Take a Break – Part 2
8 days to go
In Part 1 we talked about the benefits of regular breaks and why we need them, so why don’t we take them? What should we look out for and what can we do to improve?
Common signs that a break is necessary are yawning a lot, losing concentration and sore eyes, each of which can affect all of us on a daily basis. Our need for a longer interrupt might be signalled by feeling restless, demotivated, aching stiff joints, a lack of energy or interest in things or a change in our eating and drinking pattern. Commonly we might seem to get one virus after another and even comment that we must be ‘run down’ – now there’s a cue for more short breaks in your day even if you can’t take a holiday.
The best way to get the balance right is to plan your breaks.
- Remind yourself that work or chores are never finished.
- Set a time interval for when to take a break such as every hour. Ensuring you do so might mean setting an alarm on one of your electronic devices to alert you to stop – then make sure you act upon it. Walk away from whatever you’re doing, stretch your legs, make a drink, talk to a colleague or just take some deep breaths.
- Have a plan for your lunch break and take it in a different location from your work environment. If that’s at home then try to get outside.
- Keep a track of how your breaks make you feel. Using a scale of 1 – 10, make a note of how you feel when you stop for your break and how you feel when you return. This will help reinforce the value of the breaks and encourage you not to lapse into bad habits and stop taking them when the pressure is on.
- Make a point of taking a break from screens.We’ve all spent more time than ever in front of screens over the past year. Do not be tempted to use your break time to catch up on social media – you need a complete break from screen time. It won’t improve your stress levels if you see posts from friends out enjoying themselves. The FOMO, ‘fear of missing out’, has more negative stress consequences than not taking the break.
I hope you’ve all got the message: “Invest in Rest” 😊