No matter who you are, what you do for a living, how many people you care for, where you live, etc., taking breaks is important for you (and even for those around you! After all, they have to be around you). When you take a break, it means that you slow yourself down. You pause and you allow yourself some time to simply be. You engage in self-care. Or perhaps you allow yourself time to relax, do something fun, go somewhere new, or get away from the every day hustle and bustle of life.
“Breaks” come in all forms. For example, the more and more commonly occurring “mental health day” means taking a valuable break from work or other daily responsibilities. As humans, we simply cannot continue day after day, or hour after hour, only attending to all of our responsibilities. In order to be more productive in our lives, as well as to feel good and maintain our well-being, taking breaks is just as important as getting all of the necessary stuff done.
Types of Breaks
Sometimes people don’t realize all of the ways that they can take a break. The following are different suggestions for ways that you can take breaks, from shorter several-minute breaks to longer days-long breaks.
- Take a walk: Whether you are doing chores all day, or just having one of those days at work, excusing yourself to go outside and take a walk can be greatly beneficial. The time away and the fresh air can be just what you need to regain your focus, attention, and calm before returning to the task at hand.
- Take an exercise class or go to the gym: Speaking of walking, why not raise the level and go for a full workout. Exercise positively benefits the brain, your body, and your mood.
- Take a power nap: The key word here is power! Not full on sleep… Power naps allow you to refuel and recharge. This usually means 20 minutes of sleep, so set your alarm.
- Do a meditation: Given a bit of privacy, meditation can be done nearly anywhere.
- Sleep in: If this is a realistic option for you, go for it! Skip the alarm and allow your body to wake when it is ready.
- Read a book. Or listen to music. Journal. Watch a movie, etc.
- Relax over a cup of tea or coffee. There is something about a cup of tea or coffee that leads us to slow down and just be. Perhaps combine #6 and #7.
- Go out to dinner instead of cooking: Again, the main idea here is taking a break. Have someone else cook for you, and almost even better, clean the dishes for you.
- Ask someone else to drive: Ask your partner, spouse, friend, or other family member to drive this time. Driving requires being alert and focused, so position yourself to be in the passenger seat. Ask for help from others to give yourself a break, sit back, and relax.
- Take a whole day off: Whether you call in for a mental health day or plan your day off in advance, make sure to take some time off for days where you are doing nothing other than relaxing. This does not mean a day for doctor’s appointments or because you are going out of town, but simply a day off where you relax.
- Go on weekend road trip or vacation: There is no break quite like a vacation. Plan a weekend, or even a week away.
- Attend your therapy appointments: Most clients who attend therapy sessions report that their time in their therapy session is their self-care time. As such, it is their break from everything else. This is especially true when people attend their therapy sessions during the workday or as a break from childcare.
- Do something fun: Go shopping, go to an amusement park, try a new restaurant, get your nails done, get outside and explore, etc. Fun activities are naturally breaks!
No matter what form your break comes in, it is important to take them. It is your responsibility as the director of your life to make sure you get the breaks you need.
WE CAN HELP
If you struggle with taking time for yourself, or want to learn other ways to attain more balance in your life, we can help. Whatever the reason, give us a call or send us an email. Remember, there are many reasons why people seek therapy. Professional mental health assistance can greatly benefit you in many ways, including making important changes in your life.
We are committed to providing therapy and counseling services in a comfortable, relaxing, encouraging, and non-judgmental environment to yield the most realistic and best outcomes. Give us a call or email us today to schedule an appointment.