Episode 15: Have courage to take breaks – how to achieve more and feel better while pausing

by | Jul 24, 2020 | Boundaries, Health, Job, Me-Time, Mindfulness, Needs, Silence | 0 comments

I already mentioned several times that we often want to make lots of progress and that it’s not often easy for us to take a break.
And yet breaks are SO IMPORTANT. And that’s why today’s episode is about taking breaks.
The absurde thing is that we give us even less breaks the more stressed we are.
Then we have the feeling that we have so much on our plates, that we still have so much to get done, that we are not even allowed to take a break. That’s why we squeeze just so many to-dos in our day. Maybe even the nice things in between get the character of „we have to check that from our list, too“ and they don’t mean relaxation and joy anymore but more stress.
Maybe we end up on our couch, absolutely exhausted, staring at the telly and going to bed too late. And, worst case, we sleep badly and wake up absolutely whacked the next morning. And we feel like a hamster in a wheel. Could you see yourself in some of these moments?
This can happen to any of us … But how can we escape?
I say: Have the courage to take breaks!
We have to be able to treat ourselves with breaks. Especially while being stressed breaks feel like something forbidden. So rather less breaks? Pinching off a little here and there to get more done?
Deep down we know that we are not accomplishing more when we are completely exhausted.
That we don’t achieve more when we consistently work twelve hours a day but maybe even less than what could be reached in eight hours.
That we loose focus and develop the attention span of a hyper squirrel, jumping from one topic to the next, without being able to properly concentrate on anything.
So what does having a break mean?
We need several moments to recreate during the day. You might already know what is good for you.
For me it’s always important that I leave my workspace and stop dealing with work stuff. When I went for lunch with clients and colleagues and needed a notepad to keep track and to write down work assignments … Then this might have been good for business and the work progress – but this doesn’t mean recreation for me. Accordingly lunch break FOR ME means change of scene and change of subject, maybe even on my own. A moment to tune out. And definitely with a proper meal.
And also checking in with ourselves before nighttime is kind of a break. To review the day and maybe think about what was the best thing that happened today.
And what about the morning?
For me this is the part that is the most luxury:
I had to get up way before my feel-good wake-up time, as employee and also when I started with my self-employment. This is not advisable regarding chronobiology but this is another topic. If you are also interested in an episode about owls and larks let me know.
In any case I always got up at the last minute so that I could leave just in time.
One day I stopped that. And also reading my messages first thing in the morning. I often did that before I had fully woken up. A key moment for me was that I received really shocking news and I read the message while brushing my teeth. Something really bad had happened and I was still half asleep. Because of this I was really incapable of processing this and was totally beside myself the whole day.
So it makes a lot of sense to wake up in the morning without input from the outside and to take time to feel ourselves and the new day. Probably you already heard the word „morning routine“. We can start the day with a meditation for example – or with whatever helps us to start the day in a relaxed way.
Even nicer than the word „morning routine“ is the following:
A while ago a self-employed client asked me to figure out on how to give her work day and work week some structure. So we started having a look at a single day and I asked her whether she wanted to draw that. She drew sunrise and sunset on the board and in between the course of the day. Next we talked about breaks and she started marking breaks in her day, first for lunch and for the evening, then also in the morning.
Doesn’t that sound great? To start the day with a break?
Instead of thinking that we already slept long enough and have to start running, just start the day with a break.
So much luxury and love, first thing in the morning.
With enough breaks we are more with ourselves, more rested, healthier and more in peace, with ourselves and others. When we are relaxed we are more focused and get even better results.
By the way: Even though we are on fire for something it’s important that we take breaks, too. When we are totally into something we might completely forget how important time for resting is. Well, remember: satisfy basic needs, change of scene and subject.
In addition to small breaks every day we definitely need bigger breaks, „vacation“ from our everyday-life. Not only a „I am not working in my job but getting stuff done that I did not yet“. Really leaving your everyday life. We don’t have to go to exotic places or a faraway luxury beach. Maybe you remember my second episode where I just went to Cuxhaven in Germany for a few days.
Where do you create your next oasis for recreation?
I wish you a wonderful time recreating and breathing deeply.
Be happy & be light
Love Janina

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