We’ve all been busy and busier. What? You thought you were busier than everyone else? No? Okay, well, you are. And that’s the problem. Our minds need downtime in order to refresh and recharge. We need time away from the daily grind and responsibilities so that we can reconnect with ourselves and the world around us.
We need to take a break.
Most people need a break, but what exactly do we mean by “break?” We typically think of taking a break as a temporary hiatus from work, school, or life in general. While that’s technically correct, the true definition of it goes beyond that for most people. A break is an intentional hiatus from something that remains deeply entrenched in our psyche. It’s the proverbial “time out” from an unhealthy relationship, addiction, or harmful behavior.
Why should you take a break from your stressful work? Check out the following benefits of taking breaks:
- It powers up your creativity – If you never take any breaks, you probably won’t go anywhere in life. New ideas are the lifeblood of innovation; the only way to get them is to create. I’m not talking about setting a timer every 25 minutes and running to the bathroom to puke but taking some downtime to recharge. Taking breaks from daily activities is essential for our physical and mental well-being. It gives us time to recharge and refuel, helping us avoid burnout or overload. Taking breaks from physical tasks seems less necessary, but it disconnects us from work, reducing stress and improving focus.
- It brings you back to your motivation – Work can get busy. Sometimes you get so caught up in your work that you forget about everything else. But it’s important to take breaks to recharge your mind and body. They help provide a little relief from the stress of work. When you work hard all day, the last thing you need is to feel burned out. But most people don’t get enough of a break during the day, preventing them from powering through a particularly hard task and forcing them to take another break when they need to push forward. They help you recharge physically and mentally, but you may not realize that breaks can also help increase your productivity.
- Enhances physical health – Taking breaks regularly may seem counterintuitive at first, but research has proven that they improve physical health as one of the benefits of taking breaks. The literature supporting the use of breaks in workplaces is extensive. It allows employees to refocus, reenergize, and return to work refreshed.
- It improves your mental health – Did you know that taking breaks from work will improve your mental health? It’s true, and it’s a good reason to take a break now and again. Rest from work and responsibilities gives you a break from stress and reduces your anxiety levels. It also helps boost your energy, sharpens your concentration, and gives you time to recharge your batteries.
- Breaks provide physical benefits – When you take regular breaks from work, your ability to concentrate improves, and your energy level stays high. Studies also show that one short break per day is just as good as taking a longer lunch break.
- Better mind power – Breaks help boost your brain power. Since the brain uses glucose as fuel for activities, the brain uses up energy for tasks. But, when your brain doesn’t use glucose, it stores it for future use. This effectively increases your working memory. Memory and learning research indicates that taking short breaks every 20 to 30 minutes helps increase memory and focus.
- Makes you happy – Regular breaks at work can leave you feeling refreshed and focused on your work. But did you know that they can enhance your mood? So how much rest should you allow yourself to take? According to researchers, most people need between three and 10 minutes of rest every half hour to get the optimal benefits.
Take a break. It sounds simple enough, yet many of us are afraid of taking time away from our projects, especially when they are complicated. Perhaps you’re working late, your desk light keeps you from sleeping, and you need a break. Perhaps you’re exhausted from a long day and need a breather. These situations present opportunities to take care of yourself, recharge your batteries, and give yourself an emotional break.
A break can be as small as five minutes or as grand as going to the beach, but breaking from your regular routine can positively affect your life. Although it is said that they make work-life more efficient, recent studies indicate that breaks can improve some of your physical, emotional, and social health.