I have a series of New Year blog posts to write, but before I leap into those I want to follow-up on my last Notable Notes post: Brain Breaks. As I noted in Brain Breaks, I have taken a bit of a brain break myself. I didn’t blog. I didn’t check email (other than to track package shipments). My participation on social media was strictly social.
While I have a great deal of dread about the work of hacking through my email when I sit back down to work on Monday, I do not have not one iota of guilt about taking the break. This is a big deal for me. It wasn’t so long ago that it would have been hard for me to take a break at all let alone a guilt-free break. I am growing as a person. I am refreshed and renewed and really ready to get back to work. Can you say the same?
How often do you give yourself a break from work or even hobbies you enjoy but start to feel onerous. We are at a place as a society where we take great pride in being overworked, overscheduled, and overtired, but this is crazy. There are very few professions where this is really rewarded, and there are very real health repercussions for all this stress, so why do we do this to ourselves?
I am still striving for better life balance for my own health and to provide a good model for my son and students. While I would love to take a true break from life by going to the beach I don’t see that happening in the near future, however giving myself regular breaks is the next best thing. Weekends off from work (especially email) and time to focus on family and friends are key. Reading and writing for personal purposes is also essential.
We all need to remember that our well being is not an automatically renewable resource. We can drain our batteries down to zero and yet we rarely pay attention to the signs (mood swings, inability to focus or cope with stress, etc.) that our charge is running low. How do you give yourself a break? Some popular methods include:
- Connecting or reconnecting with others – think of a person who makes you smile and make a date to see them or at least talk on the phone
- Physical care – take care of yourself physically with a walk, a workout, yoga, meditation, or a spa day
- Cultivate yourself – Reading something or learn something that is just a bit out of your comfort zone
- Experiment – Try something new whether it is a new restaurant (with unique cuisine) or paintball
It doesn’t really matter what you try or do as long as you get out of your usual space (physically, mentally and emotionally) for a time. How do you give yourself a break?