A reminder for why you should take more breaks and slow down – taking breaks helps you recharge, gain new perspective, work smarter, and be happier.

A reminder for why you should take more breaks and slow down - taking breaks helps you recharge, gain new perspective, work smarter, and be happier. | @TheFoodieDietitian

Happy Monday, friends.

I’ve been sharing Mindful Monday videos with you for the last couple months now and wanted to switch things up and come back to my keyboard to spill it all out via text.

I’ve been going through a bit of a funk lately. I’ve been moving at hyper speed, putting more and more on my plate, saying yes to everything that comes along, and I’m grateful for all the work, the opportunities, but I can’t help but feel as if I’m back where I first started – behind my computer all day, every day. Not looking up. Not exploring. Not playing. Not connecting (I mean face-to-face connecting). I started my own business to give myself the freedom and flexibility to do what I want, when I want. But I’ve found that it’s even harder to disconnect, to separate myself from my work, when it’s my own business.

And I’m slowly but surely realizing the toll it’s playing. With this go-go-go mentality, I’m finding it harder than ever to slow down and be present and mindful. I mentioned on the blog last week that I got into a minor car accident and it was simply because I was being impatient. And the accident shook me up in more ways than one. It made me realize the detrimental effects that can happen by me not being mindful, present, and patient. By having this hurried mentality where I must fit it all in to feel accomplished and worthy.

Meanwhile, I’m missing out on all the joy and beauty around me. I’m missing out on focusing on the people around me. The love that surrounds me. And I’m once again losing sight of what it is that truly makes me happy and brings me fulfillment.

Do you ever feel like this? That you’re just spinning your wheels, going through the motions, speeding through life, without the chance to press pause? Take a breather? Gain some perspective on how things are going and where you ultimately want to go? I’ve talked about this before, in fact, right after I was laid off from my corporate job. The lay off gave me the blessing of time and space to just be. But as we know, history repeats itself and I’m finding myself back to old patterns.

So, how do you break this pattern? It’s quite simply really. You just need to take more breaks.

I recently read this article by Huffington Post on why we need breaks and the author, a self-proclaimed “workaholic” took five months “off” from her business when she moved to Germany and gave herself the freedom to explore, try new things, experience, play, see, do. And by creating that space for herself, she realized how much emphasis she had been putting on her work and not on other parts of her life and herself. By taking a break from her work, she was able to awaken all these other roles she could play: wife, hostess, house maker, teacher, etc. So, what are some of the other roles you play in your life? What roles would you want to awaken or try?

Breaks give us space which in turn help us to do all of these other amazing things, like:

  • Breaks actually make us better at our work. Taking breaks can make us more productive, more creative, and can bring us new thoughts and valuable insights.
  • Breaks give us perspective. By pressing pause, you can evaluate those long-term goals of yours and see if where you’re heading is line with where you actually want to go. By taking those breaks, you can decide if and what you need to change to reach those goals.
  • Breaks help us recharge our batteries. Have you ever had writers block or been stuck on a problem and then go for a walk and all the sudden the answer hits you like a ton of bricks? That’s because taking breaks help us to see things differently. We can look at things with a new light, from a different angle.
  • Breaks make us happier. Taking breaks helps us to see that there’s more to life than just work. Breaks help us to explore, play, take on adventures, feel, and love, which generates those warm, fuzzy feelings.

So I’ve been making a point recently to take more breaks. Hence my absence on the blog last week. I’ve been going for sunset walks in the beautiful arboretum that’s across the street from us. I’ve been spending more time with Steve. And taking time to do…well..nothing. And it feels glorious.

IMG_7423

I’m also taking a few weeks in June/July to travel – like a real break – and my business-oriented self is nervous by just the mention of it. But I know it will be so good for me, my soul, my relationships, and ultimately, my work.

How do you take breaks? Are you even taking breaks? Are you giving yourself the chance to gain perspective? Recharge the batteries? See things differently? And how do you feel afterwards?

I’d love to hear from you too. Do you prefer these written Mindful Monday posts or the videos better? Or would you rather see a mix of both?

Have a great week and remember to take some breaks!

xo

Leave a Comment

Note: Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

20 Comments

  1. Kara – this was such a good reminder! It’s so easy to get swept up in the endless tasks revolved around blogging, and forget that we chose this profession for a reason!

  2. I always find it hard to slow down as well. I’ve been moving at light speed recently, and only this weekend was forced to take a break because of a stomach bug that landed me in the hospital. I feel like it was my body’s way of saying “Enough!” and making me slow down and sleep for a few days straight. Maybe now as I’m starting to recover I should mindfully consider what I’m doing to my body, and schedule breaks in so that it can recover and not have to scream at me ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh man, Hannah. I hate that it takes us something really intense to make us slow down. I had something similar happen last week when I had severe pain in my neck out of nowhere. The doctor prescribed bed rest as he thought it was a muscle strain. I hate knowing that stress definitely played a role here. And that it took that to happen to make me rest. We need to be kinder to ourselves!

  3. Such a timely post for me! For the past year or two I’ve been going non-stop with getting my business going, traveling for clients, traveling to see family, etc. Mindfulness is something I’ve also been trying to incorporate into my life more, so naturally I’m starting to take more breaks and slow down. This past weekend I didn’t touch my laptop for 3 days and it was glorious! haha. I will definitely be keeping that as a goal on weekends.

    • Thanks for sharing, Danielle! I feel the same way being new in business – it takes a LOT of work to get everything built up. I didn’t do ANY work this past holiday weekend and share your sentiments – it truly felt GLORIOUS. And I noticed a shift in my mood, energy and my interactions with others. Pretty amazing, eh? I’m keeping that goal too!

  4. Truly a wonderful and much needed post! I totally need to slow down and take a break from many things. Work and exercise being top priority. I often times force myself to go through the motions yet fail to appreciate or notice anything around me

    I’m going on a mini getaway this weekend and will be taking a complete break from exercise and work. I’m excited to see what I will “see” amd experience not having those two things in my way. Thank you for the inspiration!!

    • Thanks for sharing, Diana! I truly hope that mini getaway this weekend was refreshing and gave you the insight and recharge you needed. And I hope you can take another mini getaway soon!

  5. So weird that there’s so many dietitians relating to this post! I mean, us dietitians aren’t known for being type A or anything, right?? Haha! As you know, I can totally relate to this post. When I first started my business, I kept getting frustrated with myself for not being efficient enough or not crossing enough items off the to-do list each day. A big game changer for me came when I decided to set only 3 “must do” items a day and stop working at 8pm (unless something absolutely, positively had to be done by the next day). Interestingly, I found I’ve been much more efficient since then, I think because before I’d often tell myself ‘oh you have all night to finish that!’ Of course, this week after my crazy, horrible, no-good, stressful weekend of my website crashing, I’ve been back to working all day and feeling a bit frazzled and all over the place. Very excited for two days at the lake with friends to relax and reconnect! P.S. I like written too! I tend to multitask while watching/listening videos but I sit down to read all your Mindful Monday posts (and soak up every word!)

    • Hahaha SO bizarre. Said no dietitian ever.

      Yes, of course we can all relate to this! I love the rule to only set 3 “must do” items per day – I always read that a smart to-do list identifies what’s urgent, priority, and what’s not.

      And thanks for the insight on preference for written vs. video. I think I’ll be transitioning back to the keyboard for these ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’ll join in about totally relating to this. I felt like I was reading about myself. I was just telling someone last week that I’m not a very lenient boss – I don’t allow myself to take real time off. My husband gets so angry that I’m still on my blog and social media at night when I should be relaxing and watching tv w him. But if I take time off, I fall behind and miss out on connections and opportunities. I have also found that the link share groups are amazing and definitely increasing my traffic and business, but they take so much time out of my days. There’s got to be a better solution!!

    • Amen, Jessica. I’ve been more conscious about involvement in the FB groups for when I have the time to contribute meaningfully and not at 10pm when I’m winding down for the night or at 7am when I’m trying to create a more mindful morning for myself. It’s not easy but the way I look at it is I have to protect my well-being. If I don’t, who will? And the first step is getting real about what you can and can’t do…I feel a future mindful monday post coming about how to say No ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Min

    The thought of taking breaks terrifies me, Kara. I know I need to. I know that every cell in my body craves it. However, the fear of being behind..of missing out on opporutnities is so strong. All the while, I know I’m missing out on connecting with friends, my husband..and simply doing life. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and I even contemplated on putting an end to my blog. My darn all-or-nothing mentality playing hard here. I’m striving to find more balance in life. Thank you so much for this lovely reminder. My intention is to take more breaks and see where that leads me!

    • Min, your comments always cut right to the core of me! There really is a fear associated with it right?? I’m reading a book right now by Gabrielle Bernstein called May Cause Miracles and the biggest overriding theme in the book is to get rid of all the fear we have and choose love instead. It’s all about letting go of these fears and choosing love instead. So in this case letting go of the fear of being behind and choosing to focus on the love for yourself for all you HAVE accomplished and focusing on the love for choosing to be with friends and family. Yes, see where the breaks lead you! I imagine only beautiful places. xoxo

  8. Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition

    Well you hit the nail on the head this week Kara! I’m glad to feel I’m not alone in finding balance/taking breaks when it comes to self-employment. Honestly, I feel like *most* bloggers feel this way! I appreciate hearing how you handle the non-stop pace— and I’m glad you are taking time to just BE this summer!! You deserve a great vacation!

    • Thanks, Katie! Totally – I think a lot of bloggers can relate. I’m glad that this post made you realize you’re not alone! I hope you’ll take some time this summer to just BE as well! xo

  9. I have been thinking SO much about this lately. Between my job and blogging on the weekends, I have no time for myself to read or spend time with loved ones! That hour I save for working out every day just isn’t enough of a break! Good for you for taking some time off the blog last week and try not to check e-mails too often during your travels!

    • I hear you, Lisa! And WAIT. You have a job in addition to blogging!? I totally would have thought you were a FT blogger by the quality of your content. All that hard work is definitely paying off! But it’s always at what cost, right? I’ve been shifting some of my priorities lately and feels really good. xo

  10. I feel like I could have written this myself! I definitely find it hard to foster balance when working for myself/doing what I love. It’s so easy to keep piling things on and suddenly realize that you are WAY overwhelmed. I’ve been really working this year on saying no, slowing down, and taking advantage of my flexible schedule a little more. It’s hard, but it’s worth my sanity.

    And I love the written posts vs. videos. I’m just not a big video person – I don’t usually get a chance to watch them since I read blogs on my phone!