Life can often get busier than anyone anticipated. With competing priorities, pressing deadlines and not enough hours in the day, stress and the busyness of everyday life can get to you. This is even more apparent at work. If work causes you tension or anxiety, it may be time to take a break. If you are like many others and you aren’t sure how to take a break or where to start, here are a few useful strategies.
Give Yourself Distance
If you aren’t good about taking it easy at work or giving yourself a break, it may be time to give yourself some physical distance. Book yourself a vacation and step away from the mundanity and stress of normal life. Whether you book that trip to Spain and Portugal that you have always dreamt of or you take a staycation and sign off, taking time away from the office can work wonders for your mental and physical health.
Sign Off at the End of the Day
One of the most difficult aspects of separating yourself from work is due to not signing off at the end of the day. If you bring work home with you, that stress is sure to follow. If you want to live a more balanced, happier and healthier life, you need to stop working from home during off-hours. Instead, sign off at the end of the day and shut down your computer, so that you can give yourself time to recharge.
Set and Stick to Boundaries
A common reason why professionals bring their work home originates from a lack of boundaries. If you don’t set healthy boundaries between your professional and personal lives, they are bound to spill into one another. While these may not always be foolproof, having boundaries can do wonders for your sense of balance and wellbeing.
Take a Mental Health Day
Many professionals are far too ready to take days off when their physical health wanes; however, you also need to prioritize your mental health. Giving your mind time to rest is just as important as giving your body time to recuperate. Even though you may not see it, your mental health can take a toll when you are stressed and lack boundaries at work. The problem with powering through is that you are on the path to burnout and breaks are a useful tool to alleviate this pressure.
Make Sure to Take Lunch
While it may be tempting to squeeze in a little bit of extra work by taking lunch from your desk, this can take its toll. Not only can it reduce your sense of balance and impact your health, but it can also reduce your productivity and creativity, hindering your work. If your end goal is to be more efficient and effective and you don’t care about your wellbeing, taking a break for lunch is still critically important.
Stand up and Stretch
You may be surprised at the amount of tension that builds up in your body from sitting all day long. While you may be accustomed to powering through your day, this will leave you ill-equipped for the rest of your day. Whether you stretch at your desk, grab a drink of water or step outside for a quick walk, movement is an important tool in staving off stress and muscle tension. Don’t let yourself continue to suffer when you can take a moment to stretch, stand and move to improve your wellness.
Know That Breaks Are Normal
When you work in an environment where breaks are not encouraged, it can be difficult to prioritize your health and wellness. You need to reiterate the importance of breaks to yourself. Even if your work environment does not prioritize this, you need to take a stance and put your needs first. You may even be surprised at the difference this makes in your work performance.
Taking breaks as a professional can often be easier said than done. If you want to be a thriving professional who is also healthy and happy, breaks will be a key component.