taking break from work

Recharge your batteries: 6 ways to take a break when you need it most

Taking regular breaks has more benefits than you can imagine. Not only you can find a healthy work-life balance but also live a stress-free life.
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Ever heard of the saying, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? It’s a proverb that throws light on the importance of taking a break from work, without which you can lose all the energy and motivation to go the extra mile. You don’t want to be Jack, the dull boy but Jack, The Giant Slayer, who is fierce, bold, and well-rested.

When you stop taking breaks from work, you allow fatigue to creep into your life that has several psychological and physiological consequences. It can increase your stress levels, disrupt your work-life balance and sleep, and take away your productivity and focus from work. If you are not accustomed to taking breaks, chances are you could be experiencing these symptoms right now. But it’s possible that you may not realise their presence but that doesn’t mean they are not there.

If you want to make it big in life, taking breaks is as important as anything. Athletes can’t perform without taking proper breaks. The same applies to you as well. Taking regular breaks has more benefits than you can imagine. Not only you can find a healthy work-life balance but also live a stress-free life. According to a study published on the Wellbeing Thesis, “breaks can reduce or prevent stress, help to maintain performance throughout the day and reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day.” It’s like what boxers do between each round or what footballers do at half-time of the play, they take a short break to recharge their batteries so they can finish the job with a fresh mind.

Another study on the same blog says, “relaxing and social breaks have been found to be particularly beneficial. A relaxing break can help to facilitate recovery, by returning your mental and psychical functional systems to their baseline.” A social break is chatting with your colleagues or briefly, talking to a friend. The idea is to reset your mood and focus so that there is less space for stress and more for positive mental health.

Here are a few effective ways to take your much-needed break.

Talk to a loved one or a colleague

Work requires focus and hard work. That’s why you feel tired and mentally exhausted most of the days after work. But mostly, it happens, because you don’t take breaks during work to relax and let your mind unwind. It’s like going on a long drive without making a pit stop to refuel your tank. At the end of the day, your car is bound to run out of gas and you will be stuck in the middle of nowhere. Taking a short break is equivalent to refuelling your tank, which enables you to recover from fatigue.

An effective way to do that is to call a loved one or chat with a colleague. Make sure, you don’t end up talking about work during these short breaks. Talk about sports, weather, or weekend plans. This will give your mind and body enough time to rejuvenate and be ready for the next round.

Take a short nap

Before the pandemic, taking a short nap during work was limited to people working in large IT companies and freelancers. Now, ever since the onset of the pandemic, this option is available for everyone working from home. According to a blog on WebMD, taking short naps in the afternoons can improve your memory, enhance your cognitive capabilities, lift your mood, ease your stress, and make you more creative. So many benefits, and more, from just 20 to 30 minutes of a short nap. Make it a habit to find some time for naps, no matter how busy your schedule is. This will only benefit you in the long run.

Go for a short walk

A short walk is the best way to enjoy a rejuvenating break. It fills you with calm and takes away all the tiredness from your body. You feel fresh and rested, which helps you get re-energised for the day ahead. It doesn’t matter whether you work from home or not, either way, you can just go out in the sun for a few minutes and walk as the cold breeze touches your face. Doing this at least once or twice every day is the best break you can take for your mind and body, and to achieve work-life balance.

Find time for exercise

How you feel while working has a lot to do with what you do when you are not working. If you are wasting time smoking or drinking or staying up until the wee hours, you won’t be productive at work. Rather, take some time each day for exercise so your mind stays fit and healthy. Several studies have found the connection between exercise and a healthy mind. If you exercise regularly, you won’t feel tired and mentally exhausted after work.

To exercise, you don’t have to go to a gym. You can stretch your muscles, and run the treadmill from the comfort of your home too. The idea is to move your body, which you can easily do during a break. It could be running or cycling, at least for a few minutes every day. This will keep you active and on your toes at work.

Don’t check your emails

Make this a thumb rule. When you are on a break, refrain from checking your emails. Carefully carve out time for breaks so that it doesn’t coincide with critical parts of your day. This way, you can make the best of your breaks without compromising with your work. An email is like Pandora’s box. Once you open one, you end up opening several others. It will eat your entire break time and leave you feeling stressed and tired. Don’t become a victim of this disintegrating habit. Make a conscious decision to not check your inbox when your brain needs a rest.

Take a shower

If, for some reason, you can’t go out for a walk or exercise during your break, take a hot shower. Taking a shower in the middle of the day can wake you up—it’s like caffeine for your mind. It can wash away all the stress and worries and envelop you in calm and comfort. You can take a shower after a long meeting or before lunch. Whenever you feel tired as if you are running out of gas, switch off your laptop and take a hot shower. It’s one of the best ways to take a break that can recharge your batteries and prepare you for the rest of your day.

 

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