Don’t think you’ve got time for a work break? Whether you think you do or not, it’s probably needed!
Taking a break from work may sound like the best or the hardest thing to do, but it is vital for every single person out there. Whether someone is part of Corporate America, working in the hustle and bustle of an office all week, a creative entrepreneur who is on their feet a lot or a stay-at-home parent, chasing around kiddos every day, “me” time is key.
Before diving into why breaks are so important, let’s first discuss what counts as stepping away from work…
Types of Work Breaks
Small Breaks: Taking a full hour for lunch, standing up/away from a desk every now and then and enjoying a mid-afternoon walk are all examples of little breathers.
For some, these are necessary and very regular. For others, they sound like a waste of time. By stepping away, though, just for a moment, we give our bodies and brains the rest they need to be as productive as possible for the rest of the day!
Medium Breaks: A step above this would be taking the day off, setting limits and asking for help. Personal and sick days exist for a reason, and even people who do not get in-office benefits, such as stay-at-home moms, deserve vacation days.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, since there are fellow employees, family members and hired professionals who can step in when needed. Setting limits for oneself is also important, and this may come in the form of actually stopping work at 5:00 p.m. or refusing to check emails on the weekend.
Big Breaks: Sometimes, a big break is needed from work, which could be a long trip away to a far-off destination or even a hiatus. It is easy to get stuck in a job that is not necessarily loved, and life is too short to be spent doing something awful! It can be scary to think about starting over, but there are times when making a clean cut and choosing a new adventure may be necessary.
So, there are different ways that “me” time can look, there are varied moments when it can take place, and there are certain situations that will call for one form over another. But why should we all be so serious about making sure these breaks happen?
Why Do We Need a Work Break?
Health: First and foremost, stepping away is a health benefit. Whether it is a walk around the block or a vacation to the beach, it allows our minds and bodies to rejuvenate. Work stress is real, and it can take a toll on us.
Productivity: On a similar note, breaks can help us shift perspective, so that when we come back to our workspace, we have a new energy and maybe even new ideas that can help us get through the rest of the day or week.
Fun: And finally, “me” time is fun, as well as deserved! As mentioned, built-in days exist for those with work benefits, and everyone, no matter their job type, should allow themselves to be okay with a break (whether big or small).
The who, what, when, where and why have all been covered, so let’s wrap up with the how… How can I take a break? How can I leave my desk unattended? Ask for time off? Not check my email?
It can be hard, and there are, of course, times when a vacay is just not going to happen, for whatever reason. Really think about the benefits, though. Have a friend/co-worker step in for you, and promise to do the same for them.
Be clear with your boss about why this work break is needed and how you’ll have all your work done before you leave. Ask a partner/friend to take your phone away, if just for one morning on the weekend, so you can spend time catching up on sleep, getting a massage, playing with the kids or reading a book. And feel free to just thank me later!