Importance Of Taking A Break

Importance Of Taking A Break

30 April 2019

If you’re focused and motivated, and, if relaxing just isn’t part of your repertoire… then this article is for you!

Let’s face it, rest gets a bad rap. Most of us think about rest as merely the absence of work – not something of value. We’re all busy, working hard towards our goals, being super-efficient every spare minute of our day… hey look at us go! We’ve come so far and achieved so much, can’t stop now, right? Besides, rest is something to do when all the important things are done – here’s the kicker though, it is never done.

Overwork is the new normal. The pressure to meet and exceed expectations often results in early mornings, working lunches, and late nights. In today’s digital world we are constantly “plugged in” and the lines between work and home become blurred. Truly getting away is harder than ever.

However, our bodies are extraordinarily intricate physiological machines. They have an untold number of “moving parts”. And, as we all know, any machine that’s run too hard, for too long, without upkeep, will ultimately break down.

According to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of the book: Rest: Why you get more done when you work less, the key to productivity is rest. The brain needs substantial downtime to remain industrious and generate its most innovative ideas.

Sure, we need good quality sleep (To quote Arianna Huffington: “Sleep your way to the top”), as well as vacation time, but the biggest challenge is to take regular breaks throughout the day. The more we integrate periods of downtime into our daily lives, the bigger the payoff will be. Momentary pitstops are needed to refuel, take a breather, reset your focus, and then get back into the race.

We have a few ideas to get you started:

  • Step away from the desk. An hourly five-minute walk will boost energy levels, sharpen focus, and improve your mood. Bonus point if you’re out in nature.
  • Take a breather. Deliberately taking slow, deep breaths for just 30 seconds will relax mind and body. Allow yourself to just “be” instead of “do.”
  • Take a nap. (That’s if it won’t get you fired!) A recent NASA study found that a 26-minute nap could improve work performance by 38%.
  • Get creative. Activate your creative and visual right brain by drawing or doodling.
  • Socialise with colleagues. Recent studies show that social rest reduces levels of stress hormones. It is vital to nurture the positive relationships we all need to stay happy and healthy.
  • Have a cup of coffee. It can be a mindful pleasure in itself. And when the caffeine kicks in, you’ll realise that there’s no task you can’t conquer.
  • Take lunch, no seriously, take lunch!

Kicking back is hardly an unproductive activity, it’s a necessity.

So, go ahead, give yourself a break and get more done!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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