Why You Need to Allow Yourself to Take Breaks
We live in a fast-paced, progressive society that never stops moving. Part of that pace is due to continuous advancements in technology. Another part is our need to succeed. Many people think that moving quickly equals success.
The problem with that? Even if you do find some success by giving into the fast pace of the world, it isn’t sustainable. Not only will it cause you to crave more, but your mind and body won’t be able to keep up with that tempo forever.
The idea of taking breaks has become a bit foreign in today’s world. After all, why take a 15-minute break when you could use that time to send one more work email or make one more phone call?
Breaks are more important than you may think. They benefit your physical and mental health in multiple ways, and can even boost your productivity.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of taking breaks, and how you can implement more of them into your day-to-day life.
It Provides a Mental Health Boost
Across the globe, over 264 million people struggle with depression. Millions more deal with anxiety, stress, and other mental health disorders. Why the underlying causes vary, finding ways to manage your symptoms is important for your wellbeing.
Taking breaks throughout the day can help you to keep the effects of depression and/or anxiety under control. Your breaks can solely focus on your mental health depending on how you spend them. If you struggle with anxiety, for example, your breaks could consist of different exercises and practices to manage your stress and worries, including:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Spending time with loved ones
You should always strive to make your mental health a priority. You could be on the verge of burnout without even realizing it because you’ve become so used to some of the symptoms. Do you often feel restless? Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you constantly fatigued and have trouble finding joy in everyday things? If so, you might be one step away from a more serious mental health condition, and it’s time to give yourself the breaks your mind needs.
Even if you aren’t facing an underlying mental health condition, taking a proactive approach to reducing stress and worry is a great way to practice self-care. Giving yourself breaks is an easy way to start, and it won’t take you long to notice a difference in how you feel.
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You’ll Improve Your Physical Health
Do you find yourself stuck behind a desk most of the day? You could be doing more harm than good if you’re not getting up to take frequent breaks. According to the Mayo Clinic, people who sit for more than eight hours a day without any physical activity have the same risks of dying as people who smoke or are obese.
Numerous additional studies warn of the dangers of sitting for too long, with many pointing to a higher death rate. Sitting for hours on end without taking a break can cause:
- A drop in muscle activity
- Negative metabolic effects
- Bad posture
- Back problems
- Tired, heavy legs
- An increased risk of varicose veins
Thankfully, as little as 60 minutes of moderate activity each day can offset those risks. Standing up from your desk or table and stretching or taking a brisk walk can make a big difference. It’s also worthwhile to avoid using any electronic devices while you’re taking a break – your eyes deserve some rest, too!
You Can Try New Things
If you’re not used to taking breaks, it’s important to find ways to make the most of them. Not everyone is going to enjoy fifteen minutes of meditation each day. Sometimes, a few deep breaths are exactly what you need. Other times, you might not think it’s worth it to give up your time.
A break should be something you look forward to so you can relax, reduce stress, and boost your energy. So, don’t be afraid to try different forms of self-care to get what you need every day.
For some, that might mean journaling or reading a few chapters of a good book. For others, it could mean getting outside (a natural mood booster!) and going for a hike, tending to a garden, or going on a picnic lunch.
There really isn’t a “wrong” way to take a break as long as you’re relaxing and not allowing yourself to slip back into work too quickly. Make sure you’re giving yourself a respite from the rapid pace of our society. Find what works for you, and you’ll be more likely to consistently give yourself periods of rest throughout the day. In doing so, you’ll take care of your mental and physical health, and might even find that it improves your productivity and motivation.
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Author Bio: Amanda Winstead is a writer focusing on many topics including health and wellness. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.
NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Nannocare. Nannocare is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the author of this article, or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates.