and doing a real workout will relieve stress – or maybe work you up the point where you really do something about your goals. Exercise can be an outlet for your emotions or a way to show yourself that you really can achieve results. You will be doing something good for you that will become its own special area of your life.
More relaxing, but equally challenging, exercises like yoga may be the right fit for you. Most people find it relaxing and great for clearing the mind. For others, the difficulties of mastering a new pose or move can be just as energetic (in a very different way) as a run or weight-lifting session.
Simply zoning out in front of the television or computer may not be the best option. However appealing unconsciously passing the time might sound, it can really turn out to be a session of watching or listening to something you don’t even like very much while your thoughts trail off elsewhere. There is probably little progress for your ideas and little relief for your stresses.
If you’re going to enjoy a movie or other media, really do enjoy it! Find something you like and that engages your emotions or mind. Happy, sad, action-packed, funny – It’s much better stress relief to actually be entertained. And you are less likely to regret it as “wasted” time later.
Having a specific social activity with friends, family, or strangers that you do on a regular basis can serve as a break. While everyday communication and activities won’t, of course, seem like a special break, if you have a certain get-together, meeting, or tradition that occurs regularly, it can serve as a great break from the rest of your routine.
Depending on what you do together, you can relieve stress, discuss plans, share ideas, or learn something new. Ambition can lead you to focus so much on yourself and your own problems that you forget to appreciate others. By doing a special social activity, you can remember to step outside your own zone — which might inspire you after all.
Relaxation and Thought
Few things can be as welcome to a busy person as relaxation and time for thought. Set time aside to go for a walk, or maybe just lie back and listen to some music. By thinking of this time as a break, you can see it as a special opportunity to relax or to review your plans in peace. You will find that it is different than just catching a few minutes here and there.
It can be hard to find the time or space to gain complete relaxation, so it may take some time for you to figure out what works. Relaxation isn’t best for everyone, so if you find that some popular elements ascribed to it aren’t for you, don’t worry. But if you suspect that you just haven’t found the right way to do it, keep exploring. Some people respond best to doing nothing while others are better off concentrating on something in order to otherwise free their thoughts.
It is important to never lose sight of your goals, but be sure that you are setting some time aside that allows you to improve your mental health. Having a break — whatever kind — from goal-related stress can greatly improve your productivity, and, more importantly, your happiness.
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